General Question

flo's avatar

Was Stephen Colbert mocking America, or trying to be helpful?

Asked by flo (11201points) September 27th, 2010

I didn’t hear the whole thing, but the part I heard sounded like mocking.
I mean is that one of the places you need to drop your character on TV?

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25 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

He probably would have been a more effective advocate for his cause if he had dropped the act while before Congress.

I think Congress has more important things to do than listen to him play a part.

Mamradpivo's avatar

If Congress ever stops acting like spoiled, self-indulgent children then maybe people will start treating them like adults. Until then, the US Congress deserves more of this, not less.

Sarcasm's avatar

I’ll say up-front that I am absolutely his target demographic, so my opinion is quite in his favor regardless.

I don’t think he was mocking America. I think he did two things.
1) Mocked what our political system has become.
2) Sent out a wake-up call to the college generation. We watch his TV show, we giggle at the memes that come from it, we add words like “truthiness” to our lexicon. But fuck me, if it wasn’t for Colbert making his testimony, I would’ve had absolutely no clue there was a debate going on regarding migrant farmworkers. I’m certain that I’m not alone.
Hell, Obama and Biden recently came out saying it: The college generation doesn’t pay any attention to politics. They come out to vote in big elections, but that’s about it. We (myself certainly included) need to be more active in how our own country is being ruled.
edit: here is a link to the Obama/Biden thing.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
lillycoyote's avatar

I should probably check all the links and read all the blogs but I’m not gonna do it because mocking and satire is what Steven Colbert does. Don’t you get it? If you don’t want someone who has an almost unbroken record of mocking congress and the government, then don’t invite him to a party attended almost entirely by members of congress and the government.

Mamradpivo's avatar

The real question, as I see it, is why Stephen Colbert is the most prominent member of the US media to actually be addressing the issue of immigrant day laborers. For all of the screaming we hear about immigrants, why is a comedian the first one to actually go out and work with the people in question for a day? Surely some investigative journalist somewhere should have been doing this years ago.

WestRiverrat's avatar

He wasn’t the first, he is just the first one that we saw talk about it before congress.

I used to do farm labor when I was in high school. Hoeing beets and roguing sunflowers was not fun. 12–14 hour days at $4 an hour, every day except Sunday. I am supposed to respect him because he did it for a day?

flo's avatar

Thanks for the link @johnpowell but I hope you didn’t waste too much time because it is easy enough to find it.

Response moderated (Spam)
lillycoyote's avatar

And in the end, bottom line, even if Steven Colbert is mocking America and not helping so what? Is that a crime?

talljasperman's avatar

both…I watched the whole clip… something I don’t normally do…and he’s just keeping in character…the spam on colon blow was funny

WestRiverrat's avatar

@lillycoyote no. Colbert didn’t commit any crimes on Capitol hill. I wish I could say the same for all the elected officials that are there, from either party.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
rooeytoo's avatar

I assume he was mocking because he really didn’t make any great insights or statements. Is he advocating allowing more illegals in to do the shit work Americans don’t want? I am 65 when I was a kid we picked beans and berries, etc. for a couple of bucks a day. Adults worked along side, I think they made more money though. But I can’t picture any kid I know today doing that kind of work, it was hot (and there was no plastic bottle of water so we would stay properly hydrated), dirty and very hard work. Got a great tan though, course now we know that you shouldn’t get tan because it causes cancer. Anyhow now no kids or adults want the job so The illegals have been doing the work for a lot of years. But they used to come for the season and then return to their homes. I guess the problem is now they want to stay.

Here is my solution, all those Americans who think the country is such a terrible place and complain that the benefits the government gives out are inadequate, they should give up their citizenship and move to Sweden or whatever other country they think is better, then we can naturalize all the illegals and give them the benefits that the dissatisfied would give up by leaving. Eventually it should all balance out and everyone would be happy.

Why didn’t Colbert think of that one, he is supposed to be the smart guy.

El_Cadejo's avatar

“Here is my solution, all those Americans who think the country is such a terrible place and complain that the benefits the government gives out are inadequate, they should give up their citizenship and move to Sweden or whatever other country they think is better”

so we should just run away from it instead of trying to fix it? Great idea.

rooeytoo's avatar

Can it ever be “fixed” to satisfy those who are so unhappy? And what exactly, besides complaining on Fluther is everyone doing to accomplish this fix? So if there are other perfect places already in existence, I would save myself the aggro and just go. There are plenty who think the USA is a pretty good place to be and would be more than willing to take your place.

LostInParadise's avatar

He mocked those who are anti-immigrant. The net effect was to call attention to a problem that most people would prefer not to think about.

rts486's avatar

I would think Congress has better things to do. I also think Colbert was just promoting his show. Free advertisement.

syz's avatar

I suppose that you could consider his actions a publicity stunt, but honestly, how many Americans would have even been aware of this subcommittee meeting without his actions? If it takes a comedian mocking our elected leaders to get us to pay even nominal attention to what’s going on, then I say “More power to him”.

phaedryx's avatar

I think he was mocking and helping.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy25NFH69gk
(the statement and questions afterwards)

phaedryx's avatar

I wasn’t able to edit my previous statement, but I wanted to emphasize that the question/answer after his initial statement were particularly interesting. You can find them on youtube.

flo's avatar

@Mamradpivo That platform is to address the whole country, not just the representatives there.
-Being on character is something he can do on his show. He can address the congress from his show. The congress is more for people who don’t have a platform already, for people who have something valuable to say in a sincere enough manner He took another person’s place for nothing.

flo's avatar

He said “they suffer and don’t have any rights” only as the the answer to the last question he was asked. Viewers who don’t like him probably tuned out long before that because what came before that was him mocking the country. Even the question from one of the reps. “which direction was the corn blowing?” or something” That guy should be out of there.

Deja_vu's avatar

Stephen Colbert could have done a better job of bring his poin across. I think he blow his opportunity on really getting to the issue. Something that could of worked in character. He is a comedian. I give him credit for not breaking character. Machete though got the point across.

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