Al Jazeera, 17 January 2012
Steven Colbert announced he will form “an exploratory committee for president of the United States of South Carolina”.
New York, NY – The New York Times, in its wisdom, remains irony-challenged and doesn’t know what to think about satirist and Comedy Channel host Stephen Colbert’s decision to run – for something.
The newspaper of record asks, “Is it a run or [a] comedy riff?”
I guess in Timesland, it can’t be both.
It is as if an entertainer running for president or becoming a politician is beyond the pale.
Ronald Reagan anyone? And what about Arnie Schwarzenegger? Remember him?
In Israel, a popular TV commentator has organised his own party. In Senegal, singer Youssou N’dour has announced his candidacy for the presidency. Years ago in Nigeria, the late Afro-beat king Fela Kuti was being touted as the next black president – until the military cracked down on his ambitions.
So what about Colbert?
. . . . . . .
A political freak show
This has become a spectacle of candidates bouncing back and forth on their principles, and singing patriotic songs when they run out of ideas. You can’t even compare with to a circus without demeaning circuses.
Politics has become a joke that someone should tell the New York Times about – with only seven per cent of people having any confidence in Congress, and most politicians lacking respect even if they do draw support in the absence of any credible alternative.
At the same time, there is resentment among some, who feel Colbert is most interested in promoting himself and his show. When I asked well-known South Carolina black activist Kevin Gray about his “campaign”, he sneered and called on him to donate to grassroots organising.
The rest of the world is laughing not only at the politicians, but at a US electorate that seems to be taking the farce seriously.
Phi Beta Iota: A very serious useful article. Strongly recommend it be read in its entirety.