File under: "Plus ça Change, Plus C'est La Même Colbert"
For future generations trying to figure out what the White House
Co-Conspirators Correspondents Dinner was an why it took so long for it to crawl under a porch and die (and then, years later, rebooted with new cast members and a darker, edgier tone.
Here are a few of 2018's predictably indignant Hot Takes from the great minds of the American punditocracy:
I've heard about two dozen comics at White House Correspondents' Association dinners over the years, but Michelle Wolfe this year was the second worst. Rich Little, your title is still intact! pic.twitter.com/wyOJnET4Ra— Roger Simon (@politicoroger) April 29, 2018
Apology is owed to @PressSec and others grossly insulted ny Michelle Wolf at White House Correspondents Assoc dinner which started with uplifting heartfelt speech by @margarettalev - comedian was worst since Imus insulted Clinton’s— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) April 29, 2018
I think @PressSec unflinching gaze at Michelle Wolf was the most interesting thing about the event, which is intended to honor the First Amendment but in fact mocked the values of civil society so thoroughly as to stun even the cynical reporters. The honest ones will admit it.— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) April 29, 2018
And here is a snip from Ana Marie Cox's sighing, scolding Hot Take from 12 years earlier, during the depths of yet another Republican dumpster fire presidency.
Was Stephen Colbert Funny?...This insistence on the hilarity of Colbert's routine has a bullying quality, implying that jokes which adhere to the correct ideology are hilarious and failure to find humor in the party line is a kind of thought crime. By this logic, Cindy Sheehan should be hosting the Academy Awards.In the past day or so, perhaps realizing they had lost the battle to argue Colbert's stand-up into something that will be universally acknowledged as funny, the liberal commentariat has shifted tactics. Salon's Joan Walsh, for instance, pretended to grant that humor was subjective: "Let's even give Colbert's critics that point. Clearly he didn't entertain most of the folks at the dinner Saturday night." But whose fault is that? Why, those who were not entertained, of course. The tepid response "tells us more about the audience than it does about Colbert." Not laughing, it turns out, was part of the press corps' master plan, because "Colbert refused to play his dutiful, toothless part. He had to be marginalized. Voil': 'He wasn't funny.'" Never has "marginalized" sounded so sinister. He's lucky we didn't kill him.Others took a bolder approach: Colbert may not have been funny, but that doesn't matter. He spoke "truthiness" to power, "you so don't get it when you spin the idea that Colbert's performance had anything to do with laughs," HuffPo commentators proclaim: "This time, Colbert didn't have to be funny. Because he was right." Added one, "What he did was not comedy. It was a public service." This, I believe, will come as news to both the people who paid him to perform and to Stephen Colbert...
If you were so inclined, you could put all the 2006 Hot Takes and all the 2018 Hot Takes into your stereopticon side-by-side and hold them up to the light and they would form a lovely three dimensional diorama of just about everything that is fucked up at the intersection of American politics and American corporate media.
Or you could go back and see what I wrote about it four years ago: Nerd Prom (See also "Masque of the Red Death, The")
Or you could just ignore it. Because to real people out here in the real world, all the Hughing (pun intended) and crying and rending of waistcoats and crushing of pearls into dust around this zombie exercise in media self-congratulation amounts to little more than Big Glove Boxing in the Beltway bouncy house. The Tone Police and Trump Collaborators in the mainstream media get to work up a little sweat, crank out 800 contractually obligated words on the Coarsening and the Cheapening and the yadda yadda yadda --
-- and then go right back to their default settings, with nary a drink spilled, a welt raised nor meal missed.My column on the event will post soon at @washingtonpost. It took 800 words to convey. https://t.co/VceB6q633w— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) April 29, 2018
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