Stephen Colbert: American Hero, Or A Disgraceful Joke?

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Stephen Colbert appeared before Congress today to discuss illegal immigrants in the farming community, and he did so the politicized character made famous on his Comedy Central Show, The Colbert Report.

"It is an honor and a privilege, Congresswoman [Zoe Lofgren] asked me to share vast experience spending one day as a migrant farm worker. I am happy to use my celebrity to draw attention to this important, complicated issue," said Colbert before the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration.

He went on: "[Farm work] was really, really hard… It turns out — and I did not know this — most soil is at ground level." Colbert's comments were humorous, yes, and has some people criticizing Colbert for turning the Capitol into a media circus. But isn't that the point?

“America’s farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables. Now the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables and if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you’ll see that many Americans have already started," said the comedian, who once appeared as the closeted gay teacher Chuck Noblet on Strangers with Candy and has joined the United Farm Workers of America's "Take Our Jobs" campaign, which sheds like on the plight of migrant farmers in America.

Of course, as Colbert pointed out, we need fruits and vegetables: "Unfortunately, my doctor has informed me that they are a necessary source of roughage. As evidence, I would like to submit a video of my colonoscopy into the congressional record."

"Who will take that job?" remains Colbert's underlying, rib-tickling question. Not everyone thought he was funny.

"Maybe amnesty supporters should spend less time watching Comedy Central and more time considering all the real jobs that are out there that require hard labor and don't involve sitting behind a desk," snipped Iowa Rep. Steve King at the hearings, and fellow GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz tweeted this week, "The Dems have called him [Colbert] as an expert witness. What a joke."

Rep. John Conyers Jr., meanwhile, compared all the attention to that surrounding Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings. "That's a haunting remembrance," said the Michigan Democrat. That sounds like a ringing endorsement of Colbert's appearance!

Despite being a "hot-button" issue in Washington, many Americans, particularly Colbert's young audience, aren't paying enough attention to the nooks and crannies of immigration reform. It's an idea, one without specifics or human faces.

Colbert, for all his sly smiles and dry wit, wants to raise awareness of illegal existence in the United States, and perhaps change some minds on the process of legalizing undocumented workers.

No matter which way someone leans on the topic, Colbert's appearance will definitely — and has already — sparked civil discourse, a cornerstone of any democratic nation. While the "media circus" aspect of Colbert's entertainment credentials deserves examination, the real focus should be on the funny man's message, one that addresses not only immigration, but also the essential importance of public debate.

Here's video of Colbert's opening statements today:


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

News: Stephen Hawking, Cornell, Ryan Kwanten, Blondie

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7.4 earthquake strikes New Zealand.

Road Washington Post endorses homophobic candidate backed by NOM.

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RoadNYT: The British Foreign minister doth protest too much. "Mr. Hague, third-ranking minister in the coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron, brought the issue into the glare of national attention when he issued a statement on Wednesday seeking to end “continued and hurtful speculation” prompted by a political blogger concerning his relationship with a 25-year-old male adviser at the foreign office." Will he walk?

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—  John Wright

Anna Paquin + Stephen Moyer’s Marriage Leaves Alexander Skarsgard The Odd Man Out

Anna Paquin, the scrunchy bisexual actress who's always letting dead people bite her, married co-star Stephen Moyer in Malibu. This is their wedding photo.


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Queerty

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Watch: Stephen Colbert’s Plans to Destroy Same-Sex Marriage

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Stephen Colbert weighs in on the Prop 8 ruling, with a plan to destroy same-sex marriages.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
How to Ruin Same-Sex Marriages
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News


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—  John Wright

Stephen Colbert On Prop 8 Overturn

One of his all-time best! Required viewing.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

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—  John Wright

Show vs. Show • 03.26.10

By RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

Dallas doesn’t find itself too often in the middle of a gay live music dilemma. This weekend, two musicians might get to bring their sounds to the masses. That is, if LGBT Dallas heads out to support their own.

Tommy Hernandez was mostly on the local music scene as a solo artist but his latest venture takes him away from pop music into a trancey realm. As one half of Museum Creatures, he and Stephen Holmes go the electronica route.

Museum Creatures is part of the Mercy for Animals Benefit at the Cavern on Lower Greenville. They share a heavy bill with Soft Environmental Collapse, Division of Power and more for the Rockout for Animals show.

Patrick Boothe approaches music with a raw attitude. In his latest release, Jump In, a five song EP, he explores his darker side.

Boothe relocated from Dallas to Austin partly to be near the music industry there. A lonely spell set in and provided inspiration for his newest set of songs. But he’s confident his gay audience will relate.

“I do have a mostly gay audience and they don’t listen to just the poppy music at gay clubs and bars you always hear.”

He’s alt-rock with a piano but more in the vein of Tori Amos. Yet, maybe a bit louder.

“It’s just me and a piano but it’s gonna be loud. I sing pretty loud and I’m not a classically trained pianist so it can get intense at times.”

He’s alt-rock with a piano but more in the vein of Tori Amos. Yet, maybe a bit louder.

“It’s just me and a piano but it’s gonna be loud. I sing pretty loud and I’m not a classically trained pianist so it can get intense at times.


— Rich Lopez

 


This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 26, 2010.


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