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Is Congress Star Struck with Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report?

Posted by on September 24, 2010 at 11:11 PM EST

stephen-colbert-congressIs Congress Star Struck with Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report?

It looks like Congress and for that matter many of our political leaders are just as star stuck and worship at the alter of the cult of celebrity as the rest of the nation. No more was this evident then today when Stephen Colbert testified on Capitol Hill where he spoke about the conditions facing undocumented workers.

Last night on the The Colbert Report, Stephen showed a video of him taking a challenge that was given by Arturo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is the President of United Farm Workers an organization that helps undocumented workers. He issued a challenge called “Take Our Jobs” where he challenges American workers to take undocumented worker’s jobs. He wants you to go out to the farm and do the labor that these workers do. Stephen Colbert took him up on the offer and hit the farm. Of the experience he said to Congress, “I’ll admit I started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor. But after working with these men and women … side by side in the unforgiving sun I have to say — and I do mean this sincerely — please don’t make me do this again. It is really, really hard.”

Colbert never broke character as he cracked jokes, telling Congress that he doesn’t want his tomatoes picked by Mexicans that he wants them, “picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan, and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian.” Also went on to say that his great-grandfather didn’t, “travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.”

While some laughed others sat stoic and even chastised his appearance. All of this really bodes the further question: What the hell is Stephen Colbert doing testifying in front of Congress? I’m a big fan of Colbert and Jon Stewart. It saddens me that they are comics, but are the only people who will actually call out our leaders and point out their hypocrisies. Did Congress not learn from the great George W. Bush/Stephen Colbert debacle? For those that don’t remember, someone in the Bush Whitehouse thought that Colbert was actually a conservative pundit so they invited him to speak and roast the president during house correspondents dinner. Colbert took the opportunity to put himself on the map and proceeded to tear into the president, his staff and the republicans as whole. Bush was clearly angry and Colbert’s videos lit up YouTube and made him an overnight sensation. So no they decide to call him back for round 2 today?

Clearly what this means is that the cult of celebrity is so out of hand in this country that even our leaders have fallen victim to it. Harry Reid is tweeting with Lady Gaga, Bono is sharing meals with senators, Sarah Palin helped get her daughter Bristol on Dancing With the Stars and is using her political stardom to promote Bristol’s dancing and now Stephen Colbert is on Capitol Hill essentially doing a stand up routine. While I think it is funny and I also think he made some very valid points, maybe it is best to leave him to the comedy and actually allow the lawmakers to make policy based on the real needs of this country. Celebrities mean well, but that doesn’t mean that our lawmakers need to give into their desire to hobnob with them.

It was once said that politics is Hollywood for ugly people. Congress should leave Hollywood to the beautiful ones who entertain us so they can stay ugly and focused. If they want to be amused by Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart, they should watch their shows or go the rallies they are going to hold soon in Washington they shouldn’t be bringing them in to perform live in front of them.




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