Pressing the Issue

Stephen Colbert of the amazing Colbert Report was one of the speaker’s at the Whitehouse Press Association dinner – you can watch his speech here, and at the same time give him top ups for doing that all in front of the President. Of course he may not of realised Colbert was joking…

On a darker note though: you have to wonder if, in some way, all this humour around serious issues makes us treat it all as noise rather than something to raise a ruckus about. On the one hand humour makes these issues more accessible, and Colbert’s representation of himself as a republican supporter, who draws attention to the failings of the government through apparent pro-government reports, must definately raise the sensitivity of the average viewer to double meanings. On the other if you end up finding the people who caused thousands of people to die laughable then do they seem less dangerous? In my childhood we used to have Spitting Image in the UK which, at its best, was highly cutting and satirical (and at it’s worst just a bunch of distorted latex with hamster jokes) – I’m not sure what effect that had on popular opinion, but they definately liked Thatcher and Reagan for all the material they provided.

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