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Colbert's Display of Intestinal Fortitude Makes White House and Its Correspondents Squirmy

05.02.2006 07:53 | DISPATCHES

Whoever hired Stephen Colbert to act as host of the White House Correspondents Dinner must have done so while in the throes of a fit of sadomasochism. It's hard to tell who was more humiliated: the White House or the correspondents.

While grueling for President Bush and his wife, Colbert's performance couldn't help but make the assembled journalists jealous of his courage.

Why is it that a man who plays the role of a correspondent can be more effective than any 10,000 mainstream journalists? Maybe because they too are playing a role, just not as well. But let's not be cruel. They're already licking their wounds.

What makes his hiring even stranger is that anyone who saw his "Daily Show" commentary on last year's dinner, in which he "milked" Laura Bush's story (about the president milking a horse) for all it was worth, should have known he'd come loaded for bear this year.

I used to have trouble with a guy who did Mr. Goodwrench commercials. But now I'm won over. Colbert's performance on "The Colbert Report," despite material that sometimes pale in comparison to "The Daily Show," is often transcendent.


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