Saturday, May 2, 2009

Conservatives, Steven Colbert is laughing AT you, not with you!

Last year I dated a Russian guy with broken English who was surprised that I was such a huge Stephen Colbert fan. I said, "You do know he's joking, right? He's not really a Republican. It's satire!"

He looked confused. Did I burst his bubble? Maybe he didn't know what the English word satire meant?

"Are you sure about that?" he asked me. Before presuming his idiocy, I decided that his confusion instead had to be the result of his not understanding English well. Then again, this was a guy who made lots of dough working at Goldman Sachs, most likely a very conservative conservative. Obviously I was channeling Cleopatra, the Queen of da Nile.

Lo and behold, HuffPo uncovered a story about an Ohio State researcher's study called "The Irony of Satire" revealing that conservatives don't know Colbert is joking.
. . . there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert's political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.

This doesn't surprise me in the least. I just wonder what explanation they have for Colbert's 2006 roast of Bush at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner. Some of my favorite gems:
"Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!"

"We're not so different, [Bush] and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book."

No comments: