In a rare outside "the office" moment, Todd let his guard down giving us a rare glimpse inside the peculiar and bizarre mind of the Idiot Punditocracy. Commenting on Stephen Colbert's SuperPac shenanigans in South Carolina, whose "schtick" as Chuck puts it is training a spotlight on the madness of unlimited anonymous money in politics, Chuck allowed as it was a "noble" effort, then followed up with this jaw-dropping assertion:
Excuse me? First of all, Chuck, the obvious question comes to mind: We know it's a farce, but whatever happened to your professional "objectivity" with its customary obsequious fawning to the criminal element (mostly Republican) you cover: "Is it fair to say" this, that or the other? Secondly, what's this revolting obsession of yours with defending the honor of that "shrinking violet" as Michael Steele might put it, ironically of course, known as the Republican Party? Your pal, John Feehery, isn't scared of Stephen Colbert's comedy and neither is Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman. It may be spin, but at the end of the night Colbert had no impact whatsoever on the South Carolina result. Third, this notion that a comedian has the power to "marginalize" the Republican Party is not only absurd; it's insane. And it's quite a typical manifestation of how the Beltway bubble distorts perspectives and worldviews of those who, like Todd, have spent literally their entire careers in that insular, incestuous, elitist media environment."He is making a mockery of the system ... it feels as if he's trying to influence it with his own agenda, that may be anti-Republican ... it's almost as if he's also doing his best to marginalize the Republican candidates in a way in which we're spinning that marginalization ... We in the "mainstream media" need to be careful and wonder what is he up to, what is his main agenda? Is it to educate the public about the dangers of money in politics and what's going on, or is it simply to marginalize the Republican Party? And so I think if I were a Republican candidate I’d be concerned about that."
It's fascinating to me — and I use the word mockingly given its prominent station in the Beltway Media's Narcissists Dictionary — that Chuck should be such a worry wart regarding the "marginalization" of the Republican Party but not once pause to consider the facts on the ground: namely, where (1) money is the mother's milk of politics; and (2) the sweeping Republican wins of 2010, orgasmically reported by Todd, were in no small measure bankrolled by Citizen's United which rendered the Democratic Party significantly less competitive against the likes of the Koch brothers and anonymous billionaire donors — consequently (3) the radical assault by Republican governors on voting rights, unions (the major source of financing for Democrats) coupled with collective bargaining, gerrymandering, and ballot restrictions, has threatened not only to "marginalize" the Democratic Party but outright destroy it as a viable political institution.
It might surprise Chuck to know that American history is replete with examples of comedians satirizing the political process by running as fake candidates for political office, notably for president. Will Rogers ran a fake presidential campaign in 1928 with the pledge that if elected, he would resign. Gracie Allen ran for president in 1940 on the Surprise Party ticket. Pat Paulsen, a Smothers Brothers (60s cousin to Stewart and Colbert) Comedy Hour regular was a perennial presidential candidate in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992 and 1996, actually getting votes. Comedian Dick Gregory ran for president in 1968 as a write-in candidate for the Freedom and Peace Party, receiving 47,097 votes including one from Hunter S. Thompson. Howard Stern entered the New York gubernatorial race as a Libertarian candidate in a stunt that shook up the race and parallels the Colbert run. He dropped out when a financial disclosure issue came up, ironically enough, without ever disclosing whether or not his was a legitimate run.
"I enjoy the parody, I enjoy the satire, but I have to admit I’m uncomfortable when it’s, like, actually merging into the real world. If that makes sense. It’s sort of like I don’t know, as William Hurt said in Broadcast News,“you tell me we’re crossing the line; they keep moving the sucker!”..."
"Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have this ability to want to mock us in the media, all the time, claiming we don’t do our jobs, and then when you call them out they say we’re just comedians. Actually no, you’re not anymore! YOU are mocking what we’re doing and you want a place in this, then you’re gonna also be held accountable for how you cover and how you do your jobs!"
You need to get out more, Bubble-Boy. Seriously.