The Clinton campaign is currently wrestling with how to prepare for the first debate with Trump coming up at the end of September. Part of that challenge is picking a proper sparring partner for the mock debates.
It’s one of the most uncomfortable and important jobs in Democratic politics: trying to embarrass the woman who could be the next president.
The person picked to be Hillary Clinton’s sparring partner in her upcoming debate prep sessions is expected to confront her about the death of Vincent Foster, label her a rapist’s enabler, and invoke the personally painful memories of Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers.
I’ve been thinking about this since the Republican convention and there’s an obvious choice here: Stephen Colbert. Clinton needs to prepare to deftly counter energetically delivered nonsense, personal insults, and things no politician would ever say. Does that sound like the host of a certain Comedy Central show? Colbert’s smart, quick, knows the issues, and, with his talent, could tweak his Colbert Report persona toward the Trumpesque. He wouldn’t have a problem tearing Clinton down in person; he did the same thing to George W. Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. I bet he’d jump at the chance to do it too. Let’s make this happen, America!
Update: They’re getting closer…
At least a few old Clinton hands have suggested enlisting professional entertainers, like Jon Stewart or Alec Baldwin.
Colbert! He could do it with his eyes shut!
From PHD Comics, and explanation of what gravitational waves are and why their discovery is so important to the future of science. (via df)
Update: Brian Greene’s explanation of gravitational waves to Stephen Colbert is the best one yet:
Greene is great at explaining physics in terms almost anyone can understand. Even though it’s more than 15 years old now, his book, The Elegant Universe, still contains the best explanation of modern physics (quantum mechanics + relativity) I’ve ever read.
Stephen Colbert recently guest hosted Only in Monroe, a public access cable TV talk show based in Monroe, Michigan. His guest? Michigander Marshall Mathers.1
God, he is so good. I might actually have to watch the Late Show this fall. (thx, michelle)
For the first episode of podcast called Working, David Plotz talks to Stephen Colbert about how he and his staff construct The Colbert Report. This is fascinating.
My show is a shadow of the news, so I have to know what shadow it’s casting right now, so I can distort it in my own way.
At the 13 minute mark, he talks about how the team communicates with each other about how the show is shaping up, changes, concerns, etc. They do it all by what sounds like text messaging. Paging Stewart Butterfield, you should get those folks on Slack. (via digg)
80-minute video of a conversation between Neil deGrasse Tyson and of an out-of-character Stephen Colbert “about science, society, and the universe”. Someone needs to get this on YouTube or something…the video streaming is slooooow.
Update: Ah, here’s a mirror on YouTube. (thx, aaron)
I nearly wet my pants at work watching this:
According to an article published in The International Journal of Press/Politics, both liberals and conservatives find The Colbert Report funny, but the two groups differ in their perception of Stephen Colbert’s actual ideological allegiances.
Additionally, 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.
An analysis of the Colbert Bump, the jump in sales that follows an author’s appearance on The Colbert Report. (via plasticbag)
Sean Penn and Stephen Colbert competing in a metaphor competition:
Good lord that’s funny.
The Onion interviews Stephen Colbert. “It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that’s not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything.”