Monday, January 23, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
If you've been listening to the news you know the Republican Presidential primary has now moved into a different kind of vicious with Mitt Romney still smarting from a South Carolina side-swipe by Newt Gingrich's wealth of supporters. Which brings us to the candidate who was all-but-invisible in Saturday's primary... comedian Stephen Colbert. Crossing lines by inserting politics into his comedy or is that crossing lines by inserting comedy into his politics? Candidate Colbert, disguised as Candidate Cain, walked away with thousands of votes in South Carolina. Today, we ask if Colbert's tapping America's funny bone or if he's cracking some political ribs.
Part One of The Current
It's Monday, January 23.
And even though Stephen Colbert wasn't an official candidate on the ballot, he had thousands of supporters at the South Carolina primary this weekend.
Currently, I'm just wondering ... does the satire still work when Colbert is less of a joke than most of the other candidates running?
This is The Current.
Colbert for President
Stephen Colbert is a comedian ... who plays a character on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. It's more of a caricature of a right-wing American political pundit. And Stephen Colbert, either the person or the character, is considering the possibility of running for the Republican nomination for President.
So last week, he was stumping in his home state of South Carolina ... and sowing confusion, fascination and hilarity leading up to the actual Republican primary there this past weekend. Colbert wasn't actually on the ballot. But he went into the weekend asking voters to show their support for his candidacy by voting for Hermain Cain - who has dropped out of the race but whose name was still on the ballot. And more than 6,000 voters (or 1 per cent) voted for him.
In between the gags, Stephen Colbert is mounting what is either a loving endorsement or a scathing satirical critique of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling which threw open the floodgates to unlimited, third-party spending in election campaigns.
Stephen Colbert isn't yet an official candidate in the Republican race to determine who faces off with Barack Obama in the next presidential election. And yet there are polls which show he has a higher favourability rating than any actual Republican candidate. And that in a Presidential campaign, he'd take 13 per cent of the votes. But again, it's not clear if the poll refers to Stephen Colbert the person or the character. Charles McGrath has spent a lot of time with both. He is a writer-at-large for the New York Times and he has just written a piece called How Many Stephen Colberts Are There? He was in Westport, Massachusetts.
Colbert for President - Analyst
Danny Schechter hopes Stephen Colbert throws his hat into the ring for real. He is a veteran journalist and watcher of media issues and politics and he's been watching Colbert closely these days. He was in New York City.