No less an authority than columnist Rich Cohen has come out today to say that Stephen Colbert was not funny last Saturday at prom:
“First, let me state my credentials: I am a funny guy. This is well known in certain circles, which is why, even back in elementary school, I was sometimes asked by the teacher to ‘say something funny’ — as if the deed could be done on demand. This, anyway, is my standing for stating that Stephen Colbert was not funny at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. All the rest is commentary. The commentary, though, is also what I do, and it will make the point that Colbert was not just a failure as a comedian but rude….
“Why are you wasting my time with Colbert, I hear you ask. Because he is representative of what too often passes for political courage, not to mention wit, in this country. His defenders — and they are all over the blogosphere — will tell you he spoke truth to power. This is a tired phrase, as we all know, but when it was fresh and meaningful it suggested repercussions, consequences — maybe even death in some countries. When you spoke truth to power you took the distinct chance that power would smite you, toss you into a dungeon or — if you’re at work — take away your office.
“But in this country, anyone can insult the president of the United States. Colbert just did it, and he will not suffer any consequence at all.”
Well, he will suffer the indignity of having people like Cohen call him rude. That’s not nothing, but it and $4.19 will get you a grande no-whip soy mocha latte at Starbucks.