Colbert, Still Digesting His Correspondents' Dinner Reception

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By Lisa de Moraes
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Comedy Central's faux news show host Stephen Colbert stupidly delivered a stingingly satirical speech about President Bush and those who cover him at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner because "he was under the impression they had hired him to do the thing he does on TV every night," Jon Stewart quipped last night on his "Daily Show."

At this annual black-tie dinner, Stewart explained to his viewers, the White House and the correspondents who cover it "consummate their loveless marriage."

This year, according to news accounts of the clambake, the president and first lady were unamused by Colbert's remarks to the estimated 2,600 people who attended. In his speech, Colbert, a former "Daily Show" correspondent who now follows Stewart with his own program, "The Colbert Report," advised Bush to ignore his lousy approval ratings because they were based on reality "and reality has a well-known liberal bias." Colbert also made no friends in the crowd when he advised them to remember the rules of covering the White House: "The president makes decisions . . . the press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions." In your spare time, he advised them, "write that novel you got kicking around in your head -- you know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know -- fiction."

Colbert called it "the greatest weekend of my entire life." What some reported as a tepid reception to his patter was actually "very respectful silence," Colbert joked on his show last night. "The crowd practically carried me out on their shoulders" -- albeit before he was ready to leave, he added.

* * *

Thirty-five percent of "American Idol" voters believe their votes on the singing competition count more than or as much as voting in a presidential election, according to the latest navel-gazing study of the Fox series -- this one by Washington-based public opinion research firm Pursuant Inc.

This may be because on "Idol" you're encouraged to vote early and often, whereas in the presidential election you get to vote only once, except maybe in parts of Florida where "over-voting" looked like it might catch on in 2000.

And, mercifully, in "Idol" elections, 1 vote = 1 vote, unlike our system for picking our president.

But, hey, why rain on another study on "American Idol"?

According to this week's "Idol" study, more "Idol" viewers -- 39 percent -- are likely to be from the South.

Maybe that's because most of the contestants are from the South -- at this point four of the remaining five.

But, hey, why rain on the latest study on "American Idol"?


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© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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