Is He Too Blue? A Great Divide in Colbert's TV 'District'

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today's word: bipartisan.

Last we checked, Republicans held nearly 47 percent of the House of Representatives. But you wouldn't know it from Stephen Colbert's "Better Know a District" segments on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." Since the faux-news wit started doing the mock civics-lesson interviews with congressfolk almost two years ago, he's gotten to know far more blue districts than red.

How many more? Forty-three Democratic members of the House (or challengers for it) have been featured, and only 10 Republicans.

Comedy Central rep Steve Albani says Colbert is an equal-opportunity satirist, reaching out to both parties -- but Republicans repeatedly turn him down. "I don't know why they chose not to do it," he told our colleague Paul Farhi.

The irony is that Democrats have been the ones publicly dissing Colbert. Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) warned incoming freshmen in March about setting themselves up for ridicule on the show; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi huffed last year that she wouldn't recommend that "anyone" do a spot. (Though we thought D.C.'s own Eleanor Holmes Norton held her own quite well.)

Whereas Republicans have sort of made nice. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the very first "Better Know" profile, urged his GOP colleagues to join the fun. And in a newspaper op-ed piece, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) called it "one of the best appearances I've made as a congressman." Maybe he needs to get out more.

J-Lo Update: Mum's (Not Mom's) the Word

The new album J-Lo's promoting isn't half as fascinating as her coy dance around the matter of whether she, um, you know, has any happy news to share.

"Late Show With David Letterman," Tuesday: The host asks about her tough mom. "If you have a family one day, will you, uh, take that same view?" J-Lo twinkles: "You know, I think about that, I do think about that!"

" Good Morning America, " Tuesday: Diane Sawyer stammers, "All right, all right, I know what everybody's asking. . . . I'm just gonna say, how are you?"

"It's really, really a great, happy time in my life," Lopez responds. "We have the album coming out today, we have the tour, you know, everything else is just wonderful." Says Sawyer, "Can I hug you because I'm happy? Congratulations!"

Madison Square Garden, Sunday: "God has finally blessed me" -- pause -- "to be here with you."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Ted Turner, lunching yesterday with a 40ish blond woman, said to be quite hot, at the Ballston outlet of his very own chain, Ted's Montana Grill. Both dressed casual-chic, both had burgers, and the mogul (in town for last night's Jane Goodall Institute gala) left $5 tip on a $20 tab.


Been counting the days? Britney Spears will release her new album two weeks early, Jive Records said yesterday. Originally scheduled for Nov. 13, "Blackout" will be on shelves Oct. 30 because unfinished material and demo tracks are already leaking online. The first single from the album, "Gimme More," is No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Singer Bobby Brown, 38, was rushed to an L.A. hospital Tuesday with a mild heart attack but is "recovering nicely," according to his rep. Whitney Houston's hard-living ex, who has no history of heart problems, was released yesterday and plans to perform at L.A.'s Taste of Soul concert Saturday.


"She is not hot; she's beautiful. Her hair, thick and mahogany, shows no trace of having been put through much but a brush. Her dark eyes are moist, her smile prim and pink. Each facial plane -- her high, wide brow; that long, smooth heart-shaped stretch from cheekbone down to neck -- sings in milky harmony. . . . O, Greta! I need coffee; I want you."

-- Esquire magazine's ode to Greta Wodele, host of C-SPAN's "Washington Journal." The November issue also names cover girl Charlize Theron as this year's "sexiest woman alive."

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