Turning the Q-and-A Tables on Stephen Colbert

(Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post)
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

We let Stephen Colbert and all of his "truthiness" come into our homes, but how well do we know this man, this faux anchor from Comedy Central's late-night hit "The Colbert Report"?

Well, we can glean this: He seems to have a thing for certain members of Congress. Not the Nancy Pelosis, Harry Reids and Teddy Kennedys; rather, the likes of Bob Inglis, Joe Sestak and Zack Space. Those lesser Hill lights have been lured into interviews for the show's "Better Know a District" feature, in which Colbert plays video "gotcha" with his arsenal of Q-and-A switchbacks, rhetorical minefields and stare-downs.

In keeping with our sacred role as defenders of the First Amendment, democracy and all that other stuff, however, we here in The Post's Style section have turned our withering gaze on Mr. Colbert the best way we could think of: by imitating him.

Here now, the first installment (unless Jon Stewart becomes available) of our one-part series, "Better Know a Fake Anchor," a hard-hitting conversation with me, Manuel Roig-Franzia -- real reporter, faux fake interviewer.

In an interview with Eleanor Holmes Norton (the District's delegate in Congress), you said you suspected that she was undressing you with her eyes. How did that make you feel?

It's embarrassing. I felt so dirty. I felt like a piece of meat. I find being a piece of meat very exciting. In my last life, I think I was a veal cutlet.

Was it a tactical error not to select Ms. Norton as your presidential running mate?

I'm a fake politician. I didn't need two of those on my ticket.

You were born in Washington but left for South Carolina without explanation. Why were you run out of town?

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