The Washington Post

Conservatives largely silent on CBS’s pick of Colbert

The host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" is set to head up "The Late Show" -- likely out of character. Here's a look back at Stephen Colbert's most candid moments. (Casey Capachi/The Washington Post)

In its new "Late Show" host, CBS has picked someone who has been bashing conservatives for years using his faux-conservative newsman persona.

But to this point, conservatives have been largely quiet -- and some have even been favorable -- about the pick of Stephen Colbert.

Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh is about the one big-name conservative to speak out against Colbert so far. On his show Thursday, he called the selection of Colbert the equivalent of declaring "war on the Heartland of America."

"No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatives," Limbaugh said. "There's no unity in this hire. They've hired a partisan, so-called comedian to run a comedy show."

But as Chris Cillizza notes over on The Fix, one conservative radio host even appeared to praise the pick:

Despite regularly lampooning conservatives, Colbert has often been somewhat cagey about his own personal politics, as Cillizza notes.

But he has also said quite clearly that he's liberal.

During an appearance on NPR in 2005, Colbert said he discovered his liberal politics while building his persona as a correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

"Jon asked me to have a political opinion, and it turned out that I had one," Colbert said. "But I didn't realize quite how liberal I was until I was asked to make passionate comedic choices, as opposed to necessarily successful comedic choices."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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