This past week, celebrity comic persona Stephen Colbert was invited to testify in front of the House regarding agriculture jobs and immigrant workers because, clearly, Colbert’s position on the Colbert Report has given him immense experience in that area.
Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren from California was the one who extended the invitation to Colbert, hoping that his celebrity power would draw interest to such a delicate and important issue. That it did, but to what cost?
Representative John Conyers, the committee chairman, at first asked Colbert to leave once the hearing began because he had no experience in the issue. Later, Conyers rescinded the statement, luckily, because imagine what sort of buzz that would have caused in the Colbert Nation for him to have been invited and then thrown out.
Colbert’s testimony was delivered in character, as was to be expected from a comedian. After all, that’s what Colbert is best known for, isn’t it? Who knows where the real Colbert stands on such issues, but everyone can imagine exactly what Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report would say. Besides, he was invited to draw media attention. That sounds like it would be an invitation for the character Stephen Colbert, doesn’t it?
“I think that he mocked the hearing process,” commented Representative Steve King from Iowa. Well of course he did. What part of the Colbert Report would make you imagine he wouldn’t? That doesn’t mean his points weren’t just as valid, however.
Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, said, “I think it was an embarrassment for Mr. Colbert more than the House.” He also added, ” What he had to say was not the way it should have been said.”
Really? Because how did you expect a comedian to say it? You did indeed invite a comedian to the hearing. A US citizen, yes, and a person with an opinion, but still a comedian nonetheless and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that what he’s going to say is going to mirror the things he says on the Colbert Report.
Clearly the House’s first mistake was inviting a comedian with no experience about the issue at hand to testify and then take the matter seriously.
If you have yet to see Colbert’s testimony, you can watch it below:
What do you think? Was Colbert’s testimony nothing more than an embarrassment or did it do exactly what it was intended to do: draw attention to an important issue that most Americans wouldn’t have paid attention to otherwise? Was the House simply out of line for inviting Colbert to begin with?