Stephen Colbert responds to #cancelcolbert campaign (video)

On his show last night, American satirical comedian Stephen Colbert responded to demands from an Asian-American activist that his show be cancelled because his satire schtick mentions Asians among other segments of America he faux-lampoons.  See the segment below.

Keep in mind that Colbert plays a faux conservative TV commentator, so everything he says is pretty much the opposite of the point he’s really trying to get across. He’s basically a big liberal, at heart.

While Colbert’s O’Reilly-ish character “apologized,” it wasn’t really an apology.  He pretty much ended up mocking the mockers, and good for him.

“Who would have thought a means of communication limited to 140 characters would ever create misunderstandings?”

In this case, Colbert was mocking the Washington Redskins’ attempt to appease the Native American community’s ire over the team’s name, and he compared it to the controversy he created when he tried to appease the Asian-American community by creating the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

Colbert’s point was clearly to suggest that the Redskins’ response was inappropriate, as was the faux- Asian-American “foundation” his faux-character faux-created. But nothing is clear on the Internet, where everyone is empowered, even if they really can’t handle the truthiness.

colbert-controversy-cancel

So, naturally, someone claimed that the joke was racist (and then proceeded to use racist and sexist arguments to “prove” why the bit was racist – the activist who started this has a penchant for invoking evil “truths” about all “white people” and especially all “white men”), and started an effort to have the show canceled (she created the hashtag #cancelcolbert), even though the joke was skewering racism, and even though Colbert has been one of the strongest forces of progressive good in America of the past decade.

Who can forget how Colbert destroyed George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner back in 2006, when it still wasn’t entirely kosher in America to attack Bush-the-hero? Here’s the video of Colbert’s performance going after Bush. It’s a classic.

Well, Colbert has finally responded to the Redskins-controversy-controversy with a ten-minute segment on last night’s show. Colbert announced the sad news that he’s closing down the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”  His segment was great, and he really doesn’t back down.  At one point, he notes that ultra-conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, who is herself Asian-American, helped feed the flames:

“I learned everything I know about sensitivity to the Asian-American experience from reading [Michelle Malkin's] 2004 book ‘In Defense of Internment’.”

Here’s how Colbert ends the segment:

“Well folks, that ends that controversy. I just pray that no one ever tweets about the time I said Rosa Parks was overrated, that Hitler had some good ideas, or ran a cartoon during Black History Month showing President Obama teaming up with the Ku Klux Klan. Because man, that sounds pretty bad out of context.”

In the end, what really matters is that, as a result of this brouhaha, no one is paying attention anymore to the controversy over the Redskins’ name. But they have learned the important lesson that sometimes it just isn’t worth trying to help on a civil rights issue.

The faux-Colbert couldn’t be prouder.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • 4th Turning

    Thanks for the clarification. It was April 1, after all, and seemed in the spirit of the post. Have been seriously thinking of putting the “I didn’t sign up for this shit.”
    Russian soldier quote on a tee shirt.

  • goulo

    In case it’s not clear, the Palin/Ukraine news story you’re quoting for no obvious reason was a parody from http://dailycurrant.com

  • goulo

    In case it’s not clear, the Palin/Ukraine news story you’re quoting for no obvious reason was a parody from http://dailycurrant.com

  • olandp

    When will people learn not to mess with Colbert and Stewart?

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Actually, Carroll O’Connor often lamented receiving fan mail from people who were not unlike Archie Bunker, and were ‘showing their support’. He worked hard to make sure the character was portrayed as a bigot purely out of ignorance, and to avoid being vicious.

  • Clevelandchick

    “I learned everything I know about sensitivity to the Asian-American
    experience from reading [Michelle Malkin's] 2004 book ‘In Defense of
    Internment’.”

    When he said that I jumped up and down with joy.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    They’d have destroyed him.

  • HolyMoly

    Satire like Colbert’s has been around for quite a while. Carroll O’Connor portrayed a seething, super-ignorant, bigoted WASP (Archie Bunker, “All in the Family”) in a way that brilliantly showed the absurdity of every racist, sexist, homophobic viewpoint imaginable. No one, to my knowledge, failed to understand what was the intention of that show. Colbert is doing pretty much the same thing, with a sharper focus on political bigotry.

  • http://www.theangryfag.com/ TheAngryFag

    I shot almost shot lemonade out my nose when he said that.

  • http://www.theangryfag.com/ TheAngryFag

    Amen to that!

  • cole3244

    colbert said everything all liberals wanted to be said in 2006 in the biggest take down of a failed pres in american history and directly to his face i might add.

    that took as much guts as anything imo its just sad the supposed free press doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to do the same.

    its too bad most that watch this take down won’t even get the significance or the truth of its message.

    stephen & jon in no particular order for pres & vp of the usa, now that’s a ticket i could get behind and humor, honesty, and compassion would be the first order of business.

  • 4th Turning

    Let us pray they succeed using non-violence in the face of overwhelming force.

    Ukraine Deploys Gay Men to Scare Off Russians

    Mar 07, 2014

    Ukraine is planning to march large numbers of gay men into Crimea in hopes of scaring off Russian soldiers currently occupying the territory.

    According to local reports this “gay army” will be unarmed and its mission will be to act as flamboyantly homosexual as possible, causing the deeply prejudiced occupying force to flee back to its homeland.

    “Russia is one of the most homophobic nations on Earth,” says Ukrainian defense minister Boris Grishenko. “We’re planning to use that fact to our advantage and take back our land.

    “Ukraine is a small country. We don’t have a lot of tanks or battleships. And we stupidly gave up our nuclear weapons in the 1990s. But we still have plenty of gays, and if there’s one thing Russians fear more than atomic warfare it’s explicit displays of homosexuality.

    “It will start small. Just a simple parade with a few hundred shirtless men. But once the Lady Gaga starts blasting, things are gonna get wild. Hopefully all the pumping, grinding and gyrating will have them headed for the hills.”

    Efforts to end the crisis though diplomacy have so far come to naught, as European and American sanctions appear to be having little effect. But interviews with the occupying forces suggest that Ukraine’s new strategy just might do the trick.

    “It’s not worth it. I’m leaving,” says one soldier. “I can take bullets. I can take bombs. But if Ukraine sends any gay people my way I’m going home. I didn’t sign up for this shit.”

    Some of the comments…
    Exploiting homophobia in war zone is strictly forbidden by the Hague convention of 1873. This Ukrainian offence will put the full weight of International War Crimes court behind Russia.

    Derek Williams InMyView
    I can see the sense in that.

    Guest
    This is horrific, use gay people as pawns now. Russia is not much better, but this is downright horrible. I am gay and, I dread to think of the carnage… that will take place…

    The Truth
    This article is bull.

    Guest
    Their is NO satire here. Russians have invaded already and you are sending these gay people to their deaths. Russian wont care they are anti-gay. Russians will then be able to say Ukraine sent their own gay people to die

    http://dailycurrant.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/UkraineGay-257×177.jpg

  • 4th Turning

    Needless to say I am also shocked and appalled that serious news is going unblogged because
    of these frivolous diversions.

    UN Appoints Sarah Palin to Mediate Ukraine Crisis
    Mar 02, 2014
    The United Nations has appointed Sarah Palin as a special envoy to Ukraine, hoping she can help mediate a solution to the growing geopolitical crisis in that country.

    According to sources close to the situation, Palin and a team of international crisis experts will fly to Kiev tonight to meet with Ukrainian officials before moving on to Moscow to negotiate a final settlement with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin over the fate of the disputed Crimea region.

    The surprising selection comes just days after Palin boasted on Facebook that she had accurately predicted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a 2008 speech.

    In an exclusive interview, U.N. President Ban Ki-Moon said he chose Palin because of her impressive first-hand knowledge of the region and hopes she can facilitate a dialogue that avoids war.

    “When all the experts said Putin would never invade Ukraine, only Sarah Palin had the courage to challenge conventional wisdom,” he explains. “Clearly this woman is some sort of a genius or something. We can’t let her skills go unused.

  • zerosumgame0005

    OMG! you wrote “ire” which is obviously code for Irish! I am SHOCKED and APPALED I will twit about your EEEEEEEE-vil ways at #cancelJohnAravosi over and over and over…

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I think that made me laugh the hardest.

  • keirmeister

    “I learned everything I know about sensitivity to the Asian American experience from reading [Michelle Malkin's] 2004 book ‘In Defense of Internment’.”

    Colbert, for the kill!

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