The Colbert Press Club Speech: Biting? Yes. Edgy? You Bet. "Ballsy"? Anything But.

All the folks who think President Bush is the worst thing to come along since Rush Limbaugh and Fox News are still rolling on the floor over Stephen Colbert’s speech at the National Press Club Dinner.

Anti-Bushers are praising Colbert for having the courage to sit eight feet from Bush and finally say to him what everybody wants to, and be funny to boot. Some, including Jon Stewart, are calling his performance “ballsy”, courageous, and whatnot. (others disagree)

Anybody who’s familiar with these National Press Club dinners knows what they’re all about. I remember many years ago watching Don Imus viciously, and yes, somewhat hilariously, dismantle Bill Clinton to his face, and the people who are now wetting themselves over Colbert’s words in front of Bush were angered to the point of irritable bowel syndrome over the vitriol of Imus.

Take Press Club speeches for what they are: roasts. The roastee is a sitting duck, and making jokes about a sitting duck doesn’t require any particular amount of guts or balls, no matter how funny the material may or may not be. Especially as it concerns Bush. Dubya is made out by those who don’t like him as an idiot, a simp, a moron, and a buffoon. If that’s the case, Colbert wasn’t performing a roast – he was, in essence, heckling at an inside-the-beltway version of the Special Olympics. Still not ballsy.

Colbert was in character and hiding behind his TV show persona and doofy newsman, blinded by, well, just about everything, and playing it as if siding with the Bush Administration. In Lib-Land, the latter, of course, would mean that Colbert’s portraying an idiot, which then provided the outlet for the anti-Bush comedy disguised as moronic supporter.

Some have written that Colbert had “brass cojones” for doing the speech. “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart called it “Balls-ilicious“, a word usually reserved for movie reviews in The Advocate.

Traditionally, the speaker at these events provides the bat, and the president provides the crotch. Just for showing up, if anybody has the brass cojones, it’s the president.

In addition, true “ballsy” status would have been achieved had Colbert been himself and launched into a first-person monolog and not played the typical Hollywood “Wizard hiding behind the curtain” routine. This is very common, because if the schtick goes bad in some way (inaccurate, distasteful, etc.), you can just blame it on the character.

But it was not to be, because Colbert is wise enough to know that exposing your true self as a liberal is unwise for a fake newsman. Just ask Dan Rather.

These Press Club dinner speeches do make you appreciate this country just a little more, though. In what other nation could you say these things a mere few feet from its leader? Conversely, in what other nation could you get its leader to show up, year after year, for something he knows will probably be a vicious pounding?

Funny how the left is lionizing Colbert as their new hero, but few, if any, of those same people would allow themselves to be put through that like our presidents do year after year. Every president going into a Press Club dinner knows they’re about to be picked on, beat on, insulted and verbally lashed. That’s ballsy.


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Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: