Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report performed at the White House correspondent's dinner. He absolutely manhandled the president, his policies, the press and everything in between. Compare his brilliant act to that of the president who tried to do a comedic bit (a deliberate one, as opposed to one of his inadvertant free-falls). Bush stood at the podium with an impersonator (Steve Bridges) by his side, the impersonator apparently saying aloud things the president was supposed to be thinking at the moment. The prerequisite assumption here being, of course, that there actually is thinking going on inside that head. Anyways, a few examples of his "punchlines" :
President Bush : I'm absolutely delighted to be here, as is Laura.
Impersonator : She's hot.
President Bush : Ladies and gentlemen, I feel chipper tonight. I survived the White House shake-up.
That was so funny it made me cry because it was true.
Impersonator : How come I can't have dinner with the 36 percent of the people who like me?
Answer : Because there's no room in trailer parks to accomodate Presidential security details.
You get the picture. Michelle Malkin, of course, thought it was bloody hilarious. But then, everything the president says or does gets her moist.
And then, Colbert began his routine roasting the president. And all signs pointed to the fact that Bush wasn't pleased about it. At least he stopped smiling. Which is great, because it shows that he understood the jokes. Read the entire thing, although I will post the greatest bits for the chronically lazy among you.
"By the way, before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers. Somebody from the NSA will be right over with a cocktail."
As an aside, the WaPo screws up its analysis of this one. Teresa Wiltz says,"We're not sure if Valerie Plame laughed, though. Or Karl Rove." What the fuck do Plame or Rove have to do with this? This was a dig at the NSA's illegal spying on American citizens. Obviously Teresa Wiltz was out of the loop.
"I believe in democracy. I believe democracy is our greatest export. At least until China figures out a way to stamp it out of plastic for three cents a unit."
"I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
"And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior."
"Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias."
"I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world."
"The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday."
"This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!"
" Look, by the way, I've got a theory about how to handle these retired generals causing all this trouble: don't let them retire!"
"Mayor Nagin is here from New Orleans, the chocolate city! Yeah, give it up. Mayor Nagin, I'd like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., the chocolate city with a marshmallow center."