Why do so many leading figures of the day allow themselves to be skewered on satire talk shows like the Colbert Report?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of Colbert, whose show parodies "The O’Reilly Report." But, I couldn’t get over what happened on last night’s episode in which Washington State Congressman Rick Larsen and, later, Daily News Publisher Mort Zuckerman get royally raked over the Colbert coals. And, what I saw wasn’t pretty from an image and reputation standpoint.
Congressman Larsen took a merciless beating (scroll down to see video clip) from Colbert, who is amazingly adept at coming across as an authority figure while asking the most inane questions. Larsen was clearly in deep water, and had no idea how to handle the increasingly brutal questions being fired at him. It made me wince to see Larsen emulating the stereotypical deer caught in the headlights as Colbert followed a tough body blow of a question with a series of savage head shots to the beleaguered pol. It became the talk show equivalent of Mike Tyson’s first round knockout of Michael Sphinks way back when.
Zuckerman fared better, but still took a pounding as Colbert nailed him time and again on his political stance, wealth and publications.
So, what’s up with these "Daniels" who venture into the Colbert "lion’s den"? Don’t they know he’s going to rip anyone with a right-of-center agenda to absolute shreds? Is the conventional wisdom here that any publicity is good publicity?
Other guests, like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., whose politics more closely align with Colbert’s, have fared better, but, who’s advising the Larsen’s and Zuckerman’s of the world?
If these guys were my clients, I’d tell them to send Colbert’s producer a polite note saying, "Thanks, but no thanks." Otherwise, they should just sit there and, as Colbert readies yet another savage right cross from hell, be prepared to say, "Thank you master. Hit me again."
Hat tip to Chris “Repman Jr” Cody for this idea.