Along with his compadre Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert has long been a mainstay here on the blog, particularly in Quote of the Week and Clip of the Week (see here, here, here, here, and here). I'm a sucker for those guys mostly because they do a fantastic job of straddling the tricky line between informing and entertaining, a task that isn't nearly as easy as it seems (I know, I've tried it).
This week, Colbert is back in my Quote of the Week, but this time around it isn't from him, but about him. From this week's New York Times Magazine, your long-form Quote of the Week:
This week's QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"The new Colbert has crossed the line that separates a TV stunt from reality and a parody from what is being parodied. In June, after petitioning the Federal Election Commission, he started his own super PAC — a real one, with real money. He has run TV ads, endorsed (sort of) the presidential candidacy of Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana, and almost succeeded in hijacking and renaming the Republican primary in South Carolina...
'It’s bizarre,' remarked an admiring Jon Stewart... 'Here is this fictional character who is now suddenly interacting in the real world. It’s so far up its own rear end,' he said, or words to that effect, 'that you don’t know what to do except get high and sit in a room with a black light and a poster.'”
- Charles McGrath, New York Times Magazine
The whole piece is worth a read, because it (like Colbert) stands as evidence of the strange intersection between entertainment, news, politics, and money. Comedy Central, Fox News, CNN, and The Huffington Post are all somewhere along the same continuum between entertainment and news, but none of them is serving up purely one or the other.
What Colbert has long been serving up as "fake" news is seemingly anything but fake, all while the "real" news is simultaneously becoming less and less real (and more and more spun). It's a strange, strange media world that we now live in, and Stephen Colbert is just the strangest individual within it. Love him or hate him, he is the future of news and entertainment. Now if I could only figure out if that was a good thing or not, I'd be all set.
[New York Times Magazine]