I’m having a hard time understanding ColbertGate (via). I thought this was funny and I have a hard time believing it honestly offended Asian-Americans or Colbert Report viewers living in Asia or whoever Michelle Malkin claims it offended.
Also too, it’s stupid for conservatives to think they can win by saying “libtards are the real racists”. Maybe they can get Ruth Marcus and Dana Milbank to agree that “while there has been much focus on Republicans’ issues with race in politics, Democrats have their own serious problems blah blah blah”, but how many divisions do Ruth Marcus and Dana Milbank have? If winning over 70% of the Latino and Asian vote is problem, give us Democrats more problems. SCOREBOARD, as the dudebros like to say.
As a huge “Chinatown” fan, I have to leave you with this, for wingers to get upset about.
Update. As much as I think that American politics has been polluted by race-baiting, I think that explorations of ethnic identity are too rare in American books, movies etc. (outside of the explosion of Godfather-influenced movies, which sometimes veer towards caricature). Wayne Wang’s Chan Is Missing is a great movie about Chinese-American culture in San Francisco.
Conservatives: Noah Cross
Liberals: Jake Gittes
America: Evelyn Mulwray
Edit: Though having skimmed the linked post, I actually agree with it. I’m surprised to see Jezebel coming down on the side of nuance and context, because it’s usually on the side of stirring up the shit.
Those two things do not belong in the same library, never mind the same sentence.
Twitter does have a tendency to amplify this sort of thing.
Can’t watch video right now and hadn’t heard about this previously, but I suspect Michelle Malkin represents Asian-Americans’ views about as well as Herman Cain represented black Americans’.
Not from their point of view, because they really do believe that the only reasons minorities vote Democrat is because Democrats have made them believe that Republicans are racists, and that’s all they care about, and because they fall for it that obviously means they’re stupid. So every now and then they try to tap into what they think is the Democratic secret recipe, and aren’t quite sure why it doesn’t work.
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
It’s worthy of mockery, but I’m not sure it’s as ineffectual as you say. You have to remember that this isn’t focused on the minorities that have been supposedly aggrieved. It’s toward the base, hungry for inoculation from the ‘race card’ and eager to burnish their credentials by showing, once and for all, that the “DIRTY FUCKING LIBBY LIB TRAITORS” are the real racists. And I’ve seen the fucking strategy work far too often to get people to at least the point of ‘both sides same thing”, and by the time things reach that point, the GOP has already scored a victory.
Michelle Malkin defended Japanese internment and said it was a good thing. Argument over.
Clearly Colbert has to quit his gig as a paid pundit for daytime MSNBC – after a tearful on-screen farewell.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:
Sure, it works on the base, I agree with that. But it completely fails at winning over Asian, black, or Latino voters.
well, if Colbert moves back to SC and runs for office he lost the SC Asian vote..
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:
Ah, yes. Exactly.
We (Balloon Juice: can’t remember if you or I said anything) went over this with Romney’s speech to the NAACP, I believe. With the point being made that he wasn’t there to talk to black people. He was there as the beleaguered white guy extending the hand of friendship to the savage hordes, only to have them spit in his face, so that he could come back lamenting “what am I supposed to do? I tried. God knows I tried. These people just won’t listen.”
Some “twitter activist” named Suey Park was the one who started the hashtag. Apparently she’s famous for having started some other hashtag and making a big deal out of it. Weigel at Slate has an article about her and this brouhaha.
Expecting honest anything, let alone honest racial outrage, from Michelle Malkin is time misspent. She is complaining to cause as much harm as she can to a liberal icon. Honest hurt feelings or truth of any kind from her is not her milieu, bullshit is — in the sense of Princeton philosopher H.G. Frankurt’s “On Bullshit”.
Conservatives have a really hard time wrapping the heads around the fact that Colbert’s act is, well, an act. His impression of Bill O’Riley and conservative pundits in general is so fucking good that the people he’s lampooning can’t tell reality from fiction. Which makes Colbert a fucking Comedy God.
Woah, woah, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still haven’t blacklisted that right-wing racist reactionary Norman Lear for the vile words he put in the mouth of the alleged “character” Archie Bunker.
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
The big problem seems to still be that this kind of hamhanded shit doesn’t drive off people enough, or at least to make up for the people in the base swallowing enough of the pablum that they get to help change the narrative.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:
I think it’s more important for them to go after the squishy center than the wingnuts. It may help to rile up the base, but they have plenty of ways of doing that. They have fewer ways of getting centrists to accept that both sides do it, so anything that helps in that department is much more important.
Here’s how it got started:
@Hunter Gathers: More proof of Poe’s Law:
Maybe an extension of it. “Even with a blatant display of humor…”
The other dumb-ass Twitter shitstorm of last night (or the past two days, even) involved an Ebony magazine editor, Jamilah Lemiuex (hope I have her name right), who told some guy to piss off, and he turned out to be Raffi Williams, who is Juan Williams’s son and is also some RNC operative, and so the Malkinite assholes are demanding that Ebony fire her and going on about how racist she is, etc, etc. I encourage those who can find their way around Twitter better than I can to check it out; you could start with Elon’s feed.
@seabe: Japanese American artist Roger Shimomura and his family were among the interned in WWII. He responded to Ms. Malkin with this painting: Keep on Talkin, Michelle Malkin.
Malkin should focus on the name of the team. I am former Washington season ticket holder. I may have several thousands of dollars of their hats, tee shirts, pull overs, you name it. Folks that live in DC know the “name” issue is nothing new. But it has reached a point IMHO where the name has to change. Heck I refuse to wear any of their “gear” cause well, well it is long past time for a change.
Also as a former ad agency guy (and this is where the owner made most of his money) it makes no sense to me why they wouldn’t change their name. I mean there are folks like me that would go out and buy hundreds of dollars of new stuff. Plus I don’t buy the name has that much brand equity. The name isn’t why the team is worth about a billion dollars.
But I guess what do I know?
I don’t get it. Its fucking satire.
Unless its done really badly, it’s just not the kind of thing whose motives and message you can find offensive.
As usual, malkin is too confused to even be wrong.
another Holocene human
It was the out of context troll tweet, not the routine.
Wait: he satirically acted out a racist stereotype in order to demonstrate that racist stereotypes are, well, racist (and wrong, in case anyone isn’t clear), and these knuckleheads think this was his actual, sincere conception of Chinese people, rather than his illustrative use of his conception of how racists stereotype Chinese people?
Well, I for one am completely convinced by their sincerity.
Interesting. I can at least get some satisfaction knowing that Michelle Malkin has allied herself with someone who thinks white men should shut up.
I hope Malkin’s followers can be made aware of that. Maybe someone could craft a hashtag . . . :D
@another Holocene human:
But the tweet was clearly referring to the clip.
As a goddam Asian American activist, I am embarrassed by the idiocy of Suey Park and her followers. As are a hell of a lot of other activists and Asian American artists—who’ve used some of the same analogies in our own satire.
It’s all or nothing extremism, the same malady that infects the right wing. I can’t say it does progressivism any good as well.
@Warren Terra: Dense wingnuts are dense.
I’m shocked, shocked by this confluence of circumstances. Who could have predicted that someone sired and raised by Juan Williams would be a greedheaded entitled douchecanoe?
I’m actually in the ‘Colbert’s being a dick’ camp, even if it’s full of assholes. It’s a good joke, but he shouldn’t have been the one telling it.
@gwangung: I’ve often found Republicans don’t have much of a sense of humor nor are they aware of the concept of satire. I love to laugh and watch a ton of stand-up shows. It is my experience that women, Asian Americans, African Americans, gays, you name it often use how they are stereotyped to make a joke.
I have also noticed, and this is a case in point, that the default position of many Republicans is to be outraged. If they don’t have something to be mad about, they seem to be unhappy. I’d think this would be a terrible way to live.
Suey Park knows full well that the Colbert bit was satire, but nothing beats the sweet, sweet nectar of hashtag hype. If it means buddying up to Michelle Freakin Malkin, so be it. If it’s done to remove the spotlight from Daniel Snyder, so be it. It’s revolting. Park should be ashamed, if she had any.
I wonder if it’s some sort of meta-thing where she’s trying to poke fun at the notion that all Asians are smart?
And that Republicans think they, too, have a license to make the same jokes, and get butthurt when they’re told that they can’t, in the same way they get butthurt when you tell them that they can’t use the N word.
@kc: Apparently the Twitter hashtag to look for is #StandWithJamilah
There’s a three-minute-hate from Fox News in there. It features an appearance from Raffi Williams. I don’t normally make comments about appearance (I have no credibility on the subject, and it’s shallow), but he’s a professional spokesman/press secretary appearing on TV, so I’ll make an exception: his hair is hilarious.
@Chris: I should have also said using stereotypes is a comic tool shortcut. Since most people are aware of stereotypes, like Asians are smart or they can’t drive, it makes telling a joke easier. You already have some of the “back story” so it is just easier.
I said the default position of Republicans is outrage, which I don’t understand. My default position is the exact opposite. I am always looking for a reason NOT to be outraged. Life is too short to be mad all the time.
Wait, are you guys seriously saying that it Colbert made a nigger joke… *satirically*… it would have been ok? Because seriously this is about as offensive as that.
Colbert has shown that bit several times before and gotten away with it so I’m wondering why it’s a -gate all of a sudden.
Tweet from Tom Scocca sums it up:
He used a racist Chinese stereotype to dramatize that Dan Snyder was basically, in your words, telling the country a n!gger joke. His whole point was to show that using such stereotypes was wrong. Colbert, the character, does a lot of things that are wrong, to dramatize how wrong they are, and in the hope that people will learn not to commit those and similar, lesser offenses.
Yes: he could have made the same point more classily with little more than a raised eyebrow. But this is how his character does these things; if you don’t understand that, you don’t understand how the show works.
I actually was surprised at first, but then . . . not so much.
I’m not so much sure that this is something specific to Republicans/conservatives. The constant outrage at the daily outrageous outrage of the day has been a Republican forte lately, but we see it occasionally on the left as well. I think the difference is that Democrats/liberals don’t pay nearly as much attention to the fake outrage as their Republican/conservative counterparts
You can’t handle the Truthiness!
@KG: No I see it on our side as well. Maybe it is because I am a far left liberal I can see “our” outrage as being right, but I try very hard not to buy into “fake” outrage for the sake of outrage.
If I understand things correctly, it all made sense in the context of the show. But then some moron at Comedy Central sent out a tweet with only the ” Ching-Chong Ding-Dong” line, without any indication it was mocking the owner of the [Washington NFL Team]. In that situation, it’s quite understandable people didn’t get that it was satire.
Outrage fatigue, I has it.
Thanks for linking to that. Oh, Lordy, that Fox clip pissed me off. “LOOK HOW RACIST THIS BLACK WOMAN IS! SHOWING HER TRUE COLORS!”
Why couldn’t Jamilah have talked about something more acceptable, like how contented black people were under Jim Crow laws?
This is Michele “intern the Japanese” Malkin we’re talking about, right?
Really? He was making a point. And it wasn’t from Stephen Colbert the actual person, it was from his Stephen Colbert character on his show. You could easily see where he was going with this but go ahead, ignore the context all together.
Seems to me that you’re just dying to say the N word aren’t you?
still, i have to admit i was a bit shocked by Colbert’s piece. i got his point, but at the same time i think he overplayed it and obscured his point in the process.
The only difference is with Rush Limbaugh and Billo, it’s not satire or even a joke. They mean it.
I’m sure that a huge part of the refusal to change the team name is that rich assholes don’t like being told what to do. Changing the team name would mean backing down and admitting that they had been wrong to give the team that name all along, and rich assholes are clinically incapable of admitting they’re wrong. The more people push on the issue, the more Snyder will dig in and resist. What’s really needed is a convenient way to change the team’s name while letting him save face. Until somebody can come up with such a thing, or until he sells the team to somebody who can change the name as part of changing ownership, nothing is going to happen.
Michelle Malkin knows that Colbert is a satirist, right? And his satire is based on mocking something said by Rush Limbaugh, right? I wonder what she had to say about the original Limbaugh statement.
I could see how the bit could be upsetting if shown out of context to a Chinese-American who isn’t familiar with the Colbert Report.
Understandable or not, that is what happened, yes. Thanks for pointing it out.
@kc- Bingo. Suey Park knows this, but doesn’t care a lick.
Which “you guys” are suggesting this, exactly?
It’s extremely hard for me to believe that a young “Twitter activist” would be unaware that the Colbert show is 100% satire, and not realize that the tweet must have had context.
@Roger Moore: I think you are right.
This issue comes up every decade or so. Nothing new. This time it seemed to really start with the City Paper, which has just destroyed Synder since he bought the team. They savage him all the time with long, amazing stories of how much of a dick the guy is (he keeps suing them). They announced they would refuse to print/use the name.
That got the ball rolling and as long as Synder views them as the leading source of this all, there is NO way he will back down.
Unlike naming a team “Redskins.”
“Ching Chong Ding Dong” is what Limbaugh said about an Asian appointee of Obama’s (I can’t remember which one). Rush was complianing that his accent was so thick (of course it wasn’t) that all he could understand was “Ching Chong Ding Dong.” This was when the appointee was testifying before the Senate after his nomination. THAT’S where Colbert got this from, he expanded it into the name of a group.
A little deeper than just making up something racist.
True enough. However, the administration does have a few self-inflicted problems with the Latino population.
@Roger Moore: Oh one other thing. You said:
That is what folks thought would happen, he’d have changed the name when he bought the team. Synder made most of his money selling Arnold Advertising to a French firm for billions. Then at 34 bought the team from the estate of Jack Kent Cooke. That a 34 year old person was buying the team was kind of a stunner.
I was a season ticket holder at the time and many like myself thought this was his chance to change the name, sell a ton of new merchandise, and save face all at the same time. As a former ad guy, you would have thought he’d understand the benefits of doing this.
Clearly he didn’t do that.
David in NY
@schrodinger’s cat: “outrage fatigue”
must be contagious.
ETA: I am thinking about demanding that Twitter cancel my account. Also.
It’s absolutely a Poe’s Law problem.
You can’t satirize these people, because your satire is exactly the same as what they actually say to one another. So they’re not pissed because Colbert’s making fun of them. Not remotely. They don’t even understand that they’re the butt of the joke. They’re pissed that Colbert says it to laughs and applause, but when *they* say it, they get stern words and dirty looks and sensitivity training.
It’s pretty similar to why they get so testy about black people being able to say the N-word. They’re just so far up their own ass with hate, they can’t imagine that a different context even exists.
However could you use the words they use, without the earnest venom they put behind them?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@glory b: ah, I was wondering where the bit came from. That puts a whole new light on it. I have to say the bit made me uncomfortable in real time, it went on too long, for one thing. But calling for Colbert to be fired is absurd.
Somewhere in New Jersey, Stephen Colbert is gleefully rubbing his hands together. I bet he loves this.
@seabe: But those were the bad Asians, not like the good Asians like Malkin. She’s not like them.
A joke’s TOPIC and a joke’s TARGET are often not the same thing.
If people could grok this, we’d all be better off.
Colbert’s TOPIC was “oriental” slur words.
Colbert’s TARGET was the Redskins’ owner (and Limbaugh).
@glory b: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Colbert’s been doing the “Ching Chong Ding Dong” satire bit off and on since the show started. He narrows his eyes to look “Asian” and speaks with an “Asian accent”. It has always been breathtaking to me just how close to the edge he goes in this bit. And in lots of other bits, but this one particularly.
I haven’t seen this particular show yet, so can’t comment on the exact specifics, but it sounds on par with what he’s done all along.
Paul in KY
@Supernumerary Charioteer: The ‘character’ Stephen plays would say it. That’s part of the joke.
Has anyone told Malkin and Park to lighten-up, quit being so politically correct, stop playing the race card because racism in America no longer exists?
OT.. According to the NYTImes, David Samson has resigned as head of the Port Authority.. drip..drip.. drip
Paul in KY
@Roger Moore: Think of all the stationary they’d have to re-order. The horror….
A quick search says it was actually Hu Jintao that Limbaugh was mocking rather than an Obama appointee. The point obviously still stands.
I can’t imagine Colbert said anything that offensive. No clue what he said …
But this poutrage might turn out badly for those with their heads on fire. They’re going to look like idiots.
@Paul in KY:
I agree with Tommy: think of all the team logo merchandise fans would have to replace. That’s what Snyder ought to be thinking of, but he just can’t because he is unwilling to back down.
ETA: IIRC, team logos are licensed through the NFL and revenues are shared equally, so teams don’t stand to benefit that much from changing their logos. That might have something to do with why this isn’t a winning argument.
Paul in KY
@Roger Moore: Tommy was right on there. Would be a cash cow for awhile.
@Roger Moore: Pro sports teams rarely if ever change their names. One that did in recent memory, right in DC. In the mid-to-late 90s DC was about the murder capital of the country. Daily an African American age 15-30 was getting killed. Often a lot more then one or two.
The NBA team was the Washington Bullets. A small movement started to change the name, a fraction of what you see with the NFL team, and almost overnight the owner (Abe Pollen) was like you are right and did it. Now the Wizards.
In baseball, Tampa Bay changed their name from “Devil Rays” to plain “Rays”, though that’s a fairly minor change. And, of course, you have teams that change their names when they move so you don’t wind up with inappropriate team names like the LA Lakers and Utah Jazz.
@Paul in KY: I am a hard son to buy gifts for. So literally EVERY birthday and Christmas my parents get me something with the Washington logo on it. I told them months ago to stop, I no longer wear them. They are losing a few hundred dollars a year just on me. I’d think I am not alone here.
Wait a second! Didn’t you use Costello’s “Beyond Belief” lyrics for a blog post last week, too ?? Come on, try a new one!
@Roger Moore: Of course they change when they move. I took that as a given :).
BTW: Shouldn’t Utah really give the Jazz name back to New Orleans!
this is like people flipping out on dave chappelle over the clayton bigsby sketch.
“Let’s talk about Chinese people! With their kung-fu and their silly ching-chang-chong talk! We can’t understand you! Go back to yer country! White power!”
Also OT: Interesting. I had lost interest in Bridgegate for a while because it seemed like CC was sufficiently weakened at the national level (assuming ongoing local journalistic investigation and the US investigation) but was starting to worry that his image damage control might work.
Good to hear about David Samson. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/nyregion/christie-press-conference-on-bridge-scandal.html?hp&_r=0 )
@Paul in KY: Yes, exactly.
David in NY
@Roger Moore: Who do Michelle and Suey think is the racist in this Colbert piece?:
@different-church-lady: Exactly. The reaction is to only the tweet without the context of the show where it was clearly satire.
@Bill Arnold: Oh the Port Authority. I knew a little about it cause I used to live in DC and often went to NYC for work (also got the Times and WSJ on my desk daily), and well getting around in that town/region is kind of amazing cause of said Port Authority.
But through the reporting of Chris and Rachel I now know a lot more about it. I’d think if I was working there at a high level I wouldn’t take a bribe. I mean I can’t imagine how I would. But is there any organization in the US where the temptation wouldn’t be higher?
Where if I give you better access to a bridge. A subway at your location. A parking lot for rail service. Where those little things in the most populated city in the nation could mean millions and millions.
Oh and folks get appointed to run things …. seems to me like the perfect storm.
@kc: I agree completely.
What everyone seems to be missing (from the bits and pieces of this fauxtroversy that I’ve picked up) is that “ching ding dong” or whatever it is was actually a quote from Rush Limbaugh.
This reminds me of the fake Melissa Harris Perry controversy of a few weeks ago where suddenly people were just DISTRAUGHT over something racist she did or did not say. All of a sudden people from mixed race families (allegedly) just had their feelings SO HURT. I mean, c’mon. You can tell when this crap is ginned up.
@Warren Terra: Wow. That whole Fox thing is the very definition of trolling. The entire function of the non story is merely to say “everything our aged white viewers have heard about aggressive black people refusing to let conservatives have a seat at the table is true.” The white interviewer who introduced teh segment with Juan William’s toddler, I mean son, referred to JWT as “trying to enter the conversation.” The implication is that these bitchy, angry, Ebony people were attacking Ben Carson and Conservative Blacks and when mild mannered black conservative JWT tried merely to intervene and offer some sweet reason he was attacked. Its not safe up in here for a black man–you can bet your boots its not safe for old white people! Hide! Hide!
@mk3872: Costello writes, what, 15 or 20 songs a year? BJ does about a dozen posts a day now. You calculate the gap.
Paul in KY
@Tommy: Sorta surprised they continue. I’m guessing they are pretty old & just forget :-)
Isn’t that the same as saying only black folk can twerk?
I thought we were supposed to be deeper than that.
Not exactly. Limbaugh was deriding Chinese President Hu Jintao for speaking Mandarin! (Or rather, he was complaining stupidly because he could not find a detailed translation of Hu’s remarks.)
Colbert made fun of Limbaugh for it at the time (January, 2011).
@different-church-lady: I think I have said here like ten times I dislike fake outrage. The MHP thing for me I didn’t get outraged about, but it was wrong. It is funny IMHO to mock the size of his family. But that a member had adopted an African American, and then to use that Christmas card to note the hat was the only “black” Republican was low. MHP did’t say it, but as she said was raised in a Mormon family from mix race parents, she shouldn’t have let that go.
But then MHP is a rock star. Next week when she said how sorry she was, I felt she totally meant it. As there was tears in her eyes as she talked about it, there were tears in my eyes as I watched it. That is how you say you are sorry.
Colbert’s “ching chong” thing was from 2005. it wasn’t about Limbaugh’s 2011 remarks
@cleek: Yes, he made up a character with that name in 2005. I don’t recall why, but I imagine he was ridiculing someone. Limbaugh used the same phrase in 2011 while mocking the Chinese president — and “Stephen Colbert” accused him of plagiarism. Precisely why Colbert used the phrase again this week in mocking the team-owner I do not know.
I am not sure that is a good comparison. Melissa Harris Perry apologized unreservedly for that segment in her show, and rightly so IMO.
Here’s a nuanced read of the whole thing from a playwright who’s a woman of color:
@Tommy: Yes, she didn’t say it, but she took responsibility for things others said on her show. She went the extra mile when others won’t even budge.
But in the end a lot of people were perfectly willing to pretend she was the principle offender.
American politics is where facts go to be killed.
Isn’t that an argument that they shouldn’t be satirized?
I thought the bit was funny and wasn’t so much satirizing random wingnuts (which may be impossible) at it was showing what an idiot Daniel Snyder is.
The NBA’s New Orleans “Hornets” changed their name to “Pelicans” this year (they had moved from Charlotte). Charlotte took the opportunity to change their name from “Bobcats” back to “Hornets”.
I think there’s a little of this, but it’s more of
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:
Cultural conservatives are nagged by the toddler feelings of unfairness that saying blatantly racist shit in public puts them in danger of being mocked and shamed. Their attempts to deflect that shame onto the people shaming them are ridiculously unsubtle. I think it’s a big reason they absolutely freaked the fuck out about Obama, because not only do they dislike him, they can’t say why even to themselves. The result is a belly full of bile and resentment, and bizarre, unrealistic projections onto Obama, like Clint Eastwood’s pretending a fake Obama was swearing at him.
Ah, got it. Didn’t see you were making a distinction between random wingnuts and Snyder.
Saw that piece. Both laughed and cringed in the way watching good Colbert makes me do. And getting honest outrage by doing nothing more than applying the same logic to other groups as is currently being applied to Native Americans pretty much proves Colbert’s point exactly. In that regard, his satire was spot on.
The Jezebel piece was surprisingly spot on as well. Sad–though not surprised–to see ABL and so many others leap into the fray on this one. It’s a good strategy only if your goal is to undermine your own credibility. Same with those lobbing hate email in Colbert’s defense. Nothing but clowns to the left and jokers to the right on this one.
I played this segment from Colbert for my wife and her daughter last night. My wife is from Korea and English is her second language. They both got Colbert’s joke and thought it was funny.
ETA: Those that were offended such as Ms. Park should send their concerns to the owner of the Washington football team as Colbert suggested.
I guess the thing is he made of Snyder with something that sounds exactly how real-life random wingnuts might talk, which made it both funnier and possibly more confusing than it otherwise might have been.
Wanted to comment (I’m Asian ergo actually qualified to do so); but when I hit the play button, I learned Viacom International has had the video taken down.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Think of the children! Ban satire! Ban irony!
Yeah, I think that’s the balancing point of good satire. If the parody is too accurate things start to go sideways. And of course without the right context (the tweet from the show’s account), it’s hard to get the needed balance.
@DougJ: Another part of the irony here is that he’s so clearly making fun of those who make fun of Asians in that way. He’s doing some righteous work–the very work the people hating on him say they want done.
This isn’t some otherwise well-intentioned person who accidentally said something insensitive that deserves apology or retraction. This is someone doing grade-A hit-em-where-it-hurts racism lambasting. He’s punching in the exact right direction. If only those claiming injury were doing the same.
Viacom tends to police out-of-area distribution of Daily Show and Colbert content pretty hard.
The clip was about what you’d guess: to satirize Snyder’s “Washington RacialSlurs Foundation That Gives Chump Change And Condescends To The Race In Question”, he had a terribly racist stereotype of a Chinese man promote a fictional Colbert foundation with the same mission.
That particular character of Colbert’s has always made me a little uncomfortable.
I totally get what he is satirising and do agree that it’s an important issue but I think his best bet from here would be to have an Asian American activist on his next show and give them a platform to air their concerns (obviously he can’t break character to apologise without ruining years worth of work).
I know he’s also accused of transphophia but I thought that his giving Janet Mock a platform worked really well.
Well, the only “anger” I have is that he did it first….and probably did it better than I could have.
Looking forward to the next few days of faux conservative outrage over LIBERALRACISM!!! Malkin is a massively disingenuous idiot who couldn’t care less, except that she thinks she has a leg up on Liberals who she is always accusing of being the “true” racists.
I think it is pretty simple to understand what happened. Edgy comedy like that requires context around it and something more than black and white character sets on a screen. Tone, the twinkle in Colbert’s eye, body language…there’s a lot of nonverbal communication that happens in comedy to set things up, give a joke context, and win over an audience to set up things that could be offensive.
What worked on a show and would work on a video clip absolutely failed as a Tweet because that couldn’t even set the joke up in the first place by skewering Dan Snyder, the part that was essential for setting it up as satire.
Its akin to posting a clip of the play-within-a-play, The Murder of Gonzago, and say Hamlet sux.
Villago Delenda Est
The vile Malkin harridan is complaining about something?
She needs to find a fire to die in. Soonest.
To hell with her. I won’t say “fuck her” because I wouldn’t wish that on the Dark Lord’s dick.
If you catch my drift.
P.S.I was kind of suprised that there wasn’t a similar and possibly more deserved row about the LaserKlan cartoon..
A woman wrote the San Francisco Chronicle years ago to vehemently protest the paper’s use of ‘paddy wagon’ to describe, well, a paddy wagon. She was (of course) Irish-American, and pointed out the term originated as a slur against the upstanding, ever steady and sober Irish community a century ago. I’m a son of Eire a few generations removed, and I’d never given a second’s thought to the origin of the term. I’ve never been called a ‘paddy’ in my life, so the pejorative never clicked. Indeed, it will always be a paddy wagon to me. But that woman meant business, and I don’t believe the Chronicle ever printed the term again.
@Gex: Yep. It is pretty obvious. And the twits that persist in their twittering failed to do two things:
1. Give the benefit of the doubt before shooting off their characters. (Of all famous liberals, Colbert has certainly earned this.)
2. Back themselves up when they still had the chance.
Now, they just look like fools who are throwing themselves on the tracks in defense of the owner of the Washington Original Americans and of Rush Limbaugh.
I’d apply the same analogy to these folks that Jon Stewart once applied to much of the media: They’re like 6 year-olds on the soccer field. They know there’s a ball in there somewhere. And they’re really just lucky when they don’t manage to kick it between their own goal posts.
I think most people got that it was satire. On the other hand, I can understand how it’s still unpleasant to hear that sort of insulting stereotype. It’s why I didn’t like BoB — even though I assumed he was a troll, that still didn’t make me like reading sexist shit.
If you poke someone with a pin in the process of satirizing the fact that some people think it’s OK to poke people with pins, it’s still gonna hurt.
@Long Tooth: The difference is that it would be a bad thing if Colbert never satirized racism again. That would be a real problem. It’s effective and he’s good at it and it needs to be done. In this context, satire is a force for good–not an unintentional slur.
I just watched the clip, and it’s the most effective commentary on Dan Synder’s bullishit I’ve seen. I hope Colbert stands strong.
I saw Chan Is Missing when it was first released and I agree it is a first rate movie. This is the first reference I have seen to it since it came out….in 1982.
I wonder: Has anyone besides me and DougJ seen it?
Wow, the seattle public library has a copy of book and DVD!
Also, too, my sister insists on imitating Asians just like Colbert. When I suggest it is racist, she claims to not understand….it’s just a joke, she says. *sigh*
Colbert isn’t imitating Asians! He’s imitating the people who imitate…oh…forget it, Jake.
@slag: Colbert and his writers are the most hilariously astute observers of America on the planet. A couple of weeks ago, Colbert referred to Bobby Jindal as once having wished on a monkey’s paw that he might always look like a 12 year old boy.
@Long Tooth: Holy shit that’s awful. And brutal. Which is why Colbert’s character doesn’t “see race”. It’s very handy…not seeing race. Then all the racist crap that comes out can’t be considered racist. I wonder where that particular blindness in his character came from.
Bullshit. You talk jes’ like a ‘Murican, bubba.
Actually, most ‘Muricans speak a lot worserer (grammatically-, syntactically-, and dictively-speaking) than you, so I respectfully ask if I can withdraw the unintended insult.
ETA: Yes, I realize that being Asian is not a barrier to being able to speak perfect English. Actually, I wish I could speak Putonghua about a quarter as well as a lot of Chinese speak English.
I’m surprised that the laziness and ineptness of the reactionary trolls has not gotten more attenttion. And they are lazy and inept if the TPM story about it is right.
According to the TPM story, what started it off was an out of context quote in a tweet from the Comedy Central corporate account for the Colbert Report, that was not controlled by the show. So, apparently the trolls want viacom to fire Colbert for something that one of it corporate hack flacks in one of their corporate dvisions did, not something that Colbert did.
Gullible liberals who fall for this stuff seem to be assuming that the snit was about the skit itself, or the chinese characature that has been a running satirical device for eight years now. It’s total BS, and IMHO inept and lazy BS at that.
People Want ‘The Colbert Report’ Canceled Over Asian Joke
CATHERINE THOMPSON, MARCH 28, 2014
@slag: Racist? Brutal? You misunderstand what I apparently poorly stated. Colbert is a truth(iness) teller. Bobby Jindal DOES look like a 12 year old boy. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Jindal actually DID make that exact wish on a monkey’s paw.
or Los Angeles Dodgers…….
Surely you jest.
(OK, I’ll stop calling you Shirley….)
Worked with damn near everyone in that film in my stage life.
Colbert’s not gonna be canceled.
Not for this.
That will be good. They should look like what they are.
We do need to be careful about letting so-called “ironic racism” go unchallenged, because it’s bullshit.
But this campaign from this 23-year-old Twitter activist raises a couple red flags. namely “23-year-old” and “Twitter activist”. That cocktail of itchy-trigger-finger and bad-judgment can’t lead to good things. And that’s probably a charitable reading of a situation that quite looks like one where somebody decided to derail the R**skins name discussion in order to boost their own social media brand.
@gwangung: I’m glad to hear that you also liked the movie…if that is what your comment meant. ;=)
Villago Delenda Est
It’s pretty clear to me (but then again, I’m smarter than the average Filipina anchor baby) that Colbert is satirizing Snyder, by pointing out with a Chinese stereotype how utterly racist and condescending Snyder’s “outreach” to Indigenous Americans is.
Another Holocene Human
@kc: Yes. True. But Colbert and his show need to take some blame as well. They were trolling. It was satire, and they were trolling. Their trollery backfired on them. I think the bit went too far and the tweet was dumb.