On his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert hilariously took Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to task for their race baiting rhetoric. Colbert explained that, “Those guys aren’t racist. They’re just saying that a program that helps the poor is actually a secret plot by African Americans to steal white people’s money.” Check out the video.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
After playing clips of Beck and Limbaugh calling Obama’s agenda reparations, Colbert said, “Those guys aren’t racist. They’re just saying that a program that helps the poor is actually a secret plot by African Americans to steal white people’s money. A racist would say, it’s a secret plot to steal white people’s women.”
Colbert later played a clip of Bill Clinton disagreeing with Jimmy Carter about right wing racism and added, “Exactly, their policy objections aren’t influenced by their racial prejudice anymore than a bullet is influenced by a gun. Once you pull the trigger, that thing is on its own, but sadly, anytime a racist criticizes the president, someone cries racism.”
This is simply a brilliant piece of satire by the folks over at The Colbert Report. An Ohio State study recently found that conservatives believe that Colbert is only pretending to be joking is even more stunning when see video such as the one above, where, at least to me, the point is obvious.
If anyone is unfamiliar with the Ohio State study it looked at biased message processing of political satire based on political ideology, and found that, “Conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert’s political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.”
To a poli sci guy like me, the OSU study is fascinating, and I don’t see how anybody could miss the message of Colbert, but I am a liberal, which means that I more easily detect the satire of Colbert. This segment of The Colbert Report is better than anything Saturday Night Live has done since the election last year. So how long will it be until conservatives start using Colbert as a defense against charges of racism?