Thursday, May 04, 2006

Virtual Roasting on an Open Pyre

I think that the pixels have finally settled enough that I can say something about the Colbert roast of the President at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. There was a lot of hubbub about the footage in the blogosphere, according to the New York Times ("After Press Dinner, the Blogosphere Is Alive With the Sound of Colbert Chatter"). In his Daily Show persona of conservative commentator, Colbert "praised" an unflattered president at length. Colbert also included a parody video that was as much homage to Hitchcock as to All the President's Men and featured press corps dragon lady Helen Thomas.

I watched the roast video as it moved several times, apparently after being bumped for intellectual property reasons, from YouTube to iFilm and finally to GoogleVideo. It's odd to watch something so dependent on live context and physical space in the online environment, and of course it could be read as falling flat, as the roast sequence in the Aristocrats did as well.

When I heard it the last time, I must admit to wondering if a laugh track had been added to the file. Then I looked at the trusted C-Span logo and decided that it was just because I had raised the volume on my machine.

Me, I'm looking forward to the humorous remix appearing on the Internet.

Update: According to the New York Times, "A Comedian's Riff on Bush Prompts an E-Spat," there was considerable controversy about who had the rights to this seemingly public domain C-Span video for purposes of Internet rebroadcast. Now C-Span has made the video available via live streaming and has asked YouTube and iFilm to cease and desist showing the clip.



Anonymous jrlupton said...

I want to know if Colbert's speech and video were pre-approved or not. Although there was edge in the lines (if not in the delivery), many of the jokes were similar to those in Bush's own strange routine.

5:19 AM  

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