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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Amazing Colbert Interview Last Night

Stephen "welcomed" WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, to discuss the release last week of the now-famous video showing the killing of a dozen Iraqis, including a Reuters photographer and staffer, from U.S. Apache helicopters. I've tweeted dozens of times about it since then, drawing a wide response. Colbert built up to the interview with a separate segment poking fun at government secrecy, in the usual mode. Then after a break, he brought out Assange and again things proceeded typically for a bit, drawing audience laughs.

But then Colbert, uncharacteristically, dropped his faux outrage and really went after his guest for terming the video "Collateral Murder," obviously trying to stick up for the troops after his trip to Iraq and other supportive measures. He made a couple of good points but also suggested, in a low moment, that Assange didn't know what he was talking about because he had not served in the military himself. There were no chuckles from the host at that point--and the audience clearly did not know how to react. Yes, much of this was Colbert in his "faux" character but to an unusual extent some of it was clearly not.

Colbert also charged that Assange had edited out the fact that there was a "firefight" nearby. Assange cooly called this a lie, and said that classified documents showed no such thing. This seemed to set Stephen back a bit. There was no mention of the attack on the van trying to take away the wounded photog, which severely injured two kids.

Then the segment ended on the usual humorous note.

Below is just the interview segment that aired. When he signed off, Colbert said the unedited version would be online--and it's just been posted. It has more of the "faux" Colbert character than the edited version. You'll find it below the edited version. Sort of like that Iraq video: the shorter and longer version.
Julian Assange
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Exclusives - Julian Assange Unedited Interview
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News


Howard Owens said...

I have no problem with Colbert's questioning.

I support Wikileaks on releasing this video and don't have a problem with calling it collateral murder.

But it is good for Colbert to ask pointed questions. There was nothing unfair about it. He doesn't have to stay in character all the time. He doesn't always have to be funny. On an issue this serious, hard questions, even impolite questions, are not out of bounds.

The Punk Patriot said...

You just needed to wait a little longer:

Rob Miller said...

I was surprised & delighted by Colbert last night. I thought the tough questioning made it easier to set the record straight. Although I'm still a bit confused about what kind of firefight/small arms exchange there was how recently & closely, whether they were on the way to, from, or what. Sad that the reuters journos were killed. Colbert is right though murder is a loaded term. Noone premeditatedly decided they wanted these journos dead, and found a way to accomplish that here. And I liked the discussion (even though colbert did his absurdities/jokes) about what war is.

Mike said...

I just watched the UNedited version only. I don't see it. I don't see Colbert dropping character. It was a very good interview. Maybe not as LOL funny as most, but still with its moments of humor.