On August 1, just after Donald Trump spent his post-DNC weekend waging an unusually-misguided jihad against Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Stephen Colbert opened his Late Show by exploring one simple question: “Is there anyone Donald Trump won’t attack if they say something bad about him?” A series of brief experiments revealed that Trump would not attack “a kindly old lady” or “a kindergartner with an adorable speech impediment”, but was more than happy to take on a kitten who equated him with Hitler:
I like Tim Egan a lot. So much so that when I had to write an essay about my favorite journalist (in order to enroll in a law school writing class), I chose him like some kind of pikachu. But something in his latest column for the New York Times left me scratching my head.
The central conceit of his column — titled “We’re winning!” — is that, well, we’re winning. “We”, in this instance, being America. “Winning,” in this instance . . . well, that’s what I wanted to talk about.
After Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for President by a major political party in the United States (one helluva baseball stat), a lot of ink was spilled in the matter of her outfit. To many, the fixation on the female nominee’s sartorial decision-making was clear evidence of sexism. For the media to give the same sort of attention to what a man chose to wear, they pointed out, would come off as absurd.
The moment I heard Bill Clinton tell the DNC that the Republican response to his wife has been “to create a cartoon alternative, and run against the cartoon,” I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what Stephen Colbert was going to do with it. And indeed, when he went live that evening, Colbert immediately introduced his audience to Cartoon Donald Trump‘s Democratic opponent, Cartoon Hillary:
About a year ago, back before even one episode of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert ever aired on CBS, the network wanted to introduce its shiny new host to a broader audience. And so journalists like Dave Itzkoff found themselves with behind-the-scenes access as Colbert & friends frantically readied for their big launch. What they produced, generally speaking, was not journalism. Here’s a sample I found particularly objectionable:
This morning, Olympic spectators were treated to the sort of heart-warming interaction that encapsulates why so many people enjoy watching sports, and especially international competitions. As the New York headline described it, “Tripped-Up Olympic Runners Finish Race Together in Apparent Attempt to Make Me Weep Uncontrollably at My Desk“. In case that doesn’t paint you enough of a picture, here’s what that looked like in the form of a moving one: