[…] Colbert, however, succeeds in ways Stewart doesn’t when it comes to showing the right as the insane idiots they are. Largely, this is due to extremely deft use of satire — by posing as a right-wing know-nothing, Colbert can show just how know-nothing the actual right is. By playing up his Hannity-inspired persona as bombastically as he can manage, he completely devastates Hannity and anyone of his ilk.
Now, Lawrence O’Donnell last night had some harsh words about Colbert and his new Super-PAC project. I had to watch it a few times to be sure if he was glib or serious, but it seems he was serious. And I have to say, if so, O’Donnell completely misunderstands Colbert. The Super-PAC project is not about Colbert trying to trick people out of their money. (I’m amazed so many have donated, absolutely). What he’s doing is portraying the insanity of campaign finance in America. First as tragedy, then as farce, no? This is Colbert demonstrating brilliantly how insane running for president is in the contemporary USA, and how broken our media is that it would run Colbert’s ad. (And the “Cornographic” ad)
Colbert’s entire act rips to shreds any claim anyone on the Right can claim to seriousness. In portraying a homophobic, anti-tax, science-denying militarist, Colbert shows how radically absurd those actual ideas are. That character allows him to do things Stewart can’t, and Colbert is both brilliant and funny enough to pull it off nightly. Yes, some of his set pieces can be ridiculous, but such is the career of a gifted satirist. Enough are perfectly cutting.
When he breaks character, he does admirable things as well. His testimony before Congress on behalf of undocumented immigrants was incredibly admirable. His solidarity with soldiers in Iraq similarly so. His “It Gets Better” video is genuinely touching. All in all, he seems like a pretty remarkable guy and easily the wittiest and most important person on television today.
Complete article here