Best. Interview. Ever.

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I'm going to pretend there's some libertarian lesson to be drawn from this somehow, because it's too freaking funny not to post: Steven Colbert vs. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

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  1. That one with the dude with the Ten Commandments pop quiz was pretty hard to beat, but this is a close second in my book.

  2. I was informed recently that the word is “EVAR!” 🙂

  3. I dunno, the Cocaine and Prostitutes interview is a tough one to beat.

  4. I know the standard line on these things is to assume the Congressperson is a clueless tool, but although Norton seems kind of outraged by some of this, she also seems to be relishing the sport. (I mean, when’s the last time she probably had anything other than the most puffball interview.) I came away kind of impressed by her slugging it out this way, if not exactly playing along.

  5. Ajax Minor:

    Grin! LOL!

    amicalment,

  6. I dunno, the Cocaine and Prostitutes interview is a tough one to beat.

  7. I’m a fan of cold beer. Colbert, not so much. But that was hilarious.

  8. Okay….I usually don’t find Coal Bear funny….but this was awesome.

    His best feature is that he has very huge testicles and so can just go up to, say, the White House Correspondent’s dinner and absolutely piss on George W. Bush.

    This was lovely.

  9. Cool…… a youtube link without being force fed over to Wonkette. I knew it could be done.

  10. Mike: I think her questions about Colbert’s Frenchness make it clear that she’s in on the joke.

  11. Wow, I’m amazed to see people who don’t like Colbert in general. For my money, the Report is the funniest thing on tv right now.

  12. VM’s Ajax Minor,

    Okay, that was funny.

    Colbert and the whole The Daily Show thing only mildly amuse me at best. I don’t know why, but the whole shtick got tiresome for me a while back. Kinda akin to my growing dislike of all things ESPN.

  13. That was near perfect.

  14. Seeing this convinced me to add the Colbert Report to my Tivo. That was hillarious.

  15. Bush “sings”* Sunday, Bloody Sunday: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6805063692754011230

    *Well, Bush’s words spliced together by someone else might a more appropriate way of describing it.

  16. If she is playing along with the joke, then she is a consumate actress – her body language throughout conveys a sense of restraining herself from jumping over and throttling Colbert for failing to take her as seriously as she sees herself.

    Now I need to clean the coffee out of my keyboard…

  17. My last video link of the day: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7230649734638495014

    Let’s just call it an “alternative narrative.”

  18. Wow, I’m amazed to see people who don’t like Colbert in general. For my money, the Report is the funniest thing on tv right now.

    Exactly. The threat down, on notice, the list, the know a district series and the word…

    …guaranteed at least one belly laugh per night. I love when he does the O’Reilly finger wag. The Colbert Report passed the Daily Show the minute Colbert left the Daily Show.

    I do miss This Week in God though.

  19. Ah, Troops. What an awesome parody–I downloaded that for re-viewing pleasure years ago. Aunt Beru was some psycho, huh?

    If you liked that one, there’s always the Star Wars Gangsta Rap.

  20. Brilliant.

  21. yo that was fuckin amazing.

  22. I know the standard line on these things is to assume the Congressperson is a clueless tool, but although Norton seems kind of outraged by some of this, she also seems to be relishing the sport. (I mean, when’s the last time she probably had anything other than the most puffball interview.) I came away kind of impressed by her slugging it out this way, if not exactly playing along.

    YA RLY. I don’t get to catch Colbert very often, so I haven’t seen the “better” segments that people have mentioned, but this one was great! And I have to give Norton credit — it appeared that Colbert met his match in her, whether she was fully in on the joke or not.

  23. If she is playing along with the joke, then she is a consumate actress

    Huh…she is a woman and a politition…how can she not be an actress???

  24. That was so awesome.

    I think she had to be in on it though. The way she first called him French, then vanilla, allowing him to quip that he is French vanilla — I can’t believe that was serendipity.

    But Clean Hands, you’re right about her body language — it was superb!

  25. The Daily Show is funny as long as it remembers — as it usually does, but sometimes forgets — that it’s making fun of the media, not the politicians.

    And yes, this was hilarious, as the Better Know a Districts usually are.

  26. Well, this crowd has made political satire so easy it’s not even funny, but you laugh anyway to lift you out of the depression the news causes.

    When Bush praises Goss for maintaining “accountability and secrecy” at the CIA without even batting an eye…

  27. The best part of the Report is that O’Reilly and other similar conservative pundits and reporters believe that Colbert is actually on their side. My favorite interviews are with people from Fox news.

  28. I’m glad the interview showing the 10 Commandments guy is a dunce exists, but this interview is much more fun to watch because she makes Colbert work.

  29. I always squirm a little when media-types refer to Delegate Norton as a “congressperson,” which she can get pretty prickly about. She ain’t one of the Representatives the House is named after. That denizens of the District, be they U.S. citizens or not, don’t get any votes in the Congress isn’t silly. Rome wouldn’t let a general bring his legions with him when he entered The City. It’s just a prudent rule of the Republic one has to deal with. If one has to vote in Federal elections, one can move to Virginia or Maryland or anywhere else in The 50 that makes you happy, right? It’s bad enough the Constitution was changed to give D.C. three votes in the Electoral College. The wiser thing to do would have been for Congress to shrink the District to Capitol Hill and environs and let the rest of Washington City rejoin MD – like they’d take it! 🙂 No Washingtonian has to live there except maybe the Pres, and he has Camp David, anyway. Even the Redskins moved out.

    Allowing an enclave where the populace depends on the Federal government so much for its daily bread is a bad idea, and giving it as much representation as South Dakota would not be smart. If they’d like to get a real Representative, maybe we could amend the Constitution to give them one, but no Senators, and they have to give back their Presidential vote. One of my uncles used to live on Guam, and only voting in local elections didn’t hurt him none.

    In many of the states, the state capital is the fastest growing area. The presence of the state government bureaucracy and usually a large state university campus makes such cities hotspots of white collar employment, and they often don’t have a large minority “underclass” the way the state’s metropolis does. I consider this a bad trend, leading to a situation where a subset of the citizenry is predisposed to metastasized government as the source of its prosperity, while those out in the hinterland are drained of resources to feed the center.

    Kevin

  30. The Daily Show is funny as long as it remembers — as it usually does, but sometimes forgets — that it’s making fun of the media, not the politicians.

    Juh?

    The Colbert Report pokes most of its fun at the the media, but the Daily Show’s targets are almost always politicians.

  31. The best part of the Report is that O’Reilly and other similar conservative pundits and reporters believe that Colbert is actually on their side. My favorite interviews are with people from Fox news.

    Yes, we’re all part of a multimillion member conspiracy that professional media members of a particular political persuasion are unaware of. Cool.

  32. Kevrob,

    I can think of no reason why DC should not be a state. Having a pure urban state is completely justified if we’re going to allow for essentially purely rural/small town states with about the same population. Didn’t your forefathers fight a Revolution over no taxation without representation? (For the record, mine didn’t as they came over from the old country in the early 20th century).

    That being said, giving all but what’s necessary of DC back to MD makes sense. There’s no reason for the Federal government to have sole jurisdiction over residential and commercial neighborhoods. If there is a stray government building, it can have all the same legal status as the Pentagon in VA or any other Federal land.

    Also, while I don’t find the first parts of the Colbert Report that funny, the interviews that he has are HILARIOUS.

  33. I can think of no reason why DC should not be a state.

    How about because the District only got to be established because *no one* thought it would ever be a state. If you had told *anyone* back in 1790 that people would use the no-taxation-without-representation line to strong-arm the country into giving statehood to a city with fewer inhabitants than Fairfax County, Virginia, they’d have said, Forget that, and would have either left the capital in Philadelphia or ensured that the inhabitants of the District would be counted as residents of Maryland for voting purposes.

  34. Herrick – I think kevrob’s point wasn’t so much hanging on D.C.’s status as an urban area as its status as a federal area. A D.C. Senator would, essentially, be elected to the federal government to represent the interests of the federal government, which is both unappealing and kind of missing the point.

  35. Regarding Herrick’s answer to my post, Scenescent has the right of it. “New Colombia” or whatever they’d call it as a state would be an abomination because of its near-total dependence on the Federal teat. Compared to DC as a state, the various aborted movements to make New York City the 51st state were rationality incarnate. I’m a former Long Islander, and when the NYC-as-a-state idea was being tossed around in the 1970s, it naturally led to musings about whether Nassau and Suffolk counties would throw in with Brooklyn, Queens and the rest of the Big Apple. Since the non-NYC portions of LI had 3 million people, some wags thought a State of Pomonauk could be carved out of New York State. (see my comments on this old H&R article on the subject.)

    Kevin

  36. Considering Washingtonians’ preferences for their last few Mayor’s, giving them a few Senators would at least make federal politics more interesting.

  37. Allowing an enclave where the populace depends on the Federal government so much for its daily bread is a bad idea, and giving it as much representation as South Dakota would not be smart. If they’d like to get a real Representative, maybe we could amend the Constitution to give them one, but no Senators, and they have to give back their Presidential vote

    How does any of what you said make DC any different from districts (and states, for that matter) that generate most of their revenue from places like military bases? The largest employer back in the 6th district of Washington was the Navy, who ran three separate bases and employed, directly or indirectly easily two-thirds of the district’s population, yet I don’t hear anyone complaining that they shouldn’t get a vote in the House of Representatives. For that matter, until a handful of years ago every citizen of Alaska got a 1200 dollar a year check for living where they do straight from the Federal Government, (and they still get 300 annually for the same reason) It constituted a not inconsiderable percentage of many families income up there. This doesn’t make them any less deserving of two votes in the Senate, does it? The reason DC didn’t get any actual representation wasn’t because they were dependent on Federal money, it was because the framers never expected for so many people to live there. It was supposed to be small, befitting the comparatively weak power of the Federal government in comparison to the States. If they had known that almost 600,000 people would be living there, things would have happened differently.

    I’d also like to add that I find your rationale for holding this opinion horrifying. Is the fact that somebody might disagree with you on matters of public policy reason to deny them a voice in government? Would you then extend this to members of the armed forces who, as you so glibly put it, depend on the Federal government their daily bread? What about the people whose jobs depend on their paychecks, like more or less everyone who runs a business in the vicinity of a military base? Where does it end, once you’ve started deciding what makes a person fit to vote for Congress?

  38. Shem, if you re-read my last post, you’ll see that I’m willing to allow DCers voting representation in the House, and in the Senate as a part of Maryland, but not to allow two more members in the Senate who would be guaranteed votes for increasing the size and reach of the government. States with a large federal presence have that presence diluted when added into the population as a whole. Sure, there are big square states out West with similar populations, but at the time of their admittance to the Union nobody expected their population growth to be so anemic compared to the states on the shores of the oceans and Great Lakes.

    Alaska’s case, along with Hawaii’s, is an artifact of several special cases. Both ex-territories were attacked by Japan in WWII, and statehood was a way of telling the folks there that the USA would never abandon them. I thought the “Federal Money” Alaskans get was actually from the state’s cut of the oil and gas royalties generated from state land, plus whatever cut they get from Federal land as part of their admission deal. When those funds threatened to put the state in heavy surplus, the voters decided to have them disbursed to the citizens, rather than leave a pot of money the state legislature could use for a spending spree. That sounds like the next best thing to privatization to me.

    A great deal of our military votes absentee. I’d be in favor of congressional staffers and other DC blowins voting absentee in the states they moved from, though they’d have to decide whether voting for hometown congresscritter X was more important than influencing the alderman who passes out liquor licenses in their DC neighborhood. I never said those on the government payroll shouldn’t vote. I may say it in future, after I mull things over a bit. (Would a state employee be able to vote in a federal, but not a state election? What if the department he works for gets federal grant money? Hmmmm….complicated.)

    Kevin

  39. I don’t know if it was planned or spontaneous. Probably both. The best humor always is.

    Either way, it was FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Colbert is far, far, far better than Stewart.

  40. The issue of DC’s status has been an issue for 150 years, even back to when race was not the subtext for the debate (DC was majority white until the 1950s).

    Personally, I don’t think that the seat of the federal government should be located within a state, but neither should the federal enclave include residential areas. On the other hand, we don’t restrict freedom of movement, so if any DC resident is *that* worked up about not having their own personal congressional moron, they can move a couple of miles and fix that.

    Since Arlington and Alexandria were retroceded to Virginia in the 1840s, the obvious answer is to retrocede everything outside the federal core to Maryland…whether they want it or not. 🙂

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