Friday, July 21, 2006

Colbert Report NAACP interview

Stephen Colbert had a brief satellite interview on Thursday's Colbert Réport with Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, talking about President Bush's address to the NAACP national convention, his first NAACP speech in 5½ years as President.

Julian Bond has an impressive record, going back to his student activist organizing days in the early 1960's. In 1965, he was elected to the Georgia state legislature, but was unseated because he was opposed to the Viet Nam War. He then ran again for the seat he himself had vacated, won the second election, and again was not allowed to serve, so he ran yet again, won the third election, and won a unanimous verdict of the U.S. Supreme Court that he could not be blocked from taking office because of his opposition to a particular government policy.

Here's a portion of the interview:


Julian Bond: Well, first of all, let me say we're glad he came. He has been President all these years, we've invited him every year, he's not come, he's always said that he had scheduling conflicts, and sure enough, he has been scheduling conflicts.

Stephen Colbert: Pinpoint — [Bush's NAACP] speech was obviously an unqualified success...

Bond: Well, it was not quite an unqualified success. Make no mistake: we're happy he came, we're glad to see him, we received him respectfully, but we wanted him to talk more about our issues. It was as if you go to a carpenters convention, you want to talk about carpentry, you don't want to talk about plumbing. We wanted to hear about judicial appointments, we wanted to hear about affirmative action, and we wanted to hear about the war.

Colbert: But what does that have to do with plumbing? (Not much.) At what point in the speech did you say to yourself, "Yes, now I'm a Republican."?

Bond: President began by saying, "I guess you [the NAACP audience] are saying, 'What took you so long?'" I thought, gee, that's endearing, a little self-deprecating humor, we sort of like people who can laugh at themselves, but I frankly was disappointed in the rest of the speech.

Colbert: I believe the part of the speech you liked was his first sentence. (Yes, that's exactly right.) And you were disappointed by the rest of the it, you say? (Yes.) So you liked about the same percentage of the speech as the same percentage of black people support the President?

Bond: Exactly, so I think I was faced with the hard reality of low expectations.

I liked the clip of Bush's NAACP speech The Daily Show used: Bush looked genuinely surprised that the NAACP expressed such enthusiastic distrust for the Republican leadership. Julian Bond was too young when he was nominated as Vice President in 1968, but he would be head, shoulders, torso, knees, and ankles above what we have in the White House now.Technorati tags: , , , , ,