Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kos on Colbert

Despite the clear warnings by Bill O'Reilly, Stephen Colbert, and others, I recently attended the second YearlyKos Conference in Chicago, where I met (in the sense of "was in the same room with") such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd, John Dean (Nixon Administration), Anthony Romero (ACLU), and, of course, Markos Moulitsas, the "Kos" of DailyKos is one of the big liberal blogs, pulling in more visitors in an average hour than I have in a year and a half. I occasionally post diary entries in my little corner of DailyKos. On The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert has been keeping up the pressure on DailyKos, exposing our rampant dedication to liberty and free expression for all the world to see; on Wednesday night's show, he had Kos on to answer for the "hate speech" that Billo has decried so stridently.

(The video is also downloadable from the Crooks and Liars web site.)

The Colbert Report, original air date 2007-08-15, ©2007 Comedy Central.
Stephen Colbert: Nation, you cannot swing a cat these days without hitting a hate group. In fact, lots of cats are in hate groups. There's your Nazis, your neo-Nazis, and your neonatal Nazis. Their baby food of choice: Goebbels. You've also got your Basque separatists, your Islamofascists, your librarians — they're hiding something — and, worst of all, your Democrat open-forum web sites, led by the goose-stepping blog-schtapo at (Oh, I'm goin' after 'em, don't worry.) This Fourth Reich was rooted out by a man who knows his Fatherlands, "Papa Bear" Bill O'Reilly.
2007-07-31: It is the Ku Klux Klan. There's no difference.

2007-07-30: Nothing different than the Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan.

2007-07-31: ... the left-wing Nazi hate sites ...

2007-07-16: It's like the Ku Klux Klan. It's like the Nazi Party.
There is one difference: Nazis build bunkers; DailyKos bloggers build pillow forts. Now, over the weekend, the head of the Ku Kos Klan, Grand Dragon Markos Moulitsas appeared on Meet the Press. You know who else has been on Meet the Press? Fidel Castro and Judas. I haven't confirmed that, but the show's been on forever. Well, I for one will not appease this rising threat. Nation, I recently went undercover as a DailyKos blogger, registering under the discreet name of notstephencolbert. To complete my blogger disguise, I also did an exercise, played three hours of Halo, and ate onion dip with a spoon. Now, I am going to log onto my account right now, folks, and expose just how hateful this web site truly is. Let's see here: "Hungarians are dirty ghoulies who wash in peanut oil. Heil healthcare!!!" And ... post! Okay, now let's see what's on DailyKos today. Oh my god! "Hungarians are dirty ghoulies"? I can't read this on the air! This is unforgivable! Here now to defend the indefensible, is the führer himself, DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas! Markos!

[music: Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner]

Thank you. Oh, Jimmy, could we get the banner, please? [red banner with white circle and black stylized K-morphed-with-swastika] This is the banner on your web site, right?

Markos Moulitsas: I don't think it is.

Colbert: You don't think so? Does that look like anything to you?

Kos: I don't think so. It doesn't ring any bells.

Colbert: Doesn't ring any bells? That's a K. That's a K. Okay, all right, now, let's get straight to this: what do you have against the Hungarian people?

Kos: In reality, some of my best friends are Hungarian.

Colbert: Well, it's hard to tell, because you've some hate speech on your site right here! Why did you write that?

Kos: Considering I was backstage at your show, I don't think I kind of wrote that.

Colbert: But it's on your site. You're responsible for anything anyone posts on your site.

Kos: It's called an open forum. It's called democracy, and sometimes some idiots get on there and write things about Hungarians.

Colbert: But if you — it doesn't matter. [audience roars] No, no, I can take care of myself; I'm a big boy. Okay, but if it's on your web site, don't you have to take responsibility for it? I mean, the New York Times has to take responsibility for what's on their editorial page, and who writes their letters to the editor. You're no different.

Kos: Well, in reality, the beauty of what we're doing at DailyKos and other blogs like it is, we're giving regular Americans a voice in their politics to go on and talk about the things that they're passionate about. Now, at DailyKos, we don't allow truly hateful speech, but, you know, Papa Bear thinks that anything that disagrees with his point-of-view, his conservative point-of-view, is hate speech, so that's where this whole argument is really coming from.

Colbert: But if somebody does say something that's hateful on here, and it's your web site, by the transitive property of hate, it's your words. Just admit O'Reilly's right. Just admit it. Just admit it.

Kos: You know I can't do that. You know I can't do that.

Colbert: [typing] "O'Reilly is right." It's on your web site! You just admitted that O'Reilly is right. You just admitted it right there.

Kos: You know, if you gave me that computer, maybe some other things would be on there.

Colbert: [snaps the laptop shut] Okay, you've made your point. I'm a fair guy, I'll let you have the last word. Let me just ask you a question I ask all my guests: just show me with your hand, how tall is, like, a Great Dane?

Kos: A Great Dane?

Colbert: Yeah, just show me.

Kos: About this tall. [gestures about waist high]

Colbert: How tall is a pony? How tall is a pony?

Kos: [gestures about shoulder high]

Colbert: Freeze it! [still camera misses the gesture] Ooh, you missed it! You wanna show me how tall a horse is?

Kos: [gestures above his head]

Colbert: Freeze it! Well, I'm not gonna sit here and let you "Sieg heil" America! Markos Moulitsas, thank you for joining me.

Kos: Thank you very much.

Colbert: Markos Moulitsas, everybody; we'll be right back.
You can read the Kossacks' reaction in the "How Funny is Stephen Colbert?" thread on DailyKos.

I don't think there's much I can add, other than to say Nem beszelek magyarul!

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