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In Iraq, Colbert Does His Shtick for the Troops (NYT)

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 09:30 PM
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In Iraq, Colbert Does His Shtick for the Troops (NYT)
In Iraq, Colbert Does His Shtick for the Troops
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON



CAMP VICTORY, Iraq It was Sunday night in Baghdad, and President Obama was ordering Gen. Ray Odierno, the commander of the American troops here, to shave Stephen Colberts head. (Not to give everything away, but the general is not as brutal with an electric razor as one would expect a bald man to be; Mr. Colberts hairdresser, on the other hand, has a merciless streak.)

War, as things go, is a fairly unironic exercise. Sure, there are endless incongruities to be found and parodied in the speeches about war from politicians, generals and heads of state. But war itself the dirty, dangerous business of soldiers on the ground seems to be about as earnest a trade as you can find.

Into this comes Mr. Colbert. He is taping four episodes of The Colbert Report, the Comedy Central show featuring his egotistical, fake-macho, nationalist blowhard alter ego, in Baghdad this week. Its the first time in the history of the U.S.O. that a full-length nonnews show has been filmed, edited and broadcast from a combat zone.

The week of shows, taped a day or two before they are broadcast, is called Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando, and it has a pretty fancy guest list (in addition to General Odierno, and the president, whose appearance was taped ahead) that includes Iraqs deputy prime minister. But there is also something kind of meta about the whole thing. Mr. Colberts entire career is based on being gleefully insincere, a man who literally wraps himself in the flag to the screaming of majestic computer-generated eagles.

On the other hand he is unquestionably a real supporter of the troops, raising money through donorschoose.org for school supplies for children of soldiers, through his WristStrong bracelets for the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which helps injured veterans, and by donating to the U.S.O. proceeds from iTunes downloads of this weeks episodes.

<SNIP>

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/arts/television/08col...
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UrbScotty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:18 PM
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1. Be safe, Stephen!
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 10:19 PM by UrbScotty
I tip my hat to you and wag my finger to your hairdresser! ;-)
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 12:36 AM
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2. Looking forward to the episodes.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 07:27 AM
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3. I love that man
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 07:30 AM
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4. I can't wait to see these episodes. K&R n.t
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XOKCowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 07:41 AM
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5. Is Comedy Channel on Canadian TV?
I'm going to be in Toronto all week. If not I guess I can watch them online. Way to go Stephen.
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