Is this weird, funny, or sad?
In an odd development which feels vaguely reminiscent (emphasis on “vaguely”) of the conversation going on about Freddie’s posts on academia, there’s an odd convergence of the right and left twitter-atzi* asking Comedy Central to cancel the Colbert Report for being racist.
Via TPM, the movement was started after Comedy Central tweeted a reference to a bit from last night’s show that poked fun of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s attempt to have his Redskins and eat them too. (If you aren’t aware and don’t want to click over, Snyder is apparently using a new non-profit as a $1.3 million vehicle to essentially bribe Native American tribes into embracing the term “redskin.”) In a moment of satire that you may or may not find funny — I confess that I actually find it hilarious — the faux-Fox News pundit said this:
Folks, this move by Dan Snyder inspires me, because my show has frequently come under attack for having a so-called offensive mascot. My beloved character Ching-Chong Ding-Dong…the point is, offensive or not — not — Ching-Chong is part of the unique heritage of the Colbert Nation that cannot change. But I’m willing to show the Asian community that I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitive to Orientals or Whatever.
The bit led to #CancelColbert, which rather quickly trended. (It’s still #1 at the time of this writing.)
Looking through the tweets is fascinating. It’s a bizarre mixture of liberals wanting the show wiped for being racist and conservatives wanting to wipe the show because… well, because liberals are the real racists and neener neener neener. (There are also, rather thankfully, a fair number of people from both sides of the aisle asking, What the f**k is wrong with all you people?)
Will Stephen Colbert usher in a new era of political realignment? Of course not. But it does remind me that such realignments happen all the time and over time, often when no one on either side is aware they are happening at all.
[Note: The segment from the show can been seen at Comedy Central here.]
* You know I’ve been holding that made-up word in my back pocket hoping for a chance to use it.