December 25, 2016

"Dividing into teams is great if your team wins. But if your team loses..."

"... it allows you to do two things. One is question why you lost. And, B, why did you choose to be on a team, because the team itself is an illusion. And so that was a -- that was something that I came to me at the end of the election special that we did. We did a live Showtime special and I had nothing to say, I didn’t think, at the end of the show."

Said Steve Colbert on "Face the Nation" today. The host, John Dickerson, asked him what he did when he found himself unprepared:
COLBERT: As I knew the outcome, I knew that I would have to throw out everything I had planned, because we had four possible outcomes. One is that we knew that Mrs. Clinton would win. We would not know. It looked like Trump was going to win, but we wouldn’t know until the morning. And then there was he’s going to win and we know he’s going to win. And that was the one that we prepared nothing for, which -- on purpose.

I said, look, what’s the purpose? Don’t prepare anything because everything goes out the window. It’s the least likely path it says -- say all of the number crunchers and I believe in numbers.
I laughed out loud. Data expressed in numerical form isn't like 2 + 2. The belief that 2 + 2 equals 4 is not like believing the polls are correct because you're seeing numbers. It's more like saying "I take a man at his word" whenever any guy says anything.

Colbert continues:
And -- and if [we know Trump is going to win], we’re going to be doing a show for a group of people who have been hauled into a Chilean soccer stadium to watch people executed. People are going to be very depressed. So anyway, at the very end of it, one of the things that occurred to me to say was that it makes me question picking sides, because if you look at this like a -- a sport, if you look at it like as a battle against your neighbor, you’ll choose anything as a knife against the other side. And that itself is a -- what’s the opposite of a virtue?
John Dickerson had to tell him that the opposite of "virtue" is "vice."

72 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Seeing life as a Crips and Bloods gang war based on territorial claims is the initial social Confirmation Bias being encountered, and used. But Colbert and friends need to master it. They are novices compared to Donald The Persuader.

David said...

There is glib and there is smart and there is wise.

Colbert is glib.

tcrosse said...

Virtue Signalling is so last month. I predict a new birth of Vice Signalling. People will gleefully eat cheeseburgers, use forbidden words, and voice forbidden attitudes, in the most conspicuous ways.

Gahrie said...

Other-izing is fundamental to human nature...probably a relic from the 95% of human history when we wandered around a frozen Earth as hunter-gatherers.

Everything from the "troubles" in Northern Ireland, to the massacre in Rwanda, to party politics, to racism, to sports fandom, is about us and them.

Hell anybody who has attended an American high school knows how fundamental other-izing is to humans.

Comanche Voter said...

Chilean soccer stadium to watch an execution? Give me a break. In this case they weren't being executed, they were simply having their heads pulled--rather roughly I will concede---out of their backside. If you've got big ears--like some I could point out---then that can be tough.

But Mr. Colbert, put on your big boy pants and deal with reality. You were not prepared in
this instance. You and your friends can chant "He's not my President" all you want--but facts are facts. Adults know how to deal with facts. Or if they don't know, they can learn.

Robert Cook said...

I'm sure Colbert, a devout Catholic, didn't need to be told the opposite of virtue is vice. He was being rhetorical

donald said...

Colbert is pro abortion. That disqualifies him as devout right there junior.

He does seem well glib I suppose when reading words fed to him.

Michael K said...

I'm sure Colbert, a devout Catholic, didn't need to be told the opposite of virtue is vice. He was being rhetorical

Why do you expect him to know when the Pope doesn't?

Quayle said...

Pride comes before the fall.

A postulate that's been around for, what, only 2900 years or so.

David said...

I predict a new birth of Vice Signalling. People will gleefully eat cheeseburgers, use forbidden words, and voice forbidden attitudes, in the most conspicuous ways.

To twist Barry Goldwater's declaration, "moderation in the pursuit of vice is no virtue."

David Begley said...

This election has confirmed to all that many people in the media are complete dolts. No way to trim that observation.

tcrosse said...

Why do you expect him to know when the Pope doesn't?
Is the Pope Catholic ?

David said...

"Pride comes before the fall."

Summer too.

David said...

Oh man, that transcript. Where have your gone Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

robother said...

Trump the Master Persuader: those who appear immune to his persuasive skills are nevertheless rendered incoherent. Based on this opening segment, ABC should've restyled it "Clownface The Nation."

"I mean it’s hard to do what I do for a living. I make jokes. And -- and -- and jokes have a little knife in them all of the time. And so it’s hard to get away with it. I mean it’s -- it’s -- what does it mean to you?"

Achilles said...

The opposite of virtue is progressive.

Achilles said...

Colbert's main problem is he is not really funny. I could edit videos of people, pause them after a partial statement, and quirk my eyebrows just as well as Colbert can. Colbert got a show because he is a tool and he does what the people who own the show want done.

The entire lineup at comedy central existed because of South Park, who shows them all how to be funny.

rcocean said...

Is it that I'm getting old, or is it that the "Entertainment Industry" no longer cares about old white guys like me?

Because I'm finding it harder and harder to care, or even watch, anything on TV. Colbert was the funniest thing on Jon Stewart's show and I found his parody of Bill O'Reilly good for a few laughs. But... I find the "serious" "not reading a script" Colbert extremely boring and left wing.

People have called him "smart" and "Funny", well, i guess compared to average people like me, he is. But compared to talk show hosts in the past, he isn't.

I want to like him and I don't. I don't want to turn into "old guy railing against the present" but what can I do? He's a bore.

Fernandinande said...

"Dividing into teams is great if your team wins. But if your team loses..."

...you get a participation trophy because all teams deserve equal respect.

Humperdink said...

I made it through 3/4 of the interview before I realized it was a rather large waste of time. I should have known, Colbert is as vacuous as they come.

sacblis said...

Millennials are fortunate. they are going to learn early in life how to spot a bullshit artist.

Charlie Currie said...

Modernization in pantsuits is not virtue, it's a vice. - Barry Goldwater...I think

Robert Cook said...

"Colbert is pro abortion. That disqualifies him as devout right there junior."

I guess you consider many Catholics not Catholics, then.

Steven Wilson said...

Actually the consideration is not devout, but nice reflex there. That'll save you one doctor's visit.

cubanbob said...

Robert Cook said...
"Colbert is pro abortion. That disqualifies him as devout right there junior."

I guess you consider many Catholics not Catholics, then.


12/25/16, 5:12 PM"

Cultural Catholic is one thing, devout Catholic is another. No doubt true of all religions.

SteveR said...

He was only funny because if you were cool with Obama and thought Hillary was the best choice in 2016, you had to rely on comedians making fun of lot of Americans, to make it seem acceptable.

Winning the Electoral College has consequences, Mr. Colbert.

dbp said...

I was raised a Catholic and yes, I consider many people who think of themselves as Catholic, to be either deluding themselves or ignorant of what it means to be Catholic. I am myself a former Catholic, being that I disagree in certain fundamental ways from church doctrine.

rhhardin said...

He thinks there's nothing funny about the left, where he ran an old show that depended on nothing else.

Don't think of him as playing an out-of-control stereotypical right winger but as needling the left that he's talking to.

The audience may have been laughing at Colbert but the humor was in laughing at Colbert interviewee.

Humperdink said...

One of these days I would like someone to define Devout Catholic. My initial thought is that Devout Catholics would follow the Pope's edicts and his interpretation of the Word. Apparently that is no longer, or never was, an operable definition.

It would appear Devout means a Devout Catholic is can pretty do his (or her) own thing, under the veil of being a religious. Google the term "lukewarm" in the New Testament.

rhhardin said...

My opponent, not my enemy, is the classical Alfred Smith dinner remark.

That hasn't been true since Gore contested the election.

rhhardin said...

Devout Catholic means Latin.

Gahrie said...

Why do you expect him to know when the Pope doesn't?
Is the Pope Catholic ?


The verdict is still out on this one..

rhhardin said...

Colbert at the Kennedy School of Government

Look at the lady he presents the portait of Bill O'Reilly to.

geoffb said...

"Is the Pope Catholic ?"

Unfortunately, that is now a real question isn't it.

Yancey Ward said...

Blogger David Begley said...

"This election has confirmed to all that many people in the media are complete dolts. No way to trim that observation."

Yes, this.

southcentralpa said...

And the opposite of a "vicious cycle" is a "virtuous cycle".

Yancey Ward said...

Basically, Colbert never thought Clinton would lose, and he never thought it was actually going to be in doubt much past 9 p.m. that night. In my binge of schadenfreude in the two weeks after the election, I watched all of the major news organizations' election night coverage that aired from 7 p.m. and in none of them can you detect any recognition that Trump could actually win until around 9:30 that night when the NYTimes election meter first shifted past 50% chance of Trump winning, but even then, almost right up until Clinton conceded did hardly any of them really say it out loud. Of the people who were on the air that night, only John King of CNN really comes out looking good- his own colleagues were constantly trying to get him to find a way for Clinton to actually be ahead, and he never bent the analysis he was doing, not once, even though you could tell he didn't like the result.

iowan2 said...

How did the Sunday News Shows, devolve into journalist interviewing standup comics?
Exactly what in Cobert's resume identifies him as a person elevated to a position of voicing a pertinent opinion?

Darrell said...

TV needs an enema.

Big Mike said...

I've been puzzling over the Colbert's "data" comment since halftime of the Ravens-Steelers game, and I think the problem for him is that he looked at the national polls. If he had looked state by state he'd have seen clearly that Trump was very likely to get to 270 electoral votes. Toss up state after toss up state was trending Trump in the final polls. It would not have surprised me to see Hillary win with just over 270 votes but there was no way she was getting an Electoral College landslide. By contrast I could see Trump I could see Trump winning the states he did win, minus Michigan but plus New Hampshire and Colorado per the polls.

tim in vermont said...

All he had to do was read Mick.

readering said...

Dickerson and Colbert both on CBS.

PB said...

Jeez! What a mind full of clap-trap! This guy has no idea of or capability for critical thinking.

rcocean said...

"Don't think of him as playing an out-of-control stereotypical right winger but as needling the left that he's talking to.""

Watching "All in the family" 45 years later you can easily think Norman Lear was a subversive right-winger -giving Archie all the good lines and showing liberal Mike to be a self-righteous prig.

But you'd be wrong. Lear and his liberal writers were laughing at Archie and thought Mike was the voice of sweet reason. Really.

buwaya puti said...

Funny set of interviews, its journalists interviewing each other, other professional talking heads. And not even those likely to be interesting or surprising.
Their rolodexes are really tiny.

William said...

Colbert and Stewart always seemed to be more in pursuit of applause lines than laugh lines.......You'd think one of the channels would think to put on a conservative late night comic. Such a comic would have 64 million Trump voters all to himself, and there's no end to ridiculous left wing figures.

buwaya puti said...

The simple answer to why there isnt a "right wing" MSM late night comic show is that these things are much more important to the owners as a propaganda outlet than as an ordinary business.

damikesc said...

Perhaps NOT hyper-politicizing everything would be a good idea.

Why do long, live comedy shows covering an election? You'll end up pissing off half of the audience. THIS was different because HIS half lost.

I'd love to have communal experiences where politics don't matter, but that is not my call to make any longer.

Nobody believes when I tell them, but I will happily call Bob Newhart the funniest damned man on the planet. And I don't know his opinions on any single issue whatsoever.

rehajm said...

The problem is we believe market forces will prevail.

Perhaps they will but the world is awash with tech guys with an axe to grind.

damikesc said...

Thing is, they keep spending more and more money to provide entertainment while simultaneously trying to constantly reduce the audience size.

It's a battle "entertainment" cannot win.

narciso said...

I dubbed him camekbert because he's a ruddy cheese.

Original Mike said...

"Is the Pope Catholic ?"

Not so much.

Original Mike said...

"Is the Pope Catholic ?"

Not so much.

Quaestor said...

Colbert is glib.

The past tense of glib is glob.

Quaestor said...

TV needs an enema.

Nature abhors a vacuum,

donald said...

Damned straight Damesck. On Newhart that is. He's a national treasure.

He and Don Rickles are best buddies. They and their wives travel the world together. I'd pay damned good money to see that.

harkin said...

Nov 8th was the night that "truthiness" was overwhelmed by truth.

He was unprepared because he is a shameless shill who thought that 85% of media and their lies and distortions were going to put Hillary over the top.

I watched a bit of his shell-shocked, bewildered puss that Tuesday night and it was awesome. Maddow and Martha Radditz were better tho.

Bruce Hayden said...

Cultural Catholic is one thing, devout Catholic is another. No doubt true of all religions.

Actually, I think not. As I understand it, as a Protestant, Roman Catholicism is top down, with the theology and the like determined by the Pope, and translated down through the clergy to the masses. And, that means that they (the Pope and his clergy) determine what it means to be Roman Catholic, and, if you don't agree, then you can't be a member. Or, something like that. Of course, a lot of people cheat - think of Dem politicians supporting abortion, then taking Communion. Or Michael Corleone waiting to commit all those murders until his sister's kid is baptized, with him as a god parent (and the sister's husband among those executed).

The difference with most Protestant faiths is that they don't really believe that God/Jesus conferred any special sort of power or authority on the clergy. At least not the type that would accept the clergy speaking for them to God, or them speaking for God to them. This supposedly comes down through the bishops of the church(es) anointing other bishops through the ages, and the bishops anointing priests, etc. And, for the Roman church, their added claim (relatively late in early church history) of preeminence and infallibility, based on their claim to the Shoes of the Fisherman (but, much of it actually coming from the fall of the western Roman Empire, when the Roman church stepped into the void caused by that fall). Or something like that. The net result though is that some other strands of Christianity with bishops claiming authority from descent the Disciples, theology is determined by somewhat popular vote, at least of the consecrated bishops, and, for most Protestant faiths, by popular vote, somehow, of the members. This sort of democracy allows much more individual determination of faith. (And, esp. true of the Calvinists who settled much of New England). So, for example, your church may not accept abortion, but the national church does. If you don't, you won't be thrown out. And, visa versa. Democratic determination of theology, instead of top down, like the Roman (and eastern) churches, allows for a fuzzier, more personal, determination of individual faith, which in turn means that slight, or even, sometimes, not so slight, deviations from the group consensus doesn't mean exclusion or excommunication from the religion. And, my understanding is that much of both Islam and Judaism is similar to Protestantism here.

Interestingly, to me, the one quasi-Christian/quasi-Protestant faith that seems to follow the Roman Catholic model of heresy is the LDS Church. It is partially interesting because it is, essentially, a takeoff of or split off from Protestantism. But, the Church theology is determined from the top through, supposedly, divine revelation to the church leader/prophet, and the different LDS offshoots tend to have different prophets and different divine revelations (esp., apparently, about polygamy). They also apparently have the similar belief about being the One True Church, receiving the mantle from the Roman Catholic Church due to its pre-Reformation corruption. Or, something like that.

Bruce Hayden said...

I watched it a bit this morning (ok, yesterday morning). Or, I should say that my partner is a CBS fan, she was watching, and I ended up watching a bit. It stared out ok, but then wen Colbert started talking about election night, I realized that this was essentially a discussion by two Dem operatives (with bylines), and little clue to reality. The assumption of the entire interview seemed to have been that no right thinking person could have supported Trump. They didn't, and neither did anyone they knew, or would care to associate with. So, the interviewer seemed to ask, how was it when all those deplorables broke for Trump? Esp. when no one, including you, expected it. Only someone totally immersed in their bubble of unreality could have asked the questions asked, or been as brain dead election night as they were. And, at that point, realizing that it was just two brain dead Crooked Hillary supporters circle jerking each other, I went back to my book, completely bored with the show.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add to my last post, that the Crooked Hillary circle jerk was not the surprising part, but rather, that they would make this a center piece of their Christmas morning broadcast. That, I thought was totally inappropriate, and after some complaints, was allowed by my partner to change channels to a show that actually highlighted Christmas, and not liberal political orthodoxy. My message to CBS is that, in this predominantly Christian nation, it is bad business marketing to deprive us of one of our two major Christian holidays, in the name of political orthodoxy.

Roger Sweeny said...

It’s the least likely path it says -- say all of the number crunchers and I believe in numbers.

So ironic. It has largely been a left-wing project for the last 50 years to get across the idea that scientists are people and people are always imperfect and biased. That science is a social process, that the data does not just speak to you, on and on, with labels like "science studies" and "post-modernism."

But rule by experts is also a tenet of American Progressivism, so the only biases noticed are those of the "other" guys': they're racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, they take money from drug companies ... (I'm looking at you, Chris Mooney.) Our guys are just doing science, letting the facts speak, and eventually ruling in the public interest. Like, say, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Hey, Steve, the post-modernists are right (at least the good ones, like Deirdre McCloskey). Just because it gets called science or evidence-based or data-driven doesn't mean it's true. As Tyler Cowen says, "We don't know as much as we think we do."

Trashhauler said...

Bruce Hayden wrote:

"And, that means that they (the Pope and his clergy) determine what it means to be Roman Catholic, and, if you don't agree, then you can't be a member. Or, something like that. Of course, a lot of people cheat - think of Dem politicians supporting abortion, then taking Communion."

In discussing religion and spirituality, one often hears the term "recovering Catholic" spoken by folks raised Catholic and not practicing. I usually disagree openly. One does not recover from Catholicism. But there are plenty who take long sabbaticals from it.

Michael K said...

"The difference with most Protestant faiths is that they don't really believe that God/Jesus conferred any special sort of power or authority on the clergy."

Interesting comment. Amir Tehari has an interesting book titled "The Persian Night," in which he explains the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam.

The Shia is top down with the imams determining what is to be taught in mosques and how the Quran is to be interpreted. The similarity with the Roman Catholic Church is striking.

The Sunnis are pretty much like Protestants, as you describe them. For the first time, I thought I understood the differences.

I was also raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools from K through 12.

damikesc said...

As a Protestant, I felt that the Catholic Church seemed to worship the Church itself more than Jesus. A Pope who is infallible seems like a highly dubious thing (and when they stand down, are they no LONGER infallible?) and not a sign of a deep love of Jesus.

But that is my take. I could be wrong.

Robert Cook said...

"Cultural Catholic is one thing, devout Catholic is another. No doubt true of all religions."

"Devout" does not necessarily mean "orthodox." One can be an adherent of a religious sect while having differences with particulars of its dogma. There are many church-going Catholics who use birth control regularly, and we can also guess there are church-going Catholics who have had abortions.

veni vidi vici said...

The world finally begins to realize this guy isn't nearly as smart as he dresses. Golf clap.

mikee said...

I stopped looking at news days before the election, and found my reality much more enjoyable than the hyperbolic idiocy of the campaign and the even worse dung from the media. My wife went to work Wednesday and discerned Trump had won by the downcast demeanor of all the progressive dolts she has as coworkers. I found out - after 5 minutes of listening to how Hillary did this and did that during the campaign, with no mention of Trump - on NPR, which made it all the more enjoyable.

Sam L. said...

Reinforcing my opinion that he is a jerk.

damikesc said...

"Devout" does not necessarily mean "orthodox." One can be an adherent of a religious sect while having differences with particulars of its dogma. There are many church-going Catholics who use birth control regularly, and we can also guess there are church-going Catholics who have had abortions.

But the issue was "devout". And Catholics who have had abortions and use BC can be called many things, but "devout" ain't one of them. If you're devout, you follow the rules of the faith.

And there is no "non-orthodox" version of Catholicism. If you're not an Orthodox Catholic, then you're a Protestant.

James Graham said...

The other night Colbert and Kimmel (both in replays) had the same guest: Will Smith.

Colbert was utterly unwatchable. He began by asking Smith, in so many words, how was he surviving the departure of the first black president and the arrival of his thuggish racist successor. Before I hit the remote Smith, in so many words, shrugged and said "Don't worry. Bad things happen and good things happen."

Smith on Kimmel was enthusiastic, happy, funny and obviously delighted to be ... Will Smith, famous successful actor and comedian.

I don't doubt that Kimmel voted just like Colbert. It's just that he's a superior human being who saw Will Smith as, dammit, Will Smith and not Will Smith, Negro to whom I can express my virtue by demonstrating that I'm one of the decent white people.

Come on CBS, bring in James Corden to replace the robotic anti-American.

Robert Cook said...

"But the issue was 'devout.' And Catholics who have had abortions and use BC can be called many things, but "devout" ain't one of them. If you're devout, you follow the rules of the faith."

In the real world, most people do not follow the articles of their faith with fanatical devotion, (even those who consider themselves devout). Only, uh, the fanatics do that.

"And there is no 'non-orthodox' version of Catholicism."

Sure there is...it's the Catholicism that most Catholics actually practice.

Unknown said...

"And there is no "non-orthodox" version of Catholicism. If you're not an Orthodox Catholic, then you're a Protestant."

Tell that to the Greeks!