Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jon Stewart hates Tucker Carlson, likes Bill O'Reilly and wants to be liked by Glenn Beck

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Truthiness to Power
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Jon Stewart on Tucker Carlson
(directed at Tucker Carlson after a clip of him is played calling Colbert a pompous jerk)

"Yes a pompous jerk, as opposed to an arrogant douche - who apparently gets to decide who is and who is not a comic.

Tucker and I can talk like this because we already have a visceral negative reaction to each other. Not an ounce of friendship or respect between us. Truly one of the only people in the world I feel that way about,"

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill O'Reilly
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Jon Stewart on Bill O'Reilly
I was coming on [to Fox] to promote the book and you were kind enough to have me and I'd always enjoyed being on your program because you really are -  especially over there - the fairest person, honestly by  a thousand miles. By a mile!
Jon Stewart on Glenn Beck
The Beck thing, I would love to have a conversation with him. I would love it. We could do an hour. Is he like the bubble boy of Fox News?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beck, Colbert and Stewart Posters for 'Rally to Restore Sanity' and 'March to keep Fear Alive'

Tell your friends. Download PunditFight Beck, Colbert and Stewart heads
 Click below to download the PunditFight heads in PDF form
Find other PunditFight art here. Download hi-res art of the PunditFight roster here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rep. Jason Chaffetz: Stephen Colbert testifying in Congress on immigration "is a joke"

Stephen Colbert testifying in Congress (in character)
Stephen Colbert has just finished testifying in Congress on the issue of immigration, as I reported on yesterday.

Stephen Colbert Testifies Before Congress on "Vast Experience" as a Migrant Laborer
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing in character this morning, speaking on the topic of working in America's fields.

Colbert, testifying next to the president of the United Farm Workers (UFW), discussed his "vast experience spending one day as a migrant farm worker," adding that he was "happy to use [his] celebrity to draw attention to this important, complicated issue."
But while most of the Congress members present seemed pleased with Colbert's appearance before the committee - which potentially brought more national attention to the cause than it might have otherwise received - not everyone was laughing along with his jokes...
- Watch Video of Stephen Colbert testifying in Congress
- Listen to Rep. Jason Chaffetz calling the Colbert "ordeal a joke" on CBS' 'Washington Unplugged'
Read Rep. Jason Chaffetz reservations on the Colbert invitation here - Stephen Colbert Testimony "Sad," a "Joke," Says Congressman

This isn't the first time people who usually dabble in the absurd have had to deal with criticism once they enter the serious world of politics. Watch how Comedians Al Franken, Wrestler Jesse Ventura and Action Star Arnold Swarchenegger handled criticism when they entered politics - Answering the critics: Jesse Ventura, Al Franken and The Terminator. Its worth noting that some Republicans were happy to use Colbert's appearance to sincerely endorse their goals.

Stephen Colbert breaks kayfabe and speaks to the issue seemingly out of character
VIDEO: Colbert explains why he is advocating for migrant farmworkers

Stephen Colbert to testify in Congress in character

Stephen Colbert is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill tomorrow.
Fresh off farm gig, comedian Colbert set for House hearing
(CNN) -- Stephen Colbert shined his comedic light on farm labor and immigration for his TV show. Now a House subcommittee is about to have him draw attention to the issues on Capitol Hill.

The Comedy Central funnyman, fresh off Thursday night's "The Colbert Report" episode showing him packing corn and picking beans on a farm as part of a challenge from a pro-immigrant-labor group, is to appear before a House subcommittee on immigration at 9:30 a.m.
In wrestling, kayfabe is the art of preserving the illusion that wrestling is real. Obviously this can be easily managed within the realm of wrestling but harder so when the larger than life characters interact with foreign parties or migrate to other forms of entertainment. I've spoken previously of the awkwardness of the hypermacho Bill O'Reilly persona when positioned in lightweight programming.

This will be an interesting exercise in hyperreality - seeing an earnest caricature of a conservative bloviator invited by a Democratic Congress to testify on the serious matter of illegal immigration. Since everyone in Congress should be across the Colbert brief, it shouldn't play like a 'Borat sketch'. But that's not to say reality won't be muddled at all.

Watch Stephen addressing the concerns of Fox and Friends' Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Fallback Position - Migrant Worker Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Watch one of the rare occasions Stephen Colbert breaks kayfabe and unpacks his art.

VIDEO: The Real Stephen Colbert (Out of Character)

Read a discussion on Colbert's in-character appearance from Conservative blog, Newsbusters - Stephen Colbert to Testify to Congress About Illegal Immigration

Watch happens when staying in character can go wrong. I've shown and discussed this infamous clip between John Stossel and Dr D David Schultz previously. Here it is again being unpacked below:

VIDEO: Schultz VS Stossel - When keeping it Kayfabe goes wrong documentary (1 of 2)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Full transcript: Marc Maron befriends and betrays Ken Mehlman on plane (not in that order)

Gawker has a funny account of comedian Marc Maron's encounter with former GOP Chairman and the recently "out-of-the-closet" Ken Mehlman. Its just the latest example of how reality will only get weirder and meta with the instantaneous dissemination of information and the invisible connectedness of the live-tweeting age.
So a Comedian Sits Next to Former GOP Chairman Ken Mehlman on a Plane... (Updated)
Ken Mehlman is the former GOP chairman who recently confirmed he was gay. Marc Maron is a comedian. Marc Maron has found himself sitting next to Ken Mehlman on a plane and is live-tweeting it. Guess what happened?

If you guessed that LA comedian Marc Maron, creator of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, took a picture of his exposed nipple next to former GOP chairman Ken Mehlman, you are correct! Since around 2pm EST, Maron has been tweeting about his flight with Mehlman
Here is a roundup of all of Maron's tweets from his Twitter account. I've included retweets from his former Air America co-host Sam Seder. Sam is a pioneer of ridiculing "anti-gay gay republicans", notably in his infamously trimmed chapter devoted to his pet subject in his book 'F*U*B*A*R (2006)'.
Via Marc Maron's Twitter account September 19
On plane. Upgraded. Sitting next to former GOP party leader Ken Mehlman. This is gonna be good.

Former GOP Party leader Ken Mehlman now asleep with mouth open. I will write on his face with a Sharpie. about 10 hours ago via web

Should I Tea Bag Ken Mehlman as he sleeps? about 10 hours ago via web

I think the other passengers would understand if I explain who he is. I'll do it for America. about 10 hours ago via web

Ken Mehlman looks so vulnerable sleeping. I wonder if he dreams about being part of the cock that fucked the country. about 10 hours ago via web

They just served us nuts. I hope Ken Mehlamn doesn't eat mine. about 10 hours ago via web

He's awake and I have a big screen so I might have to pull back...and button my shirt. Awww, he's got a copy of The New Republic. What? about 10 hours ago via web

I just wrote 'Yes We Did' on Ken Mehlman's forehead. about 10 hours ago via web

Shhhhhh. Be very quiet. about 10 hours ago via Twitpic

Okay, its dinner time. My first mutual blind date with Ken Mehlman on the plane. We'll see what happens. I hope he wakes up soon. about 10 hours ago via web

Soooo hot! about 10 hours ago via Twitpic

Okay, everyone be cool. I want to be able to talk to this guy. about 10 hours ago via web

Ahhhh. Cute. about 10 hours ago via Twitpic

Recap. Photo from my surprise date with former GOP Leader Ken Mehlman on plane. about 10 hours ago via web

This is fucking crazy. I have to start a conversation. ' you support baggers? Uh. Fuck. Either? Both?' about 10 hours ago via web

Tried to use blackberry chit chat talk to get things going. False start. I hope he doesn't log on with his computer or I'm fucked. about 9 hours ago via web

Okay, I'm going to eat and try to do this like an adult. So, be cool. I'm beside myself here. Be back in a few. about 9 hours ago via web

Paraphrasing Mehlman. 'Karl Rove is not evil. He's my friend.' I tried to convince him he was evil. He called me cynical. about 8 hours ago via web

Paraphrasing Mehlman. 'Politicians do the best they can'. I tried to convince him other wise with facts. He called me cynical. about 8 hours ago via web

paraphrasing Mehlman. 'I think if you met George W Bush you would like him.' I said I would never let myself do that. about 8 hours ago via web

Paraphrasing Mehlman. 'I'm a socialist when it comes to social security.' Swear to god. It was a longer conversation but... about 8 hours ago via web

Paraphrasing Mehlman. 'They did not manufacture intelligence to get us into the Iraq War.' Me: Come on. Him: You are really very cynical. about 8 hours ago via web

Man, I hate when villains become human. I will not feel remorse. I will keep him a villain. about 8 hours ago via web

Paraphrasing Mehlman: 'If Sarah Palin became the candidate it wouldn't be good.' I called him cynical. jk. about 8 hours ago via web

He just asked me if I'm online? Uh oh. Could get tense here. about 8 hours ago via web

Paraphrasing Mehlman. 'I would have done health care reform differently blah blah blah...' I am cynical. about 8 hours ago via web

Okay. That's it. I think he may be on to me. Will continue conversation with you guys on @WTFpod at some point. Will tweet later. about 8 hours ago via web

The general theme of the Mehlman chat was that people make mistakes and politics doesn't let them own them and grow. Who's cynical? about 8 hours ago via web

Paraphrasing Mehlman. 'Dick Cheney and crew were not engaging in opportunism and greed with the Iraq war.' Come on. I'm cynical again. about 7 hours ago via web

Gotta stop. I feel like our relationship is being tainted by my betrayal. about 7 hours ago via web

RT @SamSeder Betrayal? He used homophobia as a professional tool- he should feel lucky all ur doing is taking funny pics about 7 hours ago via web

@SamSeder Get on IM, Sammy. Let's chat. about 7 hours ago via web in reply to SamSeder

Paraphrasing Mehlman. 'I'm a libertarian Republican.' (so, conservative on everything but gays? Now?) about 7 hours ago via web

Paraphrasing Mehlman. 'Christine O'Donnell is kooky.' about 7 hours ago via web

Now Mehlman is just watching 'Curb' laughing like a person. about 6 hours ago via web

Shit. Now I don't know which bottle of water is mine or Mehlman's. What if it's contagious. Not drinking. about 6 hours ago via web

I guess this happened. Time to land. We'll see what happens. about 6 hours ago via web

Longest tow into a gate ever. Watching Mehlman look at the Gawker on his blckbrry and i talked nonsense on the phone. about 5 hours ago via txt

I really couldn't help myself. Glad you were all on board. What a flight. about 4 hours ago via mobile web

He definitely found out. He was looking at the pic as we taxied. Shoulda said, 'all in good fun. Don't be cynical'. about 4 hours ago via mobile web

RT @samseder what did he say about the pic?// I got on the phone. Just sat in the weirdness. about 4 hours ago via mobile web

Rally to Restore Sanity - Jon Stewart's rally for the "80 percenters", Stephen Colbert counters with 'March to Keep Fear Alive'

VIDEO: Rally to Restore Sanity (September 16, 2010)
Rally to Restore Sanity
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
JON STEWART: We have seen these folks, the loud folks over the years dominate our national conversation over our most important issues

(video montage of sensational personalities)

But why don't we hear from the 70 to 80 percenters? Well most likely because you have sh*t to do (applause)
And quite frankly even if you didn't have sh*t to do you may lack the theatrical flair necessary for today's 24hour-a-day 7-day-a-week news media...
Below are a compilation of the most theatrical performances and promos in recent politics, including some which were included in 'The Daily Show' montage:
  1. The rise and rise of Glenn Beck: His appeal and the method to his madness
  2. Howard Kurtz' Reliable Sources "outraged" by Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs
  3. Alan Grayson delivers wrestling-style promo on house floor - GOP Health Plan = Don't get sick!
  4. Fake pundit Stephen Colbert compares himself to "fake" pundit Glenn Beck
  5. Rush Limbaugh: You're either with Bobby Jindal or you're against us

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jon Stewart Coaches Cable News Pundits for the Midterms - MSNBC's Political Narrative

VIDEO: Are You Ready for Some Midterms? - MSNBC's Political Narrative
Are You Ready for Some Midterms? - MSNBC's Political Narrative
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
JON STEWART: What are you doing? Do you know nothing of your obligation to shape the news towards your desired electoral goal? There is no "BUT" in journalism. Have you learned nothing from 'Fox'. You pick your narrative and you stick with with it and if the news doesn't fit your narrative - CHANGE YOUR (expletive) NEWS!

For God's sakes people. You don't change your narrative. Watch how the masters do it.

(Stewart cuts to a clip of Sean Hannity selectively editing President Obama's speech. Stewart makes a comment and plays a "less abridged version" of said clip)

STEWART: See MSNBC, Amateurs! Starting clips later and cutting them off earlier so the speaker can't finish the thought's full construction can be a useful tool in helping your audience understand what you want them to think. It's a fun and easy way to make people you disagree with unelectable...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Townhall Magazine: "100 Americans the left hate most!"

If one's mission were to "win friends and influence people" they would most likely do their best not to criticize, condemn or complain and act in a friendly manner. You may be mistaken for thinking this is what Politics is about, not quite. Winning elections is about having more votes than your competitor, its not necessarily about winning everyone over. If you're able to impassion a majority to victory it would almost be wise to cut your losses, sometimes having a constant opposition as a bogeyman can be the best motivator.

The world of wrestling is built on the very notion of "Us vs Them". Wrestlers orient themselves as either 'Heels' (villains) or 'Faces' (heroes) by their actions and their words. Their appeal however is based entirely on how they connect with the audience and not their orientation. Its not uncommon in wrestling to find that you root for the villain and loathe the hero.

Identity politics is built on proudly distinguishing oneself as part of marginalized group, insisting on such a narrative is a source of empowerment, a badge of honor. Its a tactic used by politicians and pundits with Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck arguably being the most effective proponents. Not surprisingly the marginalisation angle works best for the pundits when their ideological side is out of power and their supporters most engaged. As evidenced by the introduction of Liberal radio station Air America and pundits like Randi Rhodes, Sam Seder and Al Franken during the Republican Bush' second term. Also seen in the emergence of Glenn Beck and his brand of restoration during President Obama's first term.

Its not uncommon for these "marginalised" groups to glorify their status by identifying their biggest targets as TownHall Magazine have done below. But these lists can easily be recontextualized so the positions of strength are inverted as seen in these set of ranking  - Top 10 list of anti-Barack Obama conservatives
100 Americans se left hate most!
The more effective the voices that oppose their agenda, the greater the venom the Left spews in their direction. It’s this out-of-control behavior from our fellow citizens who are sold out to the ultraliberal progressive Obama agenda to “radically transform” the United States that led us to create this list of “The 100 Americans the Left Hates Most.”

The Townhall editorial staff compiled a massive list of those we believe have the largest bull’s-eyes painted on them by the Left and the Democrat-dominated government...

Download the PDF here - The 100 Americans The Left Hates Most

The usual suspects of PunditFight conservatives appear on the list, you'll have to go to TownHall magazine to find their respective rankings:
Hugh Hewitt, Bill Kristol, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck

Watch how marginalised heel personalities negotiate between each other to elevate themselves

VIDEO: WWE Over The Limit 2010 Randy Orton Vs Edge

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

John Cena and Hugh Hewitt on Sean Hannity's 'Great American Panel'

It was remiss of me not to report on this when it originally aired in March 09'. WWE Wrestler John Cena was a featured guest for Sean Hannity's 'Great American Panel' alongside Journalist Nina Easton and Conservative Commentator Hugh Hewitt. Readers of this blog will be aware that Hugh Hewitt, apart from being a PunditFight Wrestler is also an avid wrestling fan and has previously endorsed this blog.

Cena's appearance was on the back of his promo tour for Action movie '12 Rounds'. The WWE has always been active in politics in its support of youth voting and its 'Tribute to the troops' specials. It has also been accepting of its employees voicing their personal political opinions.

Topics discussed included President Obama's reliance on the teleprompter and his Aunt living illegally in the US, foreign affairs and whether wrestling is real.
John Cena On Barack Obama, Politics, If Wrestling Is Real
Just passing along that John Cena was on Hannity as a panelist on the Great American Panel segment. The segment started with a clip of 12 Rounds.

The first topic was about President Obama's teleprompter, Cena wasn't directly asked about that question. He was asked if he had to learn his lines in the movie, or did he need a teleprompter for that. A second topic was asked, but Cena did not answer before the break.
As always with politics you need to see things in context. Cena seemed comfortable being in a completely different type of environment than what he is used to. I was surprised that he would comment on political questions.
VIDEO: Hannity's 'Great American Panel' -
Hugh Hewitt, John Cena & Nina Easton PT.2
Find notes of Hugh Hewitt and John Cena's appearance from the 'Great American Panel' blog
New Tag Team: Hugh Hewitt & John Cena
A few thoughts from the green room last night that housed an unusual duo prior to the show. The likes of conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt and former WWE champion and action movie star John Cena.

Both seemed to really enjoy each other's company a great deal, chatting about all things from politics to pro wrestling...

Glenn Beck unveils new Political news portal - 'The Blaze'

Glenn Beck's 'The Blaze' and Michelle Malkin's 'Hot Air'

Glenn Beck's meteoric rise in influence continues. Possibly taking a leaf from Michelle Malkin in founding a Political news portal a la 'Hot Air', Glenn Beck unveils his own Blog network, 'The Blaze'.

Via Glenn Beck's Facebook
The other day, I was thinking to myself: “you know, twenty hours a week on radio and TV, plus a magazine, books and live events really just doesn’t give me enough ways to communicate with people.” So, it was time to add one more platform to the list: The Blaze (, a new website for news and opinion. Why call it “The Blaze”? Because nothing burns hotter than the truth. I've hired actual journalists who we will unleash on the stories that the MSM ignores, spins or just doesn’t understand. I hope to earn your trust over time and to eventually make The Blaze the first news site you visit every day. We’ve got great stories up there already and lots more to come, I hope you’ll take a look.