Stephen Colbert recently testified before Congress about the plight of the migrant farm worker, to much uproar from both sides.
Some common complaints being:
- Colbert isn’t taking this seriously.
- He was ‘in character’ and therefore not acting under oath.
- He’s not qualified to testify.
Alright, folks, let’s get down and dirty in all the ways arguing about Colbert make absolutely no sense towards the greater goal of change.
As so many other news publications have pointed out, Congress has a great history of pairing with inconsequential celebrities, including Elmo, from Sesame Street. Call me crazy, but that seems like a character to me. Yet, his testimony was met with coos of delight.
No one argues or complains when the members of Congress meet with cable news or celebrities outside of their offices to gain credibility for re-election.
The very reason that shows like the Colbert Report and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart exist because many Young Americans have lost faith in both news media and the government. A long history of extreme partisanship and inactivity in the government has left a bad taste.
These shows and these characters strive to stir up activism—the same reason that Zoe Lofgren asked Colbert to testify. Why, oh why, would Congress have a problem with Americans being further involved in their government? Colbert alike was there to help bring publicity to a long ignored and rug-swept topic.
The members of Congress probably disliked being satirized right in front of them, but Colbert used his biting satire to bring to light the fact that in the times we face today, Congress needs to come together for real change and real progress—instead of arguing about which celebrity is well-qualified to testify.