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A Bait and Switch Selling Colbert

Chris Dols nicely captures the reason why people are cheering Colbert so much:
...his satire showed each one of them — from the scrappiest press correspondent to the president himself — what they look like to the rest of us. That's why they weren't laughing at his jokes.

That's why so many of us are honoring Stephen Colbert at thankyoustephencolbert.org. Colbert has done all of us who live in the reality-based community a tremendous favor.

Those of us in the reality-based community have grown numb and angry from the incessant and blatant falsehoods constantly force-fed to us. The reality on display that we are meant to consume is patently false, and we've grown both embittered and resigned that our reality will never break through the seemingly impenetrable wall of obvious and manufactured illusion. So it's no wonder that when Colbert "drew back the curtain" and reflected back our reality to those who create false ones there would be an outpouring of gratitude. He has resoundingly confirmed on our behalf for all to hear — especially those who wish to deny it — "See! The world is round! It revolves around the sun!" The peasants finally got a chance to tell their terrible king and his courtiers just how ugly, stupid and evil they are as we laugh with gusto at them, and they were powerless to do anything about it. For one brief moment the peasants had the upper hand and were heard.

That's why I and over 45,000 other people (so far) have left messages at Thank You Stephen Colbert. This was a historic occassion, one that the peasants will celebrate for a long time. We want to pay homage to the man brave enough to speak on our behalf to the terrible tyrant child emperor and his genuflecting sycophants.

And then I saw that I was used. It turns out that all this outpouring of sincere thanks and appreciation is a shill. Some hucksters are using our feel-good humanity to get a few bucks from us when we visit to leave our thanks. Not only that, but they waited to put out their collection plate until thousands of us had already left our message of thanks, giving the impression that we tacitly support whatever cause they're selling.

I feel had. I feel like I signed a group thank you card for someone who then used those signatures to forge a bunch of blank checks to donate money to the 700 Club; or discovering my name in a baptist church roster because I signed a congregant's wedding book.

How dare the sponsors of thankyoustephencolbert.org do that to us! Not only was that a shabby thing to do, it's patently offensive. It has turned a wonderful and generous monument to a man's historic courage into a huckster's shameless scam to score a few bucks for their pet political cause. There's no way I would have left a thank you note had I known they would do this.

Though presumably well-meaning, the greeters at thankyoustephencolbert.org pulled a bait and switch on us, drawing us in with something great to shill their own meagre product. It doesn't even matter if the product is worth buying or not (fyi: it's not). It's just another example that no good deed goes unpunished, or at least for free. After all, in our wonderful "everything for sale" culture, if you can exploit something for some cash then it's your duty to do so, right? They took something historic and good and beautiful and wonderful and put it up for sale next to the shotglasses and t-shirts. They painted Stephen Colbert on black velvet and want me to buy it from them as a way to honor his great deed.

Nice job, pimps. You made me feel like a whore being summoned for sloppy seconds.

Stephen Colbert — Thank You Very Much!

thankyoustephencolbert.org — Fuck You Very Much!

Update: This comment over here is very much in line with my thinking about what's coming down the pike:

In the aftermath of the dinner reports are emerging that Bush is on the warpath. "He's got that look that he's ready to blow," one aide told US News and World Report. Those familiar with Bush's tantrums and swearing fits will not be shocked to hear that the 'Commander in Chief' has once again reverted to the behavior of a 6-year-old in the face of criticism and lack of fealty.

But if Bush is the 6-year-old with a temper problem then the media is the younger kid that he bullies. The yellow streak witnessed at Saturday's dinner mirrors the standard of journalistic integrity these whores uphold. Prostrate and kneeling before their imperial master, they once again fall in line to sell another war without end.

When a satirical routine that mocks the President is treated with hushed tones and darting glares from the very supposed guardians of free speech, it spells danger for the ability to dissent in America without being castigated as a misbehaving gadfly.