December 7, 2006

Hare to be on Colbert's "Better Know a District"? Here's a taste of what he can expect

Some recent commenters have reported with a great deal of pride that newly elected 17th District congressman Phil Hare is to appear on the Comedy Channel program "The Colbert Report". Host Stephen Colbert does a "424 part series" called "Better Know a District" on which Hare is reported to appear.

Colbert explained the feature in the intro to one piece thusly.
Congressional representitives are shy, elusive creatures with brief 2-year terms that keep them in constant competition in today's vote starved environment. To better understand these fruit flies of the political world, we must study them in their natural habitat; the district.
During the segment, Colbert takes facts about the district and it's towns and lampoons the area and then makes congress members look like idiots, buffoons, bigots, drug users, and/or fools. It's very rare, if ever, that a politician emerges looking better than when they went in.

I absolutely love the Colbert Report and his alter-ego as a bombastic hyper-egotistical right wing blow-hard. Colbert channels Bill O'Reilly and the general crazy logic and attitude of the worst right wing TV gasbags and shows how hilarious it really is.

The "Better Know a District" feature is always hilarious, but if I were a politician, especially Phil Hare, I'd stay a million miles away.

But nevertheless, these commenters seem to think this is quite the coup for Hare and that it will somehow help the area. Just how is anyone's guess.

And of course, it could all be a bunch of hogwash. We'll see.

But in case there's anything to it, here's a couple "Better Know a District" segments to give the unfamiliar a sample of how it works.

To start off, here's a clip I've featured before. Note how smart this representitive comes across.

And of course, Colbert gets Wexler to say that doing cocaine and using prostitutes is a fun thing to do.

Also of interest, Colbert actually gave the commencement address at Galesburg's Knox College and got an honorary doctorate. He mentions it on his show here.

If I had know before now, I would have definitely attended. You can watch the actual address here. (It's in three parts)


At 12/07/2006 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Lane Evans is preparing Phil Hare for the show. Lane knows his way around DC and the media, and his alter-ego, Congressman Phil Hare, is getting a crash course. Rather than be afraid, Phil should just be himself and do his best. Nobody expects Phil to be Buddy Hacket!

At 12/07/2006 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hare is smarter than you think and he will turn this show on its ear with his witty humor. This is a great win for Hare and I look forward to seeing it and proving you wrong. You need to lighten up. Humor is humor. It will be fun if nothing else. It is nice to see Hare jumping in to the thing.

At 12/07/2006 10:58 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Buddy Hackett? I hope not, the guy's been dead for decades. I doubt that any more than one in 500,000 Colbert viewers have even heard of him.

But.... if you're so confident, best of luck. I just get the impression that you haven't watched Colbert much at all, let alone the "District" deal.

At 12/07/2006 6:16 PM, Blogger Craig said...

I like that the Dispatch has started using you as a source. They have an article up on their front page, that mimics your article here. I remember that they used you as a source for their front page article on the Moline libraries new chairs...

It is nice to see that you're blog is spreading, but it proves how little the Dispact has in common with a real paper.

At 12/07/2006 9:09 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

One thing that may help him if he did the show (which I doubt he will) is that he at least knows what he's getting into. Some of the funniest victims are the ones who mistake it for an actual interview. Like you guys' esteemed Governor.

At 12/07/2006 10:34 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Sooooooo Craig. The stories on the library chairs and Hare going on The Colbert Show are... what? Not news?

Neither should be in a newspaper?

If that's what you're suggesting, I'd say that's a hard argument to make.

Or are you saying that if any story appears on a blog first, it therefore is invalid and off limits for a newspaper?

I'm confused. Please explain.

By the way, thanks for the tip. I wasn't aware the D/A had a story. I'll have to go take a look.

At 12/07/2006 11:04 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'd also like to note that the question of whether politicians do themselves any favors by willingly letting themselves be used as a comic foil has been the topic of debate on at least two segments on cable news programs.

I personally am grateful that polticians are still so amazingly starved for attention, attracted to any chance to get their mug on TV and their staffs so clueless that they continue to provide Colbert with fresh meat for our laughter and enjoyment.

A poltician going on Colbert must have a very, very, very good understanding of Colbert and the way he works, and even then it's guaranteed that they'll get completely blind-sided several times.

Various pols have tried different tacks in their appearances, from playing along like Wexler to mock indignation and confrontation like Eleanor Holme's Norton.

None really worked, with the exception of the candidate who was a former member of a rock band who sang a harmonized duet with Colbert of the Star Spangled Banner. He came out ok.

How's Hare's singing ability?

Even the guy who I consider probably the very sharpest thinking on his feet, a guy who can hold his own against anyone, Barney Frank, was had by Colbert and later issued some very nasty comments about Colbert and the segment.

Good luck Rep. Hare.

I'm looking forward to it.

But don't say you weren't warned.

P.S. Due to a problem logging in, I'm unable to read the piece on QC Online about this matter so I have no idea what it says. Hopefully it can be straightened out tomorrow.

At 12/08/2006 7:11 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Finally got the paper this morning and saw Allemeier's piece on Hare's possible appearance with Colbert.

The piece quotes Hare as chuckling over the fact that Colbert referred to the district as "The Fighting 17th".

I only hope he realizes that Colbert refers to EVERY district featured as "the fighting" whatever number it happens to be.

The article said Colbert addressed some meeting of the freshman class, obviously looking for new marks, and picked Hare out for an invite.

Younger members of his staff apparently think it's a cool idea.

At this point, since no one seems to think my warnings or advise is valid, I hope Hare goes ahead with the appearance. One thing is for certain. It will be funny as hell, and the laughs won't be on Colbert.

At 12/08/2006 10:42 AM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

I think he should go for it. As long as he knows what he is in for I think he will be fine. The problem most of the pols have is they don't realize what the show is about. I still remember Blago getting blindsided on the show.

Certainly Hare has to be mindful not to say anything too stupid like Wexler, but I think having a little fun at his own expense will do him some good with the younger residents on the fightin' 17th. Plus we get the other huge upside of getting all the quirky factoids Colbert gives out before the interview.

I think he should take the idea and run with it. I got to see Colbert when he came to Knox and he seemed like a good guy under his fake punditry.


At 12/08/2006 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a long time reader of Inside Dope, I've seen the papers take story ideas from this blog on many occasions, not just the one's listed above. I've seen the dope write on subjects here only to see them appear a day or two later in one of the local papers many times.

Of course, they don't credit the dope, which is too bad.

I suppose they could get the ideas independently and just happen to write them a day or two after they appear here.

I agree with the Dope though, that stories that appear here first don't make them not news or unworthy of a paper doing a story on them.
Instead of knocking the papers for getting stories from the Inside Dope, why not give credit to this blog for the fact you often read it here first?

Grateful Reader

At 12/08/2006 5:35 PM, Blogger Socialist Christian Hippie said...

Go Hare Go!

To turn down the opportunity is worse. Did you see the Colbert effect election night?

At 12/10/2006 4:37 PM, Blogger diehard said...

Whether Phil goes on or not is immaterial.
Go on, have a few laughs if you want.
But Steve Colbert is comedy!

At 12/10/2006 4:50 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And so is, much of the time, local politics....(or maybe it's more farce) so I guess it's a good fit. ha!

I'm sure it will be a hoot, no matter what. If Hare goes on, he's either uninformed or a brave man, and either way I hope he fares well.


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