Michael Brown, the former director of FEMA, will be the guest of Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, March 28. This is comedy at its finest because what could be funnier than a jovial romp with the man that let tens of thousands of hurricane victims suffer in a crumbling sports arena because he wanted to have dinner before the traffic got bad.
There is probably no better venue for Brown because we don’t have to worry about taking him seriously. Plus, he will be able to delight us with the sartorial magic that earned him renown as a fashion god.
It will be interesting to see if Colbert’s character warms up to him for his service in the administration of his hero, George W. Bush, or if he turns on him for not being an obedient scapegoat. Either way, Colbert’s star is rising and he is entering a peculiar world that doesn’t know exactly what to make of him. He is travelling into territory that Jon Stewart has surveyed before, but is he benefitting Stewart’s experience?
I would not want to see him be exploited by cynical politicos that think they can polish their cool by going a couple of rounds with him. While Stewart remains properly aloof from the Washington party circuit, Colbert may be getting a little too cozy. He will be the featured speaker at the White House correspondents’ dinner next month. Now, that’s not so bad, but he also appeared at a blogging symposium organized by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), the Vice Chairman of the House GOP Conference. The purpose of the symposium was to educate Republican members and staffers on the benefits of blogging. After appearing on The Colbert Report himself, Kingston showed a clip of the show at a retreat of House Republicans to persuade them to book their own appearances.
Right now, I think Colbert is mostly interested in getting through the first season and being picked up for another. But he needs to be mindful that, with success, come the parasites that seek only to feast off of his blood. If he allows himself and his show to be exploited by the very people it was designed to skewer, he will lose the appeal that makes the show successful in the first place.