Why #CancelColbert is Entirely Ass-Backwards

Nope. That's Dumb. 

That should be all I have to say about this, but due to the overwhelming stupidity orbiting this news I have to go more in depth, because internet.

So, there's been a not inconsiderable amount of internet hate directed at Stephen Colbert and his character on The Colbert Report. On Wedensday the 26th of March the program consisted of Stephen's usual satirical antics. Some stuff about golf and entitled rich, white people doing stupid ignorant things and an informative interview with a documentary filmmaker. That was all. I didn't see anything that I would've considered out the the realm of the usual standards of the show.

Well, the internet happened. Not in reaction to the actual show, but of a tweet that some intern at Comedy Central was running. It was this:

You know he's a comedian, right? That's what he does. Even if it wasn't out of context (which it is) it would still be understandable because of how he has positioned his character. His character is an insensitive, right-wing bigot. If he offends you that's kind of the point. This is literally the entire point of satire.

The tweet was taken verbatim from a larger bit - making fun of the Redskins owner Dan Syner refusing to change the name of the team due to it's racial overtones and instead pulling a rather heavy-handed PR stunt by setting up a 'foundation' for 'Original Americans'. Colbert was satirising that.

The joke was that it's just as inappropriate saying 'Redskin' as it was to saying 'Ching-Chong Ding-Dong'. They are both stupid and offensive terms. Hence, funny. You really think that when Colbert says 'To Orientials or Whatever' he's not deliberately taking the piss? He's the one on your side. He agrees that it's offensive!

But Suey Park took upon herself to rectify the situation. If there's someone wrong on the internet after all, it's your job to correct them.

The thing that annoys me most is that it just seems like a cynical attention grab. If you'd watched the entire show I don't think you could hold Ms Park's opinion. Either that or she knew that her comments would get some traction and she could ride that wave to something more than a freelance writing gig. Who amongst us hasn't said something we don't really believe in order to capitalise on a trending hashtag, cast the first stone. That's the bible, son. She has under 20k follows as of this morning, and I know that's not because of her rapier wit....

Couldn't the same be said about your interaction with Colbert?

Couldn't the same be said about your interaction with Colbert?

After everything Colbert has said and done in order to defend minority rights for the last nine years, you'd think he'd have earned enough cultural capitol to have made one miss-step (if that really is what you're calling it) without getting shat upon. This is when the left cannibalises it's own hero figures for not being left enough. I hate it, it makes us look bad. Colbert's a racist, Dan Savage is transphobic, Joss Wheedon is a sexist. All these things do is serve the conservative agenda. Colbert is not America's greatest threat to Asian-American relations. Pick your targets better. Bill O'Reilly says some real shit, I can tell you now.

The thing I'm scared about is that someone will actually listen to this horsecrap. That some empty suit high up at Viacom will see all the negative traction that this is getting a pull the plug on one of my favourite shows. It's an outside possibility, but it is a risk. It is, after all a business, and the adage 'Any publicity is good publicity' probably doesn't stand true when #cancelyourshow is the hashtag.

It seems a shame to me that we live in such an immediate culture that something like this happens and the first response people come up with is 'I want that head on a platter.' I remember I got my lefty outrage all worked up over tweet by the Australian treasurer. I tweeted about it and instagrammed it and shit and then after 10mins I realised it was a fake account. The lesson I learned was that you have to view things with a critical eye. Do some research, don't just take one out of context comment and build an entire universe around it. Take things in the totality in which they were intended. Give the benefit of the doubt and don't write off someone's life work because you had some fee-fees about what they said. 

And remember...

Follow @JorgeTsipos on Twitter and get offended at his senseless nothings. Also listen to his free weekly podcast Unnatural Selection in order to be outraged in audio form.