Friday, September 24, 2010

Colbert testifies (sarcastically) before congress

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert testifies in front of congress on the conditions facing migrant farm workers. He delivered quite the sarcastic remarks and angered several legislators who feel the comic disrespected their work on an important issue.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif, invited Colbert to testify at a hearing on giving undocumented farm workers the right to earn legal status by continuing to work in agriculture. Colbert talked about what he called his "vast experience" on the issue after spending a day as a migrant worker on a farm in upstate New York.

The video of his opening statement is above. Here are a few highlights:

"This is America. I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan, and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."

"America's farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables.... "Now, the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, many Americans have already started."

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants. He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."

"I'll admit I started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor, but after working with these men and women ... side by side in the unforgiving sun I have to say -- and I do mean this sincerely -- please don't make me do this again. It is really, really hard."

"Maybe we could offer more visas to the immigrants, who lets face it, will probably be doing these jobs anyway."


heavymetal said...

We have a serious issue facing our country and this guy goes to Congress "in character?"
And he's invited by a Democrat?

I have a hard time concluding which is worse-- the comedian who ought to know better... or the Congressman that definitely should.

GodHelpUs said...

What a bunch of idiots in Congress.
My father always said only 15% of the people know what's going on. I didn't believe him. I still don't, it can't be that high.
God save America!

T. Faye said...

"We have a serious issue facing our country and this guy goes to Congress "in character?"
And he's invited by a Democrat?

I have a hard time concluding which is worse-- the comedian who ought to know better... or the Congressman that definitely should."


 /ˈsætaɪər/ Show Spelled[sat-ahyuhr] Show IPA
the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

PMG - Patrick Marketing Group said...

I find it hilarious the ignorant who listen to Colbert's statement (and this includes other commentors as well as Senators) who find it offensive...
That statement was a brillant piece of work - humorous, sarcastic, and making an important point.

John said...

Zoe Lofgren should be impeached, tarred and feathered for disgracing the hallowed halls of our Capitol by inviting Colbert. While there are entertainers who have taken a serious interest in the issues of their day (Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Charlton Heston), the notion of this guy testifying "in character" (or is he really?) is absurd.

Jason said...

Maybe the democrate was intelligent, knowing the only way to get the attention of the mainly lazy american population was to get a pop culture figure. We are all talking about it now, aren't we?

The only reason farming is in the situation that it is is because we place no importance on the labour of food anymore. The majority believe that they are above this type of labour, but if we were to place the spot light on how important it is to grow our own food, which it is, and the government gave larger subsidy to farmers allowing them to offer proper pay, as well as, offer more education on the natural production of "real" food, we might see a shift in attitude and and the creation of meaningful jobs, but hey I am just an average american, what do I know?

Mezz said...

Clown democrats in congress inviting a clown to offer opinion on a simple issue.

The premise of "immigration reform" equals giving any other criminal the keys to the house just because they made it inside without getting caught.

"Immigration reform" is a mockery of the laws of this country, and
the debate needs to stop.

Just make the people who want to live in this country follow the rules and laws that make this country what it is.....or was....

OR just write every Mexican Canadian Guatemalan Iranian who wants to be an American a big fat check and give them citizenship papers written on some Charmin double ply with pillows because that's all it is worth.....

Why do so many Americans insist on giving this country away to the people who were born here who don't want to do anything but take "govt money" and those who live outside this country who believe all they have to do is cross a border in the middle of the night and they get all the benefits the rest of us create.
People should actually be made to EARN their citizenship, and entitlements....instead of having it handed to them at the expense of the rest of us.

heavymetal said...

There is a time and place for satire and humor, a Congressional hearing is far from being the appropriate place.

Where some see brilliance, I see mockery.

Andrea said...

Colbert was brilliant! He was almost as good as Elmo when he testified before Congress a year or two ago about arts programs in the schools!

epiphanes said...

kudos to Stephen Colbert.

At least everyone knows he was playing a fictional character.

"Joe the Plumber" and the other troupe of fictional characters made up to carry on the GOP dialogue are arguably far worse as the GOP tried to pass them off as actual viewpoints held by real people.

I will say, if your Country chooses to be fooled again and you vote back in the ones who have repeatedly destroyed your Country, that you (as a Country) will deserve your rapid decline into historical obscurity.

epiphanes said...

Hey Mezz,

So exactly what have you done to deserve your citizenship?

Were your parents chthonic North Americans? Did they spring from the soil, which gives you such a bold claim?

I am not actually going to disagree with the core of your statement.. citizenship SHOULD be earned.. but who has the right to pursue it? Wouldn't you want any person who is willing to do what it takes, regardless of birth location?

What I am going to disagree with is your rhetoric.. its not the immigrants destroying your country.. they are the ones who on the micro level keep it working.

Your political system, the folks you vote in to abuse it and your refusal to put real checks on power is what has been slowly corroding your country. Like any other self-style imperialistic nation, you can't exist without an enemy.. so much so that if there isn't any real ones you make one up (or turn on each other.. or sometimes both!)