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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 30, 2010 / 22 Tishrei, 5771

Stephen Colbert: Can't Handle the Truthiness?

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Stephen Colbert's "testimony" before Congress last week was a clear sign that ironic rot (if you've got a better term, let me know) is sinking into the foundation of our political system.

Irony or post-irony or ironic post-whatever has been metastasizing through the culture for decades. The most famous example was "Seinfeld," a hilarious show that was famously "about nothing" and much-derided by earnest writers on the left and right for its detached mockery of any deeply held principle or conviction.

But it hardly began with "Seinfeld." David Letterman launched a talk show that made fun of talk shows. Before that, "Saturday Night Live" crafted brilliant fake commercials and newscasts (which, sadly, are the only reliably funny parts of the show these days).

In the 1990s, Washington fell in love with Hollywood in an unprecedented way. In countless films, politicians, reporters and pundits played themselves. There was also an influential, and occasionally funny, sitcom called "Murphy Brown" that jumped back and forth from make-believe to reality. Things got particularly confusing when Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the show for glamorizing out-of-wedlock birth, and the show's creators responded by having the fictional Murphy Brown whine about personal attacks on her lifestyle.

Things got outright weird with the creation of "The Daily Show," a fake news program hosted by Jon Stewart since 1999 that often provides some of the best (and occasionally the worst) criticism of American politics and is revered on the left as somehow newsier than news. For what it's worth, a senior Republican congressmen told me that a "Daily Show" piece on the GOP "Pledge to America" was the only one that drew blood.

"The Daily Show" begat "The Colbert Report," in which Colbert plays a jingoistic, know-it-all, borderline bigot whose standard for veracity can be summarized with the word "truthiness."

In other words, he pretends to be what many liberals claim Bill O'Reilly is. That's the joke, get it?

It was this Stephen Colbert who was invited to testify before a House judiciary subcommittee on immigration and labor. It was an excruciatingly inappropriate spectacle. "This is America," Colbert inveighed. "I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican."

But who, exactly, is Colbert parodying here? O'Reilly doesn't talk like that. Nor does Sean Hannity or any of the usual targets Colbert's supposed to be lampooning. The real upshot of Colbert's shtick is that he's mocking people who disagree with him -- or with the left-wing base of the Democratic Party -- on the complicated issue of immigration.

This was made abundantly clear by the sober testimony of Carol Swain, a Vanderbilt University professor of law and political science, who argued quite effectively that a steady flow of cheap migrant labor depresses wages for poor blacks and other American workers while keeping working conditions grim.

Though Colbert would obviously deny it, his testimony amounted to calling Swain -- an African-American woman of very humble background -- an ignorant bigot, because her analysis runs counter to the liberal party line.

Colbert's defenders point to the fact that other celebrities have testified before Congress. "I would like to point out," Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) noted during the hearing, "that in the past the Republicans have had witnesses such as Loretta Swit, who played 'Hot Lips' Houlihan from 'MASH,' to testify on crush videos." True enough. But she didn't testify as "Hot Lips."

Colbert's testimony reduced the topic to a black-and-white issue in which people on the other side are fools or bigots worthy of cheap mockery. I thought the whole point of Colbert was to stand against that sort of thing by making fun of it, not by doing it. Are our politics really improved by making congressional hearings even more of a joke? Were they truthiness-deficient?

On Oct. 30, Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive" will join Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" on the National Mall. They will rationalize the stunts as send-ups and putdowns of all that is wrong with our politics. But by slowly degenerating from satire into plain old mockery, these guys are slowly becoming too-clever-by-half versions of the very people they claim to deplore.

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