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January 19, 2007
Truthiness in the No Spin Zone
Truthiness in the No Spin Zone
Did you see the bizarro world meeting between the nation's
most bombastic ego and the truthy satirist who plays him on
Yes, it was Bill O'Reilly meets Stephen Colbert -- the first-ever
No Spin Zone Twilight Zone Colbert Nation Lovefest Smackdown.
(Palooza?) These two titans of broadcasting traded appearances
on each other's programs last night, "The O'Reilly Factor"
(top-rated cable news show, 8 p.m. on Fox) and "The Colbert
Report" (11:30 p.m. on Comedy Central).
Hosting first was O'Reilly, the blustery master of sound
and fury signifying whatever he tells his viewers/devotees
it signifies. Later, O'Reilly's visit was trumpeted as a historic
summit by Colbert, widely acclaimed for wielding irony like
a blunt instrument in his O'Reilly-based persona.
"You're about to watch me enter a No Spin Zone,"
Colbert said at the top of his show, having confessed earlier
to the man he calls Papa Bear that O'Reilly's version of "no
spin" gives him "vertigo."
Colbert had also admitted that "emulating" O'Reilly
was taking a toll. "I haven't seen my kids in 18 months
and I'm losing calcium in my bones," the actor told O'Reilly
on "The Factor."
"What keeps you going?" he asked. "Jesus Christ
or Pat Robertson's protein shakes?" Just a little jab
at O'Reilly's prominent stature among the religious righteous.
Back in Colbert Nation, Fauxreilly set the stage by unveiling
a mischievous "Mission Accomplished" banner to commemorate
his own ability get O'Reilly on the show (and to tweak conservatism's
blind loyalty to the bumbling war president).
Colbert then excitedly opened the last door on "my Bill
O'Reilly advent calendar," complete with the beatific
Baby O'Reilly in the manger.
Colbert's genius extends to gesture, as when he disarmed
O'Reilly's "Culture War" cult of personality by
slapping a 30% off sticker over the self-important author's
book cover mug (evoking David Letterman's famous "About
60% of what you say is crap" in-your-facer to the TV
When Colbert popped his most loaded question -- "Which
is destroying America more: activist judges, gay marriage,
illegal immigration or NBC?" -- Blowreilly gobbled the
bait and blurted "NBC." (He also weaved in this
fair and balanced analysis of The New York Times: "They're
O'Reilly took a shot at calling Colbert out when he characterized
the two camps in his beloved, breadwinning culture war as
"secular progressives like yourself and traditionalists
like me." And he couldn't resist trotting out his "stoned
slacker" soundbite in reference to the audience demographic
watching "The Daily Show" and presumably "Colbert."
On his home turf, O'Reilly attempted to "nail"
his mocker by accusing him of having changed the pronunciation
of his last name from Colbert with a hard T to the French-sounding
At one point O'Reilly awkwardly bellowed, "Are you COL-bert
or Col-BEAR?!?" Colbert, who must have been cracking
up inside, simply praised his host for the gale-force volume
of his question.
During O'Reilly's interview we learned that Colbert's middle
name is Tyrone. (Or did we?) Regular viewers already know
he regards bears as "giant marauding godless killing
Afterward, he brought in talking heads to ask them why people
love Colbert yet loathe O'Reilly, who is regularly named the
day's "Worst Person on the World" on MSNBC's "Countdown
with Keith Olbermann" and who is immortalized in such
lefty books as "Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly"
and "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and
Balanced Look at the Right" by Al Franken (O'Reilly sued
in a failed attempt to block distribution of the latter book,
which describes him as "a lying, splotchy bully").
One of the heads (Bernard Goldberg, Fox News Analyst) concluded,
"We live in a cynical age," therefore "smart-ass
wiseguys" are seen as "cutting edge." (Finally.)
The anti-O'Reilly concluded his big day by revealing that
he had stolen a large microwave oven from the Fox studio.
Roger Ailes, president of Fox News, includes my Web site (www.HumorGazette.com)
on his "Enemies List" (rogerailes.blogspot.com),
making me a card-carrying member of the liberal smart-ass
Posted by John Breneman at 9:04 AM | Permalink
January 15, 2007
Bush: Best orator ever?
Critics praise President
'breathing space' for Iraq speech
President George W. Bush's historic Jan. 10 call to send
more young Americans to their deaths in order to give the
Iraqi government some
"breathing space" was yet another spellbinding
piece of oratory.
But when future generations assess the legacy of our silver-tongued
leader, they will look first to several more memorable addresses.
For example, who could forget President Bush's rollicking
2006 attempt to use standup
to make the terrorists stand down, his encore three months
later as commander-in-cheek, or his March 2006 pledge that America can only
fail in Iraq if we "lose
And, of course, many historians believe the Rev. Martin Luther
King's stirring "I have a dream" rhetoric will one
day be obscured by Mr. Bush's now-legendary "I
think about Iraq every day" speech of June
Asked what he thought of Dick Cheney's load of bull about
the insurgency being in its "last throes" when violence
there is actually increasing, the president disarmed the blatantly
anti-patriotic question by saying, "I think about Iraq
every day -- every single day."
As the world heaved a great sigh of relief to learn that
the man who started the war actually finds time to mull it
over each day, Bush shoveled on even more reassurance by saying,
"I understand we have troops in harm's way
Critics said then that Bush's keen understanding of the fact
that he is getting people killed "every day" suggested
he might be adopting a more realistic view of Iraq than that
laid out in his now-historic "Mission
The president revealed that not only does he think about
his own personal Iraqi hellhole "every single day,"
he admitted that some days he thinks of it two or three times.
Maybe even half a dozen times on Monday after the weekend
death toll numbers come in.
A White House memo obtained by IBS News confirmed that some
random thought or another about Iraq crept into the president's
brain 57 times so far this month alone. Sources say that early
on in the war, President Bush occasionally forgot to think
about Iraq until Condoleezza Rice gave him a string to wear
on his finger.
Fortunately, President Bush also realizes that the fate of
the world rests with his ability to not accidentally destroy
it, a fact he articulated brilliantly in his memorable Oct.
3, 2004, "Bein'
president is hard work" speech.
The hard work can range from pronouncing wacky names like
Ghraib" to deftly fielding trick questions as
he did April 14, 2004, in his inspirational "I'm
sure something will pop into my head" speech.
Many veteran Bush watchers give the president high marks
for his provocative "breathing space" address, but
most agree it will be difficult for him to surpass the startling
audacity of his March 26, 2004, comic bomb -- the spine-tickling
oratory of "Those
WMDs must be around here somewhere."
HUMOR GAZETTE 'ENDORSES' GEORGE
W. BUSH -- Aug. 27, 2004
Posted by John Breneman at 2:09 PM | Permalink
January 11, 2007
Hate exercise? Hire an exorcist
exercise? Hire an exorcist
Dr. Newt Trishon
Today's topic: How to shed those unwanted pounds of blubber
we all put on during the holidays.
Many noted experts say the secret is diet and exercise.
That's right, some would have you believe you must limit
the amount of junk (the official nutritional term is "crap")
that you shove into your piehole and ALSO find it within your
lethargic soul to engage in some annoying regimen of actual
Well, fortunately there are plenty of crackpot alternatives.
For example, many people find they just don't have much of
an appetite for exercise. For these torpid lard-cans, the
answer is simple: Hire an exorcist.
A competent exorcist can be found in the Yellow Pages (under
"Satanic consultants"). For a reasonable fee, the
exorcist will summon the powers of the underworld to literally
"burn those extra pounds away." And, you can eat
as much charred flesh of of cloven-hoofed animals as you desire.
There are also surgical options to consider, though it is
important to warn you that liposuction is for suckers and
gastric bypass is passé.
Instead, try this revolutionary new method described in the
January edition of the prestigious Imaginary Journal of Medicine.
called a Staple-Gunectomy.
Simply press the loaded staple gun against your abdomen,
fix your face in a determined grimace, and fire away. Five
or six staples will usually do the trick.
Of course, there are many other valid approaches to "slashing
the old spare tire." The Humor
Gazette Diet is a proven favorite that has survived
the test of time and litigation.
Other new fad diets include:
South Pole Beach Diet: Simply go to the South Pole
(be sure to pack a warm parka, some mittens and a 14-inch,
whale-flaying knife). Upon arrival, set up your insulated
tent on the beach at Point Barrow and just shiver those calories
away. Every two months, hunt and kill a small baleen whale.
Fear Factor Diet: Allow yourself nothing but maggots
and goat entrails for two weeks. You may eat a little the
first day, but studies show your appetite will quickly fade.
Broken Jaw Diet: Simply suffer a broken jaw and have
a qualified physician wire your mandible shut. Then utilize
an ordinary household straw to consume your meals. Repeat
Editor's note: Readers are invited to share diet
tips and ideas for "dumping that extra kiloton"
in the Comments section below.
People vs. Ronald McDonald -- July 30, 2002
McDonald undergoes 'McMakeover' -- June 10, 2005
sweet Tang -- July 27, 2005
Posted by John Breneman at 9:06 AM | Permalink
January 7, 2007
Site plug: "Runway Ready"
site plug: "Runway
My gorgeous wife Debbie writes a smokin' fashion blog over
at the newspaper where I used to work and she still works,
the Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald. Visit "Runway
Ready" for her fun look at fashion, downtown
Portsmouth and the whole pop-culture scene.
Posted by John Breneman at 6:01 PM | Permalink