Stephen Colbert: Slayer of Free Speech and Censorship

Stephen Colbert just made free speech and censorship his cock holster.

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As the day flipped from May 1st to May 2nd 2017, Late Show host Stephen Colbert began a rant that would unknowingly turn the internet upside down. This rant ended with a joke saying that President Trump’s mouth was only good for being “Putin’s cock holster”. As the statement, truly a wordsmithing masterwork, was uttered; a chain reaction was unleashed.

Side note: many outlets I first saw cover this posted “c*** holster”, as an alternative to the full term. I frequent a closed Facebook group about offensive comedy that has a lot of Australian and UK users; and because of their fondness of a certain term, I originally thought it was “cunt holster”. I imagine​ that would have been a whole different shit storm.

First off, I want to say that I’m a Colbert fan. Years ago I watched the Colbert Report every day; I didn’t for it’s entire run and missed the end of the show, but for a couple years I was a hardcore fan. I think his character work on that show was some of the best in the history of television; satire is hard to do well and he did it so well people couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. I don’t care much for late night TV, so I haven’t seen him in that role. But I can’t just stop liking someone who I was such a big fan of, so while it’s been years since I watched any of his content, I still consider myself a fan. From what I’ve read, he isn’t nearly as funny in this role as he was on his old show. Possibly due to different writers, not having the same character, loosing his touch, or maybe just a different company/system/set of rules that he doesn’t thrive in as much. At any rate, it’s unlikely I’ll tune in even though it’s a person I recognize and am I fan of.

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Reactions to this event ranged greatly, even amongst each side. Liberals standing up for him because he took a shot at Trump and his “puppet master” Putin. At the same time, Liberals are offended the insult is homophobic, implying that being gay is less manly. On the other side, Conservatives are equally divided. As you’d expect, Trump supporters aren’t taking this very well, and are extremely upset. But many Conservatives realize Colbert has the right to free speech, no matter how lowbrow and classless. Somewhat surprisingly, even the ladies on the View defend his comments.

It was with this one statement that Stephen singlehandedly slayed free speech and censorship. Not only did he divide each side on the issues of free speech and censorship, but he may even be facing a battle with the FCC. But how will he far in this war on words? He has many foes to fight.

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First will be the fellow Liberals he offended. But it’s unlikely that will last long, as Liberals have too many things to be offended by on a daily basis to stay angry about this for long. All he has to do is apologize to the LGBT(AJFIV… pretty soon they’ll have to start inventing letters just like they invent genders) community and a few insults at a select enemy, and all will be well. Since women never forget he may hear about it from feminists in 5 years, but they’ll tell him everything is “fine” for now. Hopefully they don’t get as upset at him as they do at me for leaving the seat up.

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Next on his list of enemies is Trump supporting Conservatives, an expected but ironic enemy in this situation. It’s to be expected they’d be upset at anyone saying something derogatory about their President, nevermind something so vulgar and from someone so left-wing. They will hold onto this until until there’s too many other similar incidences that distract them, so like a month. Check that, 2 weeks. But as expected as it is, it’s equally as ironic; these people that are so upset are the same ones that stand up for free speech and against censorship (unless it’s censoring something they don’t agree with like religious discrimination or premarital sex). They even went as far to start  #FireColbert on Twitter. The more level headed Conservatives realize that Colbert has the right to say however crude of a rant as he wants. Unless his next enemy has something to say about it.

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In a recent interview, the Chairman of the FCC said, “will take a look at the facts that are alleged and apply the law.” Now I understand that until they release an official statement that he isn’t going to take a side, but that really sounds like someone who already knows they’re not doing anything. And it doesn’t surprise me, all things media have a heavy lean to the left, so I don’t expect anything to come of this. Maybe a fine of some kind to show everyone they take these things “seriously”. I hope I’m wrong, and they treat this as they would any other infraction. But I’m sure the buzz this generated was too valuable for CBS, and they’ll ensure nothing too big comes from this.

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But what do I think of it? Frankly I thought it was pretty funny, I’m a fun of vulgar humour. But I feel the platform was wrong; it was a joke much better suited on stage in a stand up comedy act, on a show similar jokes like Workaholics, or said on a podcast. Not on mainstream late night TV, where the audience isn’t exactly looking for jokes of this nature. It invited negative attention, and would clearly make Colbert a polarizing character. Maybe that’s what they want, I don’t know. What I do know is the double standard being pointed out by the Right that exists when thinking of a world where a Conservative TV show host/comedian made a joke like this about Obama. Nobody kid themselves, if that happened there wouldn’t need to be a fire hashtag, as it would be a foregone conclusion they’d be fired. Probably for being racist, regardless of any racial angle to the joke. But since a Liberal said it about Trump, the media is ok with it, and the lynch mob that is the Left mostly thinks it’s ok; aside from saying that Trump’s only use is being Putin’s presidential fleshlight is offensive towards homosexuals. I guess that’s correct, if those homosexuals are Trump and Putin.

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I think that regardless of comedic value, what he did was perfectly fine. Let the entertainment free market speak for itself​. If you really don’t like what he said, then don’t watch his show or that channel or buy any products that sponsor him. Use your power as a consumer to take away his value to CBS. Don’t be a whiny little bitch, crying about how he should be fired because he said mean words. People should be free to say whatever they want, and they should have to pay the consequences. They shouldn’t be strong armed because people’s feelings got hurt. While these concepts seem similar, they aren’t. It’s easy to make a hashtag trend and create the illusion of outrage. It’s another to actually follow through with that outrage, and refuse to support whatever you have a problem with. The hashtag trended, but will his ratings fall?

If what Colbert said was really that bad, then enough people should have changed the channel and/or stopped watching in the future to make CBS do something on their own terms. But that won’t happen considering the insulted netted Colbert his highest rating since he took over the show in 2015. If he can carry that momentum, or continue to move the needle like that; don’t just expect not punishment, expect a raise.

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