Meet the Press | October 14, 2012
>> university, professor rodriguez has a syllabus that we got a hold of --
>> i'm not familiar with what you're about to talk about.
>> this is a course at boston university about american satire and it references heavily the colbert report . and this is what he describes. colbert satirically exposes hypocrisy inviting us to think more seriously about political issues.
>> i do not get paid enough. i didn't realize i was that brilliant. i thought i was making the occasional poop joke.
>> do you -- you are a performer, but you also do make a point.
>> well, yeah. i'm a satirist. all satirists make points. satire is parody with a point. that's all it is. and so if i was doing satire and didn't have a point of view, then that would be truly like schizophrenic. i always have a point of view. i care about the news. we do 160 shows a year. 161 shows a year. and you can't do that unless i guess you care a little bit about what you're talking about. or i couldn't. some people could, but i can't do that. and i'm interested in the news. and people often think that i'm an idealogue or that i have a political intent. when john and i did the rally two years ago, they thought that had a political intent. but i comment on things that are in the new. i am not a newsman. i really admire newsmen and i enjoy good news and i'm not a politician. but i like playing political games to see what really happens in them. that's why i formed a super pac . that's why i ran for president or formed an exploratory committee .
>> what did you expose about politics by testifying about immigration on capitol hill , which some people were critical of, or --
>> i would say that everyone was critical of. you're being very generous. i would do it again in a minute. what an honor to be asked to go do it. once you're asked, you know, and to say, well, i'm only going to do it if i can do it in character because i've got no business doing something like that, but my character thinks he does. and through him, i can say things that are hopefully in a more palatable way than i could have.
>> but that's where you're a performer making a point. what have you exposed about politics through those examples you just mentioned?
>> well, that, the congressional one is that congress is like eighth grade recess. they are so nasty to each other. and i didn't think they could give a damn whether it was me but they saw it as a way to beat on each other. or the republicans saw it as a way to beat on the democrats. and maybe it was a valid way to beat on them, but they sure knew a weapon when they saw one. the super pac was an act of discovery. an example. it was an act of discovery because i didn't intend to have a super pac . i intended to make a joke about tim pawlenty 's unbelievably over the top ad, like a michael bay voice of god , you know, preaching to america from the surface of the moon, tim pawlenty saves our country, and i couldn't figure out how to end it. at the end it just said liberty pac .com. and i said let's put colbertpac.com on ours. and that led to one thing and then another, including a lot of lawyers. there's an entire industry that i didn't know that is not only raising money but built on raising money off the fact that there is so much money in politics. and almost no rules.
>> a lot of what your character does, a lot of what you do through the program, is similar to what you're talking about the super pac , exposing what's absurd or what simply doesn't work about politics and about our institutions of government, which i think a lot of your followers and your viewers believe.
>> well, i don't know if i expose it. but i try to be aspects. i try to put myself in the news or embody the thing. john does what's called pure deconstruction, where he picks apart what's happened in the day's news and lays it out to you like a cadaver. but i falsely reconstruct the news.
>> mitt will put the leaders of iran on notice.
>> so that's a different way of doing the job.
>> to make a point of absurdity, right?
>> exactly. and if i do it, and something in the news is doing it, that thing, that real thing, is probably bull. because if i can go out and do it, and it is happening in the real world , the close ter is to me, the less you should trust it.
>> why do you think so many people think you and jon stewart are more effective at exposing hypocrisy, getting to real truths, than the news media is?
>> i don't know if that's the case.
>> well, i think certainly there are people who believe that.
>> ok. they're entitled to their beliefs. i don't know. jokes make me palatable. i would say that. comedy just helps an idea go down. that's all. and just makes you listen for a minute.