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Cohen, 'Wash Post' Columnist, Says Colbert was 'Rude' and a 'Bully'

Greg Mitchell / Editor And Publisher | May 4 2006

Related: Colbert Reaction Shows Media Are Frightened Of Bush

NEW YORK Richard Cohen, in his Thursday column for The Washington Post, lets readers know right at the outset that he has been known as "a funny guy" since way back in elementary school.

So they should listen up when he weighs in on the controversy surrounding Stephen Colbert's routine at he White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday by declaring that Colbert was "not funny." In fact, he was "lame and insulting."

Then Cohen, who watched the event on TV, goes on to assert:

--Colbert was "rude." He took advantage of President Bush's "sense of decorum" and "civility" that kept the president from "rising in a huff and leaving."

--Actually, Colbert was "more than rude. He was a bully."

--Colbert used a "mixed metaphor" in suggesting that the administration has been "re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenberg."

--He showed no courage because in this country when you openly criticize the president you don't get tossed "into a dungeon" or lose your job.

--Self-mockery (presumably as displayed by Bush on Saturday) "can be funny" but mockery "that is insulting is not."

--Colbert, rather than illuminating the president and the Washington insiders, merely played to the "like-minded" while "alienating all the others."

If that's not enough, Cohen also took a shot at the White House Correspondents Assocation, claiming that if presidents stopped attending their gala dinners, "the organization would have to transform itself into a burial association."

With Cohen coming out of the closet as a self-professed funny man, perhaps he will now claim that he only joking when he famously wrote, a little more than three years ago, that Iraq "without a doubt" had weapons of destruction, adding. "Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise.”

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