The Colbert Report

Season 5 Episode 9

Frank Rich

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Jan 19, 2009 on Comedy Central
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Tonight Stephen welcomes New York Times columnist Frank Rich. Also, Christine Ebersol peforms a musical tribute to the outgoing administration.
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      • Stephen: Tonight: I celebrate Martin Luther King the way I do every day: By refusing to ride the bus. Then: Bush's legacy: Will they put his face on money or just unemployment checks? And I talk to New York Times columnist Frank Rich. But only because I need the answers to the crossword! Just twelve more hours untill all those Bush countdown clocks explode. You fools! This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: With all those tough decisions he made, what will be President Bush's legacy? That brings us to tonight's Word: Sacrifice. Now people used to say President Bush's legacy would be the war in Iraq, but the last year of unqualified success has made the first four years of that war just disappear. (Along with the Republican Party) Others say it will be the financial meltdown, but the seeds of this crisis were clearly planted by President Clinton. (Not the only seeds he planted) I think that I caught a whiff of the President's actual legacy last week when Susan Crawford, a senior Bush Pentagon official, said that we can't prosecute Mohammed Al-Qahtani because: "We tortured Mohammed Al-Qahtani." Now I know torture gets some pretty bad press, (Yet "Benjamin Button" gets 3 stars?) but folks, that is just because until now torture has been used irresponsibly. I mean there's no way the Spanish Inquisition thought they were protecting Spain. Who knows why they boiled all those people. (Making world's largest paella) But this administration condoned the use of torture because we a facing something unprecedented in the history of mankind. (Amazing deals at Circuit City?) We are at war! Plus, Dick Cheney knows it was legal. How does he know? Quote: "In terms of all our actions, we worked to stay close to the Office of Legal Counsel. We followed the guidance we got, which is what you're supposed to do and where you're supposed to do it." He knows because he asked the lawyers he hired. (Law firm of Shockem, Drownstein, and Grointwist) Now folks, I know what you're all thinking. You're thinking: Okay Stephen, torture's not illegal, but isn't it wrong? Well just these human rights experts.

        [Video clips: Bill O'Reilly: After an attack like 9/11 you have to expect some American interrogators to go over the line…
        Sean Hannity: That's the price we pay for our security. Is it really that bad? Does anybody really think Khalid Sheik Muhammad didn't deserve worse?
        Jack Bauer: The truth Senator, is I stopped that attack from happening.
        Senator: By torturing Mr. Haddas!
        Jack Bauer: By doing what I deem necessary to protect innocent lives.]

        Stephen: And you do not disagree with Jack Bauer! So folks, let's recap: It's torture, it's legal, and it's right. (Like listening to Hannity's radio show) Now, consider what the President said in his farewell speech.

        [Video: President Bush: Good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise.]

        Stephen: No compromise! With this administration there are no gray areas. Things are all good or all evil, if torture is ever the right thing to do, then it is always the right thing to do. (Coming soon: Saw XII!) So I think the President is leaving the office with a truly historic legacy. (Most brush cleared?) Somehow he has managed to make something that was once evil into a virtue. And to those of you who say the President never asked the public to sacrifice anything in a time of war, (*Offer excludes military families) well, to you I say you are just not paying attention because clearly he as asked us to sacrifice the difference between right and wrong. (Sacrifice)

        And that's the Word.

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