The Colbert Report

Season 3 Episode 65

William Langewiesche

Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM May 14, 2007 on Comedy Central
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Episode Summary

William Langewiesche
Tonight Stephen welcomes investigative journalist and author of The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor, William Langewiesche.
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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

    • QUOTES (5)

      • Stephen: My guest, William Langewiesche, says that all nations will eventually have nuclear weapons. I'm fine as long as we start with the Colbert Nation.

      • Stephen: The MPAA cracks down on smoking in movies. So, how will viewers know who the cool guy is?

      • Stephen: British Prime Minister Tony Blair steps down. I wonder who President Bush will appoint in his place?

      • Stephen: Last week, Tony Blair announced that he will step down as UK Prime Minister in June. Seems arbitrary, but that's the British parliamentary system for ya. I guess instead of term limits you just retire whenever Merlin tells you to.

      • Stephen: I say Blair's real legacy is tonight's Word: Supporting Role. Tony Blair didn't lead Britain into Iraq, George Bush led America into Iraq and Tony Blair followed Bush's lead. (Tony, hawk) And his support meant more than just providing troops. Blair's most valuable contribution was providing niche marketing. You see, President Bush brought in the NASCAR fans, the real patriots who he knew would support the war. (Can watch things go in circles forever) But folks, he needed someone to hook in the latte sipping, crossword puzzle crowd. (1-Across: Iraq like ___nam) And Tony Blair had what you call credibility. (What he used to call "approval rating") Now when George W. Bush took office Tony Blair had already been Prime Minister for three years and had a close working relationship with Bill Clinton. (Unlike Hillary) So when Blair endorsed the war many saw it as a surrogate thumbs up from Clinton's meaty hand. (Regardless of where had actually was) And when it came to articulating the war effort, Tony Blair had a different tone that appealed to a slightly different audience. Listen carefully and you may pick up on the difference.

        [Video: Tony Blair: What it's about is making sure that we remain until the Iraqi forces are capable of securing their own country and so that Iraq is then capable of becoming a proper functioning and sovereign democracy as it should be.
        (different clip) President Bush: We're not leaving so long as I'm the President.]

        Stephen: You see, the President does not have time for elegant turns of phrase, not while there's brush to clear. But there's no denying Prime Minister Blair's word smithery was catnip to the public radio crowd. (Totebag diplomacy) And finally, folks there was that accent, British, distinguished, almost English. It made the war seem classy, (Used special little pre-emption fork) frankly the best part of those aluminum tubes was that Blair pronounced them "aluminium." (Almost made them seem real) Face it, Americans are weak for that accent, that's why actors like Helen Mirren get an Oscar. I mean, she wasn't the best actor in The Queen, I'd have given the trophy to two guys in that stag costume. And now that Blair is stepping down we're going to have to re-cast the role. Blair has endorsed Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. Really? The Exchequer? If he's so good why isn't he still chequer? We need someone as charismatic as Blair in that part. I nominate Sir Ian McKellan, classically trained, photogenic, who wouldn't rally to a call like this:

        [Video: Ian McKellan as Gandalf: Prepare for battle!]

        Stephen: The most important thing is that accent makes him seem smart, and the President needs someone to make the war seem smart again. (False intelligence)

        And that's the Word.

    • NOTES (0)

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