Stephen Colbert Breaks Character in Congressional Testimony to Advocate for Migrant Workers

by Matthew L. Schafer

Today Stephen Colbert, host and executive producer of The Colbert Report, testified in front of the Immigration Subcommittee hearing.  Other witnesses included  Arturo S. Rodriguez, President of the United Farm Workers of America, Phil B. Glaize, Chairman of the U.S. Apple Association, and Carol M. Swain, Ph.D., Professor at Vanderbilt University.

While Colbert maintained character throughout most of his oral testimony, the testimony submitted for the record pulled no punches.  Colbert’s submitted testimony highlighted the shutting down of over 1.56 million acres of farmland.

“They say that you truly know a man after you’ve walked a mile in his shoes, and while I have nowhere near the hardships of these struggling immigrants, I have been granted a sliver of insight,” Colbert’s testimony said.

Colbert visited and worked on a migrant worker farm as part of a series on The Colbert Report called, “Stephen Colbert’s Fall Back Position.”  During a question and answer period of the hearing, Rep. Judy Chu [D-CA] asked Colbert why he decided to take up the plight of the immigrant workers.

“I like talking about people who don’t have any power, and this seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come do our work, but don’t have any rights as a result,”  Colbert said.

Colbert went on to quote Matthew 25:40, saying “Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, and these seem like the least of our brothers right now… Migrant workers suffer and have no rights.”

Colbert’s testimony comes on the eve of next months “March to Keep Fear Alive” hosted by Colbert, which is being held in “opposition” to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart “Rally to Restore Sanity.”   The rally and march were cooked up by the colleagues after Glenn Beck’s August rally.  The initial suggestion of holding a rally came last month, and was featured in a recent New Yorker Magazine cover story.

“Maybe we would do a ‘March of the Reasonable,’ on a date of no particular significance,” Stewart was quoted as saying in the cover story.

While many in the United States eagerly await the rally and march.  One thing is sure:  From the new faces of the Tea Party to the old faces of late night comedy, American’s are looking for an answer outside of the mainstream political environment.  At this point, politicians should be asking themselves, Why are the funny men of late night comedy more serious and reasonable than we are?


About Matthew L. Schafer

Matthew L. Schafer graduated from the University of Illinois in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Media Studies. He later attended Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication where he earned a Masters of Mass Communication and Georgetown University Law Center where he earned his J.D.
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One Response to Stephen Colbert Breaks Character in Congressional Testimony to Advocate for Migrant Workers

  1. Pingback: Top Ten: A Year in Media as Told by LWR | Lippmann Would Roll

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