Stephen Colbert returned to "The Colbert Report" Monday night for the first time since last Friday's tragic shooting in Colorado, finally able to respond to the media's politicized coverage and the effect it has had on the 2012 presidential campaign.
Echoing what Jon Stewart said on his Monday night show, Colbert criticized ABC News' Brian Ross for falsely reporting that the shooter may be Tea Party-affiliated and ripped pundits who refuse to discuss stricter gun control measures in the wake of the senseless killings. He also dug into Breitbart.com for their "exclusive speculation" that the shooter was a registered Democrat, which he wasn't.
But it wasn't just partisan news coverage that caught Colbert's attention in regards to the shooting. The fact that President Obama and Mitt Romney decided to pull their negative campaign ads while the nation grieves seemed hypocritical to Colbert considering that so many people die because of guns every year in this country:
"Gentlemen, what are you thinking? You can't stop your attack ads every time there's a gun crime! There are nearly 9,000 gun homicides a year in America. That means 25 people are murdered with guns everyday. So if you're really pulling those ads down to be sensitive, I don't think you can ever run them again."
Watch the full segment above.
White House Correspondents Dinner
Only months after "The Colbert Report" went on the air, Stephen Colbert was booked to be the keynote act at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. Instead of harmless jokes typical for that role, Colbert gave a blisteringly satirical speech while standing next to President George W. Bush, causing more than a little palpable discomfort in the room. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7FTF4Oz4dI" target="_hplink">Watch the full speech here.</a>
Viggo Mortensen Tells Stephen To Run In '08
After Colbert had been teasing a run for president in 2008, actor Viggo Mortensen appeared on "The Colbert Report" to personally call for a Colbert candidacy. When Aragorn called, Stephen could not deny.
Stephen Formally Announces Candidacy In '08
Stephen formally announces that he's running for president --by appearing on the ballot for the Democratic nomination in his home state of South Carolina, the people of whom he plans to "pander more to" than any other candidate.
Stephen Finds Out He's Not On The Ballot
After an extensive day of campaigning, Colbert visits the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council to ensure that he gets on the ballot. He's promptly denied, ending his dreams of running for president in one state. Interestingly, in 2008, his campaign was "sponsored" by Nacho Cheese Doritos, satirizing the idea that a corporation could fund a political campaign. In the wake of Citizens United, it'sa little less funny.
Obama Orders Stephen To Shave His Head
While doing a week of shows for the troops in Iraq, Colbert interviewed General Ray Odierno. During the interview, Odierno got direct orders from his boss, President Obama, to shave Stephen's head to honor the troops.
Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear
Colbert and fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart hosted the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in 2010 in Washington, DC, as a response to rallies held by pundits like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, whom they felt were fostering ignorance and division with their calls to action. The rally attracted around 215,000 people.
Stephen Colbert Addresses Congress
Upon the invitation of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Colbert testified in front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Security in character. He gave a humorous speech describing a day working alongside migrant workers, but got serious at certain points describing the plight of those less fortunate. Needless to say, many conservative pundits questioned the seriousness of the proceedings.
Colbert Formally Files Super PAC
After Super PACs became legal, Colbert saw the remarkable comedic opportunity in building an organization that can dedicate unlimited resources to political candidates. He set up the Colbert Super PAC shortly thereafter for no reason other than to mess with the 2012 election.
Perry with an A Commercial
For his first trick, Colbert ran a commercial encouraging Iowa Straw Poll voters to write in Rick Perry, who was not yet a formal candidate. But Colbert encouraged them to write in "Rick <em>Parry</em>" -- with an A for America.
RIck Perry with an A Confuses
Some stations refused to run the "Parry" ad, saying it was confusing to viewers. Stephen reads off a letter from a local ABC affiliate explaining why in only the first episode of Colbert's 2012 election jamming.
Colbert Super PAC Gets Referendum On Ballot, Sort Of
To show what Super PACs are capable of, Stephen tried to get a referendum on the ballot in South Carolina, explicitly asking whether corporations can legally be people, or just people are people. Despite the major cash donation he offered to make to get it on the ballot, funded by his Colbert Super PAC, it appears that the referendum won't appear on the final ballot since it's "non-binding" (although it does appear on the dummy ballot).
Colbert Announces 2012 Run
After some polls indicated that hypothetical candidate Stephen Colbert was polling higher than Jon Huntsman in South Carolina, Colbert announced that he planned to formally run for president in the South Carolina Republican primary. However, he technically couldn't run since he was in charge of the Colbert Super PAC. But there's an easy fix -- just get Jon Stewart to take over the PAC.