The debut episode of Jake Tapper's new CNN show, "The Lead," pulled out the big guns last night. Tapper's friend Stephen Colbert (heard of him?) showed up to talk about the ethics of breaking character to support his sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in her run for congress. Getting political may seem like old hat for Herman Cain's number one fan, but this is the first instance of Colbert stumping without a hint of satire involved. He told Tapper he's fine with the conflict of interest in joining the game he makes a living out of mocking, invoking the sibling code:
"I'm willing to, you know, break the jewel of my own creation to try to do something for her. Like I'm not worried about what it would do to me or my show to try to help her as myself, not as my character, to help her as myself. And you know, if people think that's not the right thing for me to do, I don't care. It's my sister, and I'm willing to help her."
As it turns out, Colbert will probably have grounds to slip some jokes in no matter what. Polls for the South Carolina seat close today, and it's looking like Colbert Busch, a Democrat, will face off against none other than ex-governor Mark Sanford, the disgraced Republican who forever made "hiking the Appalachian Trail" sound dirty.
The full interview is worth a watch, not least for the reminisces about life pre-"Report." (Spoiler: Tapper predicted that the show would fail miserably.) Take a look above.