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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Posted April 1, 2009 | 02:36 PM (EST)

Colbert Went Where the New York Times Feared to Tread on Glenn Beck


Was it another Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer takedown? Another case of a faux newsman going where the mainstream media dared not go?

It was shocking last night to watch the usually pro-right-wing Colbert persona lay into Beck without an ounce of sympathy. It came just one day after the New York Times' front page profile of Beck that failed to fully air his dirty laundry and mainly treated him as just another popular entertainer.

Colbert, as you will read and see following this link, expressed (albeit with his usual twinkle and silly Halloween coda) all of the passion, and skill, shown by Stewart when he went after Cramer. He was not just foolin' around.

Something obviously got to him. Perhaps it was a part left out of the Times' piece, which covered Beck's new "9/12" movement without mentioning that Beck had attacked 9/11 families and said he was sick of hearing about it and them. The punch line: "The 9-12 project is not for families directly affected by 9/11 -- just people building their careers on it."

Compare this to the Times' treatment of Beck as largely a voice for "conservative populist anger" with his "moral lessons" and "passion" and "outrage."

Now, will Beck go on Colbert's show, a la Jim Cramer? One doubts it, but watch Beck's show tonight for any quick response.

Colbert earlier had mocked Beck's "war room" wankery.

And it all comes on the heels of the new Rasmussen poll showing that 1 in 4 Americans now see the Comedy Central late-night shows as "viable" news outlets.

Greg Mitchell is editor of Editor & Publisher. His new book is "Why Obama Won." He tweets here.