03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Boehlert: Coverage Of Colbert Run Reveals MSM Flaws

Did you notice the contrasting media responses to comedian Stephen Colbert's announcement that he plans to get his factually-challenged TV namesake on both the Democratic and Republican ballots for the South Carolina presidential primary? The mainstream Beltway press could barely contain its glee as it cheered the stunt on, lavishing all sorts of media attention on Colbert, and basking in the entertainment industry glow that his act brought to the White House campaign trail.

By contrast, it was mostly left to non-traditional online outlets to strike a skeptical chord; to make the grown-up observation that perhaps this wasn't the best idea. Over at the Huffington Post, Rachel Sklar, a major-league Colbert fan (as am I), wrote that the comedian's candidacy comes at the wrong time:

Now is the time for the fringe players to slip away. Bye-bye, Brownback, so long Kucinich (we predict) and Gravel (we hope). The race is tightening, stakes are getting higher, and the general feeling is that this is where things start to count. The distraction of a spoof candidate — even the ultimate spoof candidate — will just get in the way.

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