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We Hate Stephen Colbert

How South Carolina's "favorite son" became our least favorite person

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We at Creative Loafing knew Stephen Colbert's presidential campaign was doomed long before the South Carolina Democrat Party's executive council voted to kick his peach-lovin' hiney back to New York.

How? He denied us an interview, breaking this writer's bleedin' heart. (Even the lefty-ist among us can nurse a secret crush on a few rightwing blowhards.)

We'd hoped to talk with the bear-phobic bloviator a few weeks ago (if he's afraid of Smokey, how could we have expected him to stand up to Ahmadinejad? With an eyebrow raise?). First we approached Comedy Central. Then we went to his personal publicist, but his PR people -- an assistant, no less! -- shunned our overtures: "Thank you for thinking of Stephen, but unfortunately he is unavailable." Way to keep in touch with the voters!

Then South Carolina's alleged favorite son was in Columbia on Oct. 29 to snatch a key to the city and pander. (Crush Georgia? South Carolina can't even keep rest area vending machines stocked, Stephen.) And he didn't even call to let me know he'd be there.

I was hurt. Then I grew angry.

"Unavailable," my ass. Apparently Mr. Col-BEAR is too busy taking money from campaign sponsor Doritos to talk about his campaign to anyone other than fatuous college crowds. Well, college crowds and Tim Russert. But let's not be picky here.

For readers who have been living under a rock (or, in its Charlotte equivalent, Ballantyne), Colbert had planned to run for president in South Carolina. "After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call," the host of The Colbert Report said on his Comedy Central show Oct. 16. But the good-thinking Democrats of the Palmetto state won't let him on the ballot, preferring instead to limit the field to serious candidates -- like Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel.

Before their decision, insiders for the bear lobby provided Creative Loafing enough fodder to cobble together a make-believe interview with the poker-faced anchorman. What we found saddened and shocked us. Young children may want to flip straight to the strip club ads.

Creative Loafing: When I first heard that you were running for president, I thought I was dreaming. You're my hero.

Colbert: This is not a dream. I'm far realler than Sam Brownback.

Didn't you say that to Tim Russert already?

It worked then, didn't it?

Why would you choose to run in a state that named its part of Interstate 20 after Strom Thurmond?

Strom was a great American. When he stood against integration, he wasn't standing against black people. He was saying, 'Why do we need to mix the races? I don't even see race. So there's nothing to mix.' In fact, as president I will rename every road in the U.S. interstate system after Thurmond. I may even make The New York Times change its name to the Strom Thurmond Weekly.

Um, the Times is a daily.

Not under my administration. The way I see it, the pinkos at the Times should only be able to hurt America once a week.

Wouldn't that violate the First Amendment?

My first executive order would be to scrap the Bill of Rights. Well, except for the Second Amendment. Haven't you bought my book, I Am America (And So Can You!)? It's far better than the U.S. Constitution. It's a lot easier to read. And it has pictures, too. The Constitution hasn't made the bestseller lists, has it? The market has spoken.

You're a big believer in the market.

Capitalism works. And if you don't like it, go live with the bears. I hear they live in communes.

Why are you really running in South Carolina? Is it just shtick? Are you trying to ride on the coattails of Dennis Kucinich's overwhelming popularity here?

Kucinich is an evil leprechaun. No, I'm gunning for a spot on Mike Huckabee's ticket. If I can speak at Bob Jones University, voters might not care that I once kissed a girl before we were betrothed. I shouldn't say this, but a lot of the candidates had premarital sex -- or so I hear. But I'm not running a negative campaign.

I thought you'd said you would never be No. 2.

That was before the America-haters at Comedy Central said they wouldn't let me out of my contract. As VP, I could record my show and still make time for ribbon-cutting ceremonies and the funerals of second-tier heads of state. I'm envisioning less of a Dick Cheney-style vice presidency and more of a Dan Quayle model. Without, of course, Quayle's rapier wit.

One more thing ... are the rumors true: Do you want to make Bill O'Reilly the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations?

No. I'm holding out for Ann Coulter. She has soft negotiating skills that would enhance our standing among Muslim countries. O'Reilly would be new executive editor of the Strom Thurmond Weekly.

Thanks for not giving CL your time so we could conduct this imaginary interview.

You're welcome. By the way, please quit sending that fan mail. I understand why you would want to stalk someone as important as me, but the Secret Service might not take those letters so lightly.

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