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The Real Stephen Colbert Talks Glenn Beck and ‘The Stupid Bar’

colbert_beck_12-23.jpgThe Atlantic’s James Warren, who’s also a regular MSNBC contributor, writes about a recent Second City panel discussion, in which Stephen Colbert, the performer, discusses how he and his television persona approach Glenn Beck:

“I said, ‘Let’s start doing some Glenn Beck stuff but in praise of Glenn Beck,’” said Colbert. “But every time we do one, he will have done something dumber. He raised the stupid bar and now it’s nearly inapproachable.”

“I worry that if we use that as a model…if somebody doesn’t believe what they’re saying, it’s very hard to out-stupid them,” said a decidedly analytical Colbert. “Because then there’s no place to sink our hook into, there’s no mountain to climb there. I can’t climb Glenn Beck since there’s nothing there.”

Also, Warren wonders if “cable TV news channels, amid wicked competition and in pursuit of entertaining fare, have blurred lines to the point that only a declining minority probably truly differentiates among fair-minded journalists, ideologically-driven pundits and even professional jokers dabbling in politics.”

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