And that's what's been on my mind recently as I examined three people in comedy who were attacked in the last year or so. As I studied the backlash, I realized something: Very often, people's problem with satire has nothing to do with a lack of brains or humor -- it's a lack of faith. They have either no faith that the artist is saying something less than horrible or no faith in humanity to hear ironic words and still appreciate the true message. Let's take a look at three people who might have escaped criticism if we just had a little more of that kind of faith.
Stephen Colbert Gets Attacked by a Hashtag Activist Who's Wrong About Everything
Although Stephen Colbert will get to be himself when he takes over for David Letterman at the end of the year, for close to a decade he has made a career portraying someone else: a man who looks just like Stephen Colbert and shares his name, but who is not the "real" Stephen Colbert. With a fairly progressive ideology, Colbert routinely deconstructs and parodies conservative talking points while pretending to fully embrace them. Everyone with even a passing knowledge of his show understands that his words cannot be taken literally. Instead, in the classic satiric tradition, he espouses the beliefs he's attacking to show their flaws. Most people get it by now.
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And if they don't, they think he's stealing Bill O'Reilly's thunder.