“Indecision 2012” officially arrived this week as Tuesday’s Iowa Caucus kicked off the presidential campaign year and Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” and Stephen Colbert’s “Colbert Report” swooped in to make mincemeat of the whole thing.
Titled “The Corn Identity” (and really, “The Daily Show” is brilliant at this kind of packaging), Stewart’s coverage Wednesday night on Comedy Central skewered Iowa losers Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann and also took aim at CNN, which was widely criticized for the gimmicks and gadgetry it employed in its Caucus coverage Tuesday night. (In fact, at one point Tuesday night, a seemingly embarrassed Anderson Cooper himself predicted on CNN that his network’s Caucus coverage would almost certainly be lambasted on “Stewart” and he was right.)
“I will be the first one to express how absurdly over-covered and hyped the Iowa Caucuses are,” Stewart exclaimed when he opened Wednesday’s show. “It is essentially one non-delegate-binding straw poll in a state wildly unrepresentative of America. That being said, watching Iowans gathering in gymnasiums to stuff hand-written paper ballots into repurposed Christmas gift boxes was a pure, low-tech, expression of civic democracy.”
And that’s when he lampooned CNN’s high-tech approach to the low-tech balloting.
Meanwhile on “Colbert” Wednesday night, Stephen opened the show with a series of clips of Iowa Caucus winner Mitt Romney uttering almost the same tired passage in a series of campaign speeches over the past week or so in which Romney recited a line or two from “America the Beautiful” and then made some kind of a joke about Iowa corn. The passage was tired the first time, and completely exhausted by the time Colbert was done with it.
Colbert then moved on to second-place Iowa finisher Rick Santorum with a comment about the word “santorum” that we’re not even comfortable publishing here (but which you’re welcome to watch below).
And there was plenty of time left over to deal with Newt Gingrich, who Colbert portrayed as a grudge-holding lunatic. Colbert also took aim at the news channels for their marathon coverage that lasted until the wee hours of the morning.