In April of 2014, Rush Limbaugh responded to CBS hiring Stephen Colbert with alarm. “CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America,” said Limbaugh, the reigning champion of conservative radio in America, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
To replace the aging David Letterman, CBS peered into the future and picked Colbert, whose uber-conservative, fake persona on the Comedy Channel, brilliant in content and execution, won him top honors and made the show late-night candy for political junkies.
War On The Heartland
Rushbo knew what was coming, now that Colbert didn’t have to play-act at being a hyperventilating conservative like him or Bill O’Reilly, “Papa Bear” as Colbert often referred to the Fox News cable star mentor and spiritual leader. Maybe some of the 2006 word-of-the year, “Truthiness,” invented by Colbert at the Comedy Channel, would bleed into mainstream entertainment TV.
“No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatives, now it’s just wide out in the open. What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny and a redefinition of what is comedy,” Limbaugh noted with some accuracy.
Colbert Smokes Kasich On Marijuana
Last Friday night, joining Colbert’s lineup of guests, including Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winner Whoppi Goldberg and Glen Hansard, an Irish songwriter, actor, vocalist and guitarist who won an Oscar for “Best Original Song” from the film “Once,” was John Kasich.
Kasich was clearly on guard, after all, Colbert was the guy who severely mocked and ridiculed President George W. Bush and his administration at the road called the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in 2006, with “the decider” sitting just feet away and not smiling.
Colbert brought the battle for legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana in Ohio last Tuesday to Kasich. The measure failed dramatically, but he asked Kasich, “Is that really pot, the drug crisis. Lots of people are going to jail for minor infractions, and it ruins their entire life, “ CBS reported.
Kasich took the cue, launching into his anti-drug monologue. “We don’t do that in Ohio, OK. In the state, if police find a person in possession of small amounts of marijuana, they can charge a fine rather than doling out jail time. The problem with marijuana is this: We don’t want to tell our kids, ‘Don’t do drugs, but by the way, this drug’s OK.'” Kasich said. Parrying, Colbert responded, “Isn’t that what alcohol is?” Kasich was silenced, but the crowd wasn’t as it erupted in applause at Colbert’s comeback.
Did Kasich Inhale?
In the exchange, Colbert wanted to know whether Kasich thought he would be the governor of Ohio if he had ever been caught by police using the drug? “It ruins a life to have that police record because you can’t get a job,” Colbert noted.
Kasich was then asked if he had ever smoked marijuana. His one-word reply, “Yes,” supposedly isn’t the first time he’s admitting to getting high. But no one, especially any reporter, local or national, has ever pursued it further as to circumstances, frequency or motivation.
“I just don’t want to legalize drugs,” Kasich said, adding that he would consider it if doctors deemed it necessary for medical purposes. “Now, when it comes to medical marijuana, if the experts come back and say we need this for people who have seizures, I’m for that,” Gov. Kasich said.
‘Late Show’ Rewrites Kasich Record Profile
Camp Kasich clearly had no input into the dark description the Late Show used to profile the Governor of Ohio at its get-to-know-a-guest Website.
“John Kasich is the current Governor of Ohio and 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate. Gov. Kasich opposes abortion, stopped awarding new state dollars to Planned Parenthood, is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and is endorsed by the NRA. He worked to pass legislation that led to historic reforms to federal welfare programs. Kasich believes Obamacare must be repealed and replaced. Gov. Kasich has been accused by other conservatives of not being conservative enough, large in part of his approval to expand Medicaid, to which he responded, ‘It’s so silly.’ According to FiveThirtyEight, ‘For the time being, he is in fifth in the endorsement primary, one point behind Rand Paul.'”
The basic Kasich glossary of standard Kasich narrative rhetoric—balancing the federal budget, being chief architect, creating jobs, being an executive, turning the state around, going from deficits to surpluses, significant job growth, positive attitude, living in the shadows, being a reformer, delivering on the promises, knowing how to land the plane, fixing entitlements, reducing taxes, less regulation and compassionate conservatism—are no where to be found in Colbert’s paragraph about Kasich’s accomplishments and values.