Colbert’s Late Show Interrupted by Hecklers


As Stephen Colbert’s new show is in its first week, the show has, so far, had a bunch of top-notch guests. Last night, for example, Joe Biden was on the show — complete with the press corps in tow… chomping at the bit as to whether he is going to run for President.

But, the show appeared, at least to the audience to have been stolen by some New York City cabbies.

I’ll turn things over to Sarah, who claims to have been seated in the audience for yesterday’s taping. She posted a litany of tweets about incidents involving Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (disclosure: who I met at the Uber DC launch party many years back.)

Since there are so many Tweets about this (what happened to blogging?) I am going to put her Tweets into a sequential, linked monologue. (Last word of tweet is link.)

Here we go:

So, so excited to see this interview. Some insane stuff went down. I’ll talk about it if they don’t show it. First thing got cut. Extremely edited. Makes sense.

Two separate times during the interview with Uber guy, some cabbies in the balcony yelled stuff and interrupted the conversation. They were criticizing Uber’s disruption of the NYC cab system, and they were very aggressive and made everyone rather uncomfortable.

I mean, I don’t blame them, their argument is valid. But I initially thought it was a bit, but the crew started looking around frantically. Instead of having the men removed, Stephen acted with complete respect and control. He listened intently to what they had to say. When the guy finished, Stephen said that he was planning on asking a similar question, and politely asked the man to be seated.

He then turned back to the interview and addressed exactly what the man had yelled about. It was very smooth.

The whole thing was cut, tho.

Then five minutes later, another man got up and yelled something else. The Uber guy started to talk back to him, but Stephen calmly touched his arm and quieted both him and the cab driver in the balcony. He said that he would ask the man’s question “in a more respectful way.” Then he again respectfully asked the man to sit down, and he asked exactly what the man had yelled about. Very, very smooth transition.

Both encounters and all references to them were cut for the air. The Uber man actually had some decent (prepared) answers to the questions, & Stephen was able to make it funny, but Biden deserved more air.

But – it was truly remarkable to see how Stephen handled the whole interview. He easily could have had the men removed. But instead, he truly listened to what they had to say and directly incorporated their concerns into the interview, completely smoothly. It was incredible to see how well Stephen handled it all. Absolute class and respect, the whole time.

And he had complete, *complete* control over the entire theatre. The audience, the band, the crew – we were all confused/a little scared, but Stephen calmed and quieted everyone. He didn’t call for security, he just dealt with the men and then continued an excellent interview. It was a fantastic thing to watch happen.

He handled it with class and earnestness & showed just how skilled he is as a performer and host.

I’m actually sort of sad none of it made the cut. They must’ve talked for at least 15 mins, & what they showed was kind of awkward & short. But I understand why they didn’t show it all.

I’m just glad I got to witness it and see in person just how phenomenal Stephen Colbert is. Sorry I just tweeted like three essays, but I wanted to put it out there. Important stuff.

Confused? So am I. Unless you were in the audience tonight (some WH poolers were, but this didn’t make the pool report, so I assume they missed it) there is no way of knowing what was said, what Colbert did, and what made it to air.

However, some reporters from Business Insider and BuzzFeed were there. I suspect they’ll have more substantive reports come morning. Until then, a few questions/thoughts:

  • Why let hecklers get away with it? In this instance, after Colbert reacted, allegedly, nicely to the first cabbie, yet the second later chimed in. Would the same thing have happened if you just kicked the first one out? Perhaps.
  • Letting hecklers go into a monologue, and listening until they finish just seems like a bad idea. I’m not a producer, but that’s bullshit. Subjecting guests to that is a dumb move.
  • Only Colbert and his writers know if it is indeed true whether Colbert was “planning on asking a similar question” to the ones the hecklers brought up. This could just be a disarming tactic, but it could become a very bad precedent. Granted, only the people who are in the audience know what was said in the room and what aired or didn’t air.
  • BUT, consider that on any given night, reporters from BI and BF, or any other outlet are in the audience… you never know who is there. If you start caving to hecklers and suggest you were about to ask their questions to calm them down (Colbert is democratizing the questions, as we saw with Jeb Bush) you only encourage people to act badly. And it’s weird if you ask the questions they asked before you, and don’t air them. Seems crazy.
  • If guests know you might make them answer questions from the audience to keep hecklers at bay (albeit reworded by the host) that might cause good potential guests to forego the show. After all, Colbert doesn’t have subpoena power to require guests to appear, there are alternatives.
  • Which is an interesting question, heckler tactics aside: Do you offer a cushier interview or do you let things run like the wild west? In television, it can go both ways.

Which way will Colbert go? Perhaps we’ll find out in the late morning.

Understanding the Trump Trolls of #NRORevolt


Over the weekend, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg poked the bee-hive by writing a great column (or “G-File”) on Donald Trump.

Not only well-written, it was hard hitting. Goldberg concedes early, and correctly, that “there are plenty of decent and honorable people who support Trump.”

Of course, this column sparked outrage among the crowd that is a complete opposite: the Trump Trolls, who immediately started a hashtag cult called #NRORevolt.

Like a right-wing bastard child of Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous, #NRORevolt was popular among the nom-de-plume crowd on Twitter (i.e. cowards). Like OWS, it didn’t have much in the way of stated goals, other than outrage/revolt. But hey, when you have former Enron Adviser Paul Krugman agreeing, what else do you need?

Goldberg did more than just criticize Trump, he criticized the media celebrities who celebrate Trump, and called them out on their hypocrisy:

Ann Coulter wrote of Newt in 2011: “If all you want is to lob rhetorical bombs at Obama and then lose, Newt Gingrich — like recent favorite Donald Trump — is your candidate. But if you want to save the country, Newt’s not your guy.” Now Ann leads a chorus of people claiming that Trump is our only savior. Has Trump changed, or have Ann and her followers? Is there a serious argument behind the new thinking, or is it “because he fights!”?


Naturally, the Anonymous Trump Trolls of Twitter (ATToT) circled the wagons and went after Goldberg, even going so far as to suggest his dead dog had cancelled its subscription.


But who would make such a reference? A prick of a long-time reader of National Review, who would know Jonah’s dog is dead, or a troll who never reads? Consider me skeptical that it’s the former. 

The objections, other than being butt-hurt over Goldberg’s comments regarding Trump, the #NRORevolt crowd was hard to pin down. Many suggested, like Trump supporters often do elsewhere, they would cancel their subscriptions. I found this assertion, that because of Goldberg’s column, that NRO was going to lose a lot of subscribers, a suspect premise.


My suspicion was quickly confirmed by none other than fictional television star/radio host Dr. Frasier Crane.

Oh, and if you haven’t delved into the racist underworld of the term “cuckservative”… don’t. If BuzzFeed and RedState agree, well… (Disclosure: I don’t even like Erick Erickson!)

Writer John Tabin chimed in on Twitter.

Quickly called out that none of these anonymous Twitter heroes were actually subscribers who could vote with their subscription dollars, they, like Trump, quickly changed the topic to suggest that conservative magazines like National Review were in danger of going out of business.

Which would be comical if it weren’t so sad that they knew so little of the conservative publishing world. Or the publishing world in general. These publications aren’t around to make money, but they don’t realize that.

Nor do they probably realize Trump himself had a magazine that folded after two years. “IT WASN’T HIS MAGAZINE”, Trump Trolls will tell us, “HE WAS JUST LENDING HIS NAME TO THE OCEAN DRIVE MEDIA GROUP. DONALD NEVER MAKES ANY MISTAKES!”

National Review has been around for how long? Just checking.

Well, these Anonymous Trump Trolls of Twitter remind me, in forming their hashtag cult, of a movie. It’s called Children of the Corn.

scorn Except, for the ATToT, they’re the “Children of the Scorn.”

Donald appeals to them because he is not politically correct, and to some normal people, that is also a part of his appeal. I’ll admit that, if Trump can kill the gaffe–>four day apology media cycle, I’ll be happy. But to the ATToT, it’s different.

Donald, to them, never goes on the offensive. (Not that they bother to check…) He only hits back! And he hits back hard!

Reality aside, these anonymous Twitter trolls are just out to fight with people. They’re the type who wage personal jihads in the comment sections, and get called out. They identify with the Donald because he, like them, is unfiltered, and largely gets away with it when they don’t.

Yet, when somebody, a writer like Jonah Goldberg — who has always been a talented writer without a PC filter — criticizes their hero, they strike.

And since they’re not subscribers, they pretend they are. Until they’re not, because NR, like virtually all political magazines, doesn’t make money.

Then, they resort to racist terms like “cuckservative” and attacks on Jews.


I guess the irony in all of this is that those who love Trump because he’s unfiltered, can’t take it when somebody who has been a part of the conservative movement for decades longer than Trump (Goldberg) criticizes him. Then, they want to muzzle him.

His policy positions aside, there’s a lot to appreciate about a Trump candidacy. Less so, his Twitter cult-following.

My Ideal GOP Debate


After Donald Trump’s embarrassing showing on Hugh Hewitt’s superb radio program, I had an idea for a GOP debate.

Here’s how it would work:

The candidates, however chosen, would appear on stage as they normally do. Except now, they also have a buzzer and a final Jeopardy! writing board.

A random order would be chosen, and the candidates would first be asked to answer a trivia question on something a Presidential candidate should ostensibly know.


  • Name two types of refundable tax credits.
  • Which is the largest branch of the military?
  • What is the highest marginal tax rate?
  • Under the Congressional Review Act, how many days does Congress have to disapprove of a regulation?

You get the point. Nothing too hard, nothing too easy. Generally, something a 27 year old hill staffer could answer. This is the introductory round.

Get the initial trivia question correct, 30 seconds is added to your clock, visible to the audience. Like money in Jeopardy! (This time is kept on as a point system of sorts.)

For getting a question right, you get a follow-up question about your policy proposals or what you would do in a certain situation, much like a regular debate. You’ll have 30 seconds — not deducted from your clock time — to answer to keep things flowing.

Here’s where it gets fun. After two rounds of each of the ten candidates having the opportunity to get the preliminary question correct, we move to the lightning rounds.

This is where all candidates will be asked a preliminary question, and the first to buzz in gets an opportunity to answer it. Get it wrong, lose 30 seconds. Others can then buzz in if they’re wrong. Get it right? Get 30 seconds.

There would be three lightning rounds with 10 questions, and if any candidate is at 0:00 or negative time after a lightning round, they’re out of the debate.

During the lightning round, there would not be a follow-up question as there was in the introductory round. Only the trivia questions and an opportunity to win time.

After the lightning rounds, there is a single question (like in Final Jeopardy!) where those remaining can wager time and answer the question in writing.

Those who survive move to the last round, which is two more sets of trivia questions / follow-up questions, like in the preliminary round.

And at the end, we would likely have a definitive winner: the person with the most time. And they get to use that amount of time to make a stump speech while the others watch.

Sound fun? I think so. But it will never happen.


Josh Earnest Pleads the Fizzifth

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A Parody of his press conference.

Of vs. In vs. Adding Words


Over at Politico this morning, Michael Lind has an interesting item out that suggests Donald Trump “exposed the Tea Party.”

One line, very early in the piece, jumped out at me. Lind is quoting Trump here:

“People as they make more and more money can pay a higher percentage” of taxes.

Lind didn’t use an ellipsis (…) after percentage to show that he was cutting up the quote. This is a bit sloppy.

Here’s what Trump actually said on Sean Hannity’s show:

TRUMP: I actually believe that people, as they make more and more money, can pay a higher percentage, OK?

HANNITY: How high?….What’s the cap?

You can read the full exchange here, but Trump doesn’t answer the question, other than to suggest that hedge fund managers can afford a tax increase. (This as some surmised, and later was confirmed, had to do with the “carried interest” tax rate, which is lower than the personal income tax rate a hedge fund manager would typically pay.)

This is not a defense of Trump. He didn’t answer the question with specificity, so we still don’t really know. And specificity is a problem area for Donald.

I know what you’re thinking — who cares? “‘a higher percentage’ of taxes” vs. “‘a higher percentage’ in taxes” are six and one half-dozen of the other, right? Nope, not necessarily.

Since raising taxes is generally a no-no for the political right, a distinction is important.

To say one wants wealthier people to pay “‘a higher percentage’ of taxes” is to suggest — assuming we’re only talking income taxes — that you want their contributions to represent a higher percentage than present of the total amount of taxes that are collected.

Of course, when it comes to income taxes, the top 50% of taxpayers pay 97% of all federal income taxes. The top 1% pay 38% of it.

Now, saying one wants wealthier people to pay “‘a higher percentage’ in taxes” is saying you want to raise rates on individuals as they get wealthier, or change the tax treatment of certain types of income (like carried interest or investment income) so it is treated as ordinary income.

So, what’s the distinction? Well — Trump’s views are still a mystery, but Lind inadvertently put words in Trump’s mouth by butchering the quote.

Conservatives, rightly, claim that when you tax something, generally, you get less of it. It’s not an absolute principle, but it’s generally correct. (To those who disagree, why, then are cigarette sales declining? Could it be a $1 per pack tax increase Obama signed? OK.)

In some instances, raising taxes on certain activities or on certain individuals, could ultimately result in less of that activity or individuals doing less work. It could even result in lower tax revenues than at lower rates.

The distinction between a higher percentage of all taxes and a higher percentage in tax rates is real. But Trump still hasn’t made it clear, and Lind (wrongly, though probably unintentionally) tried to make it clear.

I guess we’ll find out when Trump releases his tax plan. Though, if it’s anything like his immigration plan, don’t expect many specific details.

Meet the One Guy Who Can Make Donald Trump Uncomfortable

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Yo, check it Republicans, I have found Donald Trump’s kryptonite. You’re welcome, Jeb!

How Did I Miss Peter Pan?


Thanks to the fine folks at District Trivia and Comcast Sports Net!

If you’re interested in becoming a contestant, you can apply here!

Hillary Feels the Bern

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From this week’s “Daily Ledger” on One America News Network.

Good Night, Habanero Ranch


My favorite McNugget dipping sauce is being put out to pasture, at least locally. After securing my six free McNuggets from a recent Nationals win, I was told they’d no longer be carrying the deliciously spicy habanero ranch dipping sauce.

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So, if you’re out in the DMV and can score some habanero ranch in the coming days, be sure to say goodbye.

I asked McDonald’s about my habanero ranch reserve and how long I could sit on it. I’ll update if they reply.

RIP, habanero ranch. You’ll be missed.


Around the same time, film maker and activist Michael Moore confirmed that he is a Cheetos neocon:

UPDATE 2: Caleb Brown shares this appropriate song for remembrance:

D.C. Parking Enforcement Sucks

A story in three pictures.

D.C. Parking enforcement blocks lane by food trucks around noon on 7/28/15. This is on 12th street NW.

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What is beyond the food truck in front of the D.C. Parking enforcement truck? About four parking spaces.

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Thanks, guy in truck # 96 9330.

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