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Friday, September 24, 2010

Colbert Testifies

The overlap of politics, news, and entertainment took a bizarre turn today when Steven Colbert testified -- in character -- about immigration.

But while most of the Congress members present seemed pleased with Colbert's appearance before the committee - which potentially brought more national attention to the cause than it might have otherwise received - not everyone was laughing along with his jokes. "I think [inviting Colbert to testify] was a mistake," Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen told The Hill. "Picking vegetables for 10 hours doesn't make you an expert in anything, except how unpleasant it is to pick vegetables for 10 hours. I think using an actor in character to give testimony makes a mockery of the committee process."

Rep. John Conyers asked Colbert during the hearing to recuse himself from the committee and submit his statement instead, saying that "you run your show, we run the committee," though he later retracted the request.

Steve King, the conservative ranking Republican on the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, also took issue with Colbert's presence. "Maybe amnesty supporters should spend less time watching Comedy Central and more time considering all the real jobs that are out there that require hard labor and don't involve sitting behind a desk," he said during the hearing. "If they did, they would realize that every day American workers perform the dirtiest, most difficult, most dangerous jobs that can be thrown at them."