The New York Times Sunday Magazine cover features a profile by Charles McGrath of actor-comedian Stephen Colbert, host of the satirical news show The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, in which Colbert plays a caricature of a conservative political personality.
Once you get past the slightly disturbing cover photo of Colbert in a fat suit as some Daddy Warbucks-type, “Stephen Colbert Wants Your Vote" goes deep into what McGrath terms the three Stephen Colberts, at least two of whom agitate for liberalism, including a fake political action committee, Colbert Super PAC. McGrath enjoyed Colbert's imitation of a "right-wing blowhard," referring to FOX News host Bill O'Reilly:
The Colbert character, whose taped descent, godlike, from the empyrean while clutching an American flag begins every show, was originally intended as a takeoff on Fox News figures like Sean Hannity and especially Bill O’Reilly. Though Colbert doesn’t much resemble O’Reilly physically, the persona has mastered some of O’Reilly’s pen-wielding, hand-stabbing gestures, and his credentials as a right-wing blowhard are beyond doubt. He thinks that gays will go to hell, that a flaming moat should be built around America to keep out immigrants and that Christianity is, or ought to be, the official national religion. He believes not in truth but in “truthiness,” a term of his own invention.
Showing how great minds think alike, former executive editor Bill Keller also called O'Reilly a blowhard in a parodic description of his typical work day, in an online Q&A with readers in January 2009:
Lunch at the Four Seasons is always a high point. Today it's my weekly tête-à-tête with Bill O'Reilly. He's really not the Neanderthal blowhard he plays on TV. He's totally in on the joke.