Stephen Colbert called it "an announcement." Chris Matthews went on the Comedy Central show last night and, responding to the host's importuning to declare his candidacy for US Senator from Pennsylvania, ultimately stated: "I want to be a senator."

Over on MSNBC, Morning Joe played a clip of their colleague's appearance, then chewed it over.
STEPHEN COLBERT: There's a lot of talk that you might be running for Arlen Specter's seat.
Matthews first played it coy.

Eric Alterman was the latest in a long conga line of liberal authors plugging their books on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report on Monday night. He began by confusing the audience about God. Liberals refuse to take orders from God (since he doesn’t exist, or isn’t important enough to take orders from) or the Fatherland (conservatives-are-Nazis jokes always work with the stilted studio audience). But in the next breath, Alterman was claiming Jesus for the liberal side:

ALTERMAN: To be a liberal, Stephen, just means you believe in the truth. You don't take -- you don't take orders from God. You don't take orders from the Fatherland, you don't take orders from --

COLBERT: But God is truth. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the light [sic]. What part of that don't you understand?

ALTERMAN: Jesus was a liberal. There he is [on the Alterman book cover], right next to Willie Nelson.

Appearing on the March 12 edition of "The Colbert Report," Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz discussed the media’s fawning coverage of Barack Obama, noting Chris Matthews famous "thrill going up my leg" comment when hearing Senator Obama. Kurtz comically stated "we don’t know how high that thrill went." Host Stephen Colbert replied "that thrill is what you call ‘the hardball.’ [see video here]

Kurtz noted the mainstream media’s excitement over Obama and felt they got a little bit tougher when "Saturday Night Live" parodied the pro-Obama bias. When Colbert noted the press probably loved to talk about the potential bias because they got to talk about themselves. Kurtz conceded "we are a very self absorbed profession."

Amy Menefee also wrote on the Kurtz interview noting that the big three networks are still relevant and opining that journalists put their "feelings aside."

The transcript is below.

Who's watching the watchers? Well, the Media Research Center, and Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz says he's "sort of like the internal affairs cop." But just how tough is he? You can be the judge reading his column.

"We try to hold them accountable, exactly what they do to politicians - why did you do that? Why did you make that mistake? Why did you jump the gun?" said Kurtz, who's also the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources," in a March 12 appearance on "The Colbert Report." Kurtz was on to plug his new book, "Reality Show," about television news.

Host Stephen Colbert baited him: "The three big anchors still really matter, and I agree. ...Who are they, again?"

Stephen Colbert, the liberal comedian who portrays a conservative TV talk show host, recently launched a similarly fake presidential campaign. Trouble for him and his network, the fact that Colbert's PR stunt is funded by Viacom (Comedy Central) and Doritos may make it illegal:

With its snack-food sponsorship, Democratic and Republican affiliations [MS: isn't that somehow a violation of Colbert's conservative schtick?], and Sen. Larry Craig as a possible running mate, Stephen Colbert's run for the presidency is hardly serious business.

But the joke could be on Colbert if federal election officials decide his candidacy is for real. [...]

Last night on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert took CNN's marketing team to task, pointing out the hypocrisy of putting a "six foot square poster in each of the 2.3 million copies of today's the USA Today. That's 13.8 million square feet of ‘Planetary Peril.'" Planet in Peril a program airing next week on CNN. Colbert who could barely keep himself from laughing went on to say,

"Now the paper is recycled but hopefully that glossy ink isn't going to biodegrade anytime soon, so awareness of this threat is going to be around for centuries. Brilliant marketing CNN, you have strategically insured the planet will still be in peril by the time your special airs next week."

Video (1:17): Real (2.10 MB) and Windows (4.60 MB), plus MP3 audio (598 kB).

Correction (July 31 | 14:40): Colbert's wrist was broken. He injured it running around his studio before a show. I regret the error.

Bob Shrum, the Democratic political strategist who has only slightly fewer losses on his resume than the Philadelphia Phillies, appeared on the Colbert Report last night to tout his book, “No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Complainer,” err, I mean, “No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Campaigner.”

Colbert, who was pretending to be gravely hurt and wearing a fake cast on his arm, was ushered in by wheelchair. Shrum, not missing an opportunity to shill for the Democrats, quipped:

“I hope all the suffering has made you more inclined to support national health insurance, so everybody can get the same kind of risk care you do.”

Clever as ever Mr. Shrum. But that was only the beginning.

Colbert immediately turned his attention to what Shrum, the Susan Lucci of political campaigning, is best known for, losing.

A transcript of Colbert and Shrum’s conversation follows. Colbert’s show is designed as a satirical homage to Bill O’Reilly and usually makes fun of conservatives and certainly Shrum knows this. Even so, he’s dead serious about his Bush-stole-Ohio charge.

Here’s the transcript. More commentary follows.:

Wednesday night on "The Colbert Report," author Charles Kaiser was on the show to plug his book, The Gay Metropolis. Hoping to get the Colbert bump, Kaiser talked about how his book chronicles the history of gay culture and society in New York starting from 1940. One of his claims is that homosexuals and African Americans are “both more interesting than straight white people.” He also discussed being open with who you are or else you become like Mark Foley: “You become a congressmen who sends nasty notes to teenagers over the computer.” He lastly implies but denies that J.Edgar Hoover is gay.

Stephen Colbert constantly pointed out when Kaiser was stereotyping people, whether it is dance choreographers, white straight people or Republican congressmen. “I wish I could stereotype but I’m not allowed to. I’m not gay. I have to play by the rules you make but don’t live by,” Colbert stated after Kaiser put the label on dance choreographers being gay. Kaiser jumped into the interview trying to show how exciting and interesting minorities are compared to straight white people: