Two years ago, President Bush appeared in a skit at the same event in which his administration's inability to find WMDs in Iraq was a bottomless source of comedy. The only journalist in attendance who objected was David Corn of The Nation . . . Washington journalists like [Richard] Cohen, who didn't raise as much as a peep when Bush laughed off the false cause that sparked a war, have now spent five days haranguing a cable TV comedian for making the president huffy.
I had to reply and am being roasted in the comments for it, but will only reprint this paragraph from there:
In the end, Stephen Colbert didn't do anything brave, new or even particularly interesting. He just did it with Bush in the room. Why that's perceived as heroic rather than jerky is more a question of personal taste than anything else, and while I do not personally subscribe to the idea that confrontational = interesting, I respect an artist's desire to make a ruckus in the name of his art. On the other hand, this particular event has traditionally been one at which, for just a couple of hours, respect for the office of President trumps pathetic J-school fantasies of bearding The Man in his corporate den. Going along with such a tradition isn't selling out, it's being gentlemanly.
I'll say it again: when you stop going for laughs and start going for applause, you're not funny.