The Colbert Report Takes On THE UPRISING Tonight

by: David Sirota

Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:37

Just a quick note to let you know I am going to be on The Colbert Report tonight (5/29) discussing my new book, THE UPRISING. I've been on the show once before for my first book - and I can't lie: I'm nervous about tonight. So if you have thoughts, tips or advice for me, post them to the comments here.  

The Colbert Show is kicking off my national book tour this week - and am likely coming to a city near you. Check the full schedule here. I was in Madison, Connecticut last night with Ned Lamont at a standing-room-only event where we discussed the progress of the antiwar movement. I'm going to do a more expanded post on that event, including video from SpazeBoy.

Stay tuned - my nationally syndicated column coming out tomorrow goes into this in detail. The column is entitled "The Lamont Lesson." Oh, and if you hadn't seen, check out this Huffington Post article about THE UPRISING's controversial revelation from none other than Lou Dobbs.

I hope you tune in tonight - and let your friends know about it. Then I hope you'll go pick up a copy of the book at, Barnes & Noble, or through your local independent bookstore.

David Sirota :: The Colbert Report Takes On THE UPRISING Tonight

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Advice: Let 'er Rip (4.00 / 1)
It's not like there's a lot of populist-progressive voices that get on outlets like Colbert Report (or CNN, MSNBC, etc), so I say let 'er rip.  People want to hear someone articulate their frustrations with elite-driven politics.  Throw caution to the wind, and talk about what you know best and how you know it.  No need to sanitize.

Good thing I'll be home in time for Colbert tonight.

Here's some real advice! (4.00 / 1)
Listen to what Steven tells you in rehearsal! He tells all his guests how to handle his schtick.

Basically, don't try to outdo him and you'll be fine. If you can relax and don't come across too "earnest" that helps too. He's NOT out to humiliate his guests, that's Hannity and Bill "Pant-load" O'Reilly"s job.  

Colbert doesn't have to humiliate his guests .. (0.00 / 0)
guys like Tony Perkins do it to themselves

[ Parent ]
Don't "reject" Colbert's statements -- roll with it (0.00 / 0)
(This is second hand, ie I'm relaying advice from someone who was a guest on Colbert in the past several months)

Colbert comes from the improvisational tradition of humor, and  improvisation doesn't work if the "straight man" keeps rejecting the absurd statements, questions, assumptions, etc.  

Instead, try to roll with them, or if that doesn't work redirect to whatever you actually want to talk about.

Want Blue States? ActBlue.

[ Parent ]
You don't need advice (0.00 / 0)
I'll just mention that I looked at the video clip from your prior appearance, and thought you did great.  The exchanges managed to be entertaining and informative.  In fact, I was surprised how substantive the appearance was.

thoughts (0.00 / 0)
I remember watching your Colbert interview and finding it offputting. Watching it again, I see the train wreck emerge: nervous author comes out with his spiel, gets knocked off his spiel (probably because Colbert found it dull), deals with nervousness by turning the volume to 11 and handling Colbert as if he were an actual talkshow host. Abrasive, humorless, self-righteous.  

Don't let it rip. Ease up. Show a sense of humor. How about a mock attack on Colbert for being a rightwing hack? Have fun with your subject, relate a funny story from the writing of Uprising. I have yet to see white-hot passion work in a Colbert interview.  

Whee, what a lovely thing blogs are, that you get to talk back to people you see on television.

and don't wear pants (4.00 / 1)
that will throw Steve off.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Don't take any crap from that Winger Frenchy (0.00 / 0)
Colbert is pure evil, don't get sucker by his sweet talk.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

Don't worry (0.00 / 0)
I think you nailed it on your previous appearance -- most people who come on the show can't get half the points across that you were able to. Just do what you did last time and you're golden.

I think it makes sense to remind Colbert and the viewers of how significant political change really happens - the people organize themselves into a mass movement, achieve victories, and then Congress rushes to catch up. Labor unions weren't legalized because Congressmen were feeling generous one day: it took decades of picket lines, horrible conditions, and spilled blood to build unions to the point that Congress felt it needed to introduce a legal regime around it. The same with the abolitionists, suffragists, and civil rights activists: mass movements are the best way to deepen democracy.

These victories also weren't simply the result of electing the right people into office either: hell, Richard Nixon, of all people, signed the EPA. So many political activists (especially new ones activated by Obama) look at the political landscape and take the view that to get to a more progressive society, we need to elect more progressive candidates (and therefore they get sucked into Democratic machine politics and beltway bureaucracy). History shows that the reverse is the case: if we build grassroots, progressive/radical movements (independent of a party or candidate) we will get progressive/radical politicians.

Join the fight to give students a real voice on campus:

I'm interested in the story (4.00 / 1)
How does it happen that you're going on Colbert.  We have so many progressive authors who never seem to make it onto the late night circuit.  What's the X factor?  How has Greenwald hit the NY Times bestsellers over and over and never been on?  Where's Perlstein?  

I want more liberals on teevee and it would be nice to hear from the ones that make it, how they made it.

No secret (4.00 / 3)
There is no secret - you have to scratch and claw to get your way in front of the bookers and producers. Some commenters in the blogosphere (a very small group, really) berate me and others like me for promoting my work, and then bemoan that progressive voices never break into the media debate. The thing I've learned over the years is that you have to be super aggressive to break through - and so I don't think there really is any silver-bullet trick other than willing to do a lot of hard, pride-swallowing work.

[ Parent ]
Good job (0.00 / 0)
It appears that you and your bookers have done a very good job of getting some pretty good slots for you and your book promotion. Well done... keep working hard.

As for advice, I agree with much of the above: relax, laugh, and have fun, then you'll get a better opportunity to make one of the points you'd like to (which is probably all you can expect to get).

[ Parent ]
Didn't I call it? (0.00 / 0)
Hey David - didn't I call this one way back on May 4th on your Fear Before Launch post? Yes I did:
But do go ahead and appear on Colbert as well so you'll get the Colbert Bump too. My god, how great would that be to see Colbert interview you on this book!

That's called the Oaktown Girl Bump!

Remember me now and thank me later. Or vice versa.

Good luck, have fun, and be great!

You Nailed It! (4.00 / 2)
Nice work on Colbert.  I thought it went very well.  You hit your major points clearly and even with a little repetition, which almost never happens on Colbert.  At one point, the crowd went nuts at one point cheering you on.  Cobert had some great funnies, but nothing mean or vindictive.  I loved the end when he asked, "If we have all this change that you're talking about, will I still have my job?"    

I Agree 100% (4.00 / 1)
That was fantastic! Rarely do Colbert's guests get the chance to articulate their positions for as long as you did, and even fewer articulate them as well as you did. Well done!!

"Don't hate the media, become the media" -Jello Biafra

[ Parent ]
Fantastic! (0.00 / 0)
I absolutely agree with the other positive reviews of your Colbert appearance. You articulated the main points of your book in both a strong and genial manner, and Colbert got to work in his funny bits without talking over you. Well done, indeed!  


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