Week 3 Assignment: Michael Kohnert

I’d argue there is one person in the media who has more of an impact on my generation than any other national media figure. Through determination and pure genius, he created a persona that has impacted the social and political climate of America for almost a decade. He’d probably describe himself with one word, “America’, but we all know him as Steven Colbert. With The Colbert Report, he took a new approach to satirical news, the right approach, and clearly it was the correct approach. His portrayal of a dimwitted, well-intentioned, upper class right-wing easily incited laughter from audiences. Recognizing that his character is so overtly right wing, it may be surprising that I advocate that he actually did a lot to encourage rational thinking. His media activity brought to light many important issues like PACs, migrant workers’ rights, and he used his influence to raise money for many charities. He did most these things all while under the guise of Steven Colbert, his tv persona, so that he could keep up his comedic appearance, though it’s clear that these actions are motivated by Steven Colbert, the man. And it is this man who the Smithsonian should honor.