Stephen Colbert will be testifying before the House Judiciary Subcommittee today, and believe it or not, members of Congress have their shorts in a wad about it.
“I don’t think he should be here. It commercializes the committee,” Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.) said.
Colbert plans to testify about his role in a United Farm Workers campaign called “Take Our Jobs,” an effort that invites U.S. citizens and legal residents to replace undocumented immigrant field laborers. The goal of the campaign is to build momentum for passing legislation that would give undocumented farm workers the right to earn legal status by continuing to work in agriculture.
The comedian spent a day in August working on a New York farm to highlight how demanding the work is; he will feature the experience on his show, “The Colbert Report,” on Thursday night.
Cohen, who emphasized that he is “a big fan” of Colbert and has even been on his show, said that unless the comedian intends to testify about issues related to acting or television, he should not appear before a Congressional panel.
“Picking vegetables for 10 hours doesn’t make him worthy of testifying before a committee,” the Tennessee Democrat said.
To be honest, I don’t know if Colbert is the best person to be speaking on this, but I’m sure he’ll bring at least something to the table. And, shot in the dark, I’m guessing he knows as much on the subject as the gentleman from Tennessee. But the thing that fries me is when any member of Congress saddles up the high horse to tell us how important and serious their role is. We’d hate to see the committee “commercialized,” Rep. Cohen. Thank God you’re making your voice heard.
These are the people that feel it’s appropriate to devote the majority of their legislative efforts to commemorating things and naming buildings after their peers. And that’s when they’re not looking into whether the Patriots are spying on the Jets, who should get to play in bowl games and which baseball players are taking steroids.
Edit: to add the testimony itself: