A reader writes:
I found myself more agreeing with Colbert when I watched that clip than not. I'm not 100% sure what happened that night when the Apache crew fired on the van and I'm sorry for both the victims and the perpetrators who I'm sure feel much regret. Setting aside that event and the consequences, I'm commenting only on the interview.
Where I saw Colbert get angry was when the editor tried to say all they are about is transparency; no secrets. When the guy admitted that they edited and titled the tape, but it was okay because they put a link to the unedited footage that to me was the crux. Colbert then pointed out correctly that Wikileaks knew they were establishing the mindset and they knew the majority (turns out 90%) wouldn't take the time to view the whole footage. What Colbert and Stewart do, rather masterfully, is take clips of politicians and media figures and play them in a light that is embarrassing (and funny, though sometimes it's just sad). They don't claim to be legitimate news. But seeing that same tactic being used by Wikileaks, which claims to be about transparency and above it all was too much. (Plus the guy did come across as a rather smug twit.)
Yes Colbert was defending the military that he loves, but I think what made him angry was that a tactic that he and Stewart use was being used as the weapon against the soldiers in uniform. If he only wanted to give his support to the military or if he only wanted to pick on Wikileaks, he didn't need to do the interview. That's why I think the anger was genuine and an in the moment reaction. I don't see much point in criticizing Colbert or Stewart in matters like this.
I see Stewart and Colbert as jesters that have found themselves in a position of responsibility in an increasingly irresponsible newscape. While I always hope that they'll stay funny, I don't begrudge them wanting to be serious once in awhile. Oh, and as far as Colbert getting angry at parties responsible for the war, that will have to wait until Mr. Cheney or Mr. Bush agree to come appear on his show. There are contributors and then there are architects.