A profile in media courage, by @DavidOAtkins

A profile in media courage

by David Atkins

All of Washington D.C. yesterday was obsessed with what has derisively become known as "Nerd Prom": the White House Correspondents Dinner. Unless Stephen Colbert is involved, it's typically a bleak and self-important affair.

But speaking of Stephen Colbert, there was a much funnier and better event, which Digby posted about earlier in the week, the Time 100 dinner. Stephen Colbert had the honor of delivering remarks--and per his usual, he didn't mince words:

Also, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke is here tonight. Also an instant, instant feminist icon. Famously tested, testified before Congress, that Georgetown, a Catholic institution,should be required to provide insurance coverage for her birth control.

Now, TIME 100 honoree, his eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan disagrees -- sir, lovely to see you again.

Of course, now some, some critics have said in response to this that if the Catholic church's insurance does not cover Sandra Fluke's birth control, it shouldn't cover Cardinal Dolan's Viagra.

Oh, no, no, no. Oh, no, no, no, that's called celibacy plus. That's how the pros do it. Because chastity is one thing, but it shows true commitment to uphold your vows when you are sporting a crook you could hang a miter on. Oh, wow, see you at mass on Sunday, sir?

The best shots were taken at David Koch, who was sitting right there in the front section:

Of course, all of us should be honored to be listed on the TIME 100 alongside the two men who will be slugging it out in the fall: President Obama, and the man who would defeat him, David Koch.
Give it up everybody. David Koch.

Little known fact -- David, nice to see you again, sir.

Little known fact, David's brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential. Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million. That's kind of cheap, Dave.

Sure, he's all for buying the elections, but when the bill for democracy comes up, Dave's always in the men's room. I'm sorry, I must have left Wisconsin in my other coat.

I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am -- thank you, thank you -- and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC. And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there's no way for you to ever know whether that's a joke.

By the way, if David Koch likes his waiter tonight, he will be your next congressman.

It's been said a million times at this point, but Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have more courage and honesty than 2/3 of the so-called "liberal" Democratic establishment. They're not afraid of David Koch's or Jamie Dimon's cash, and they're not afraid of not getting invited to cool cocktail parties.

And just for the record, let the conspiracy types who claim that our press cowardice is all the result of corporate media ownership note: Viacom runs Comedy Central, and General Electric Comcast owns MSNBC. Maddow, Stewart and Colbert feel fairly free to do their thing, anyway. There may be nefarious control to a certain extent, but by and large the rest of the traditional press don't get off so lightly. They're simply cowards, "respectable" straight-laced cardboard caricatures humbled at every turn by the brilliance and courage of a couple of comedians and a comparatively neophyte unabashed lesbian TV personality on the 3rd most watched cable news channel.

That should embarrass them. But I guess it doesn't.