Stephen Colbert wasn't his usual jovial self after the October 1st shootings. Without his sarcastic alter ego to fall back on, he even became somewhat stern.
“In the face of the killings in Oregon yesterday I honestly don’t know what to do or say,” Colbert said, emphasizing that his job on the show was to discuss the news from the past 24 hours but that this particular news is now all too commonplace. “I can’t pretend that it didn’t happen. I also can’t pretend to know what to do.”
But, he went on, “I think pretending is part of the problem. These things happen over and over again and we are naturally horrified and shocked when we hear about them. But then we change nothing and we pretend that it won’t happen again.”
Before pivoting to another story and resuming his signature sarcastic tone, Colbert concluded soberly: “I do know the definition of insanity is changing nothing and then pretending that something will change.”
It's going to take someone like Colbert who has the national platform on a nightly basis before change happens. You'd think it would be the folks running the national network nightly news shows, but they're so in the tank for horse races and corporate interests that shootings are a faddish thing that fades quickly. Let's hope Colbert and those like him can keep the country's attention span focused.