This routine, in which Colbert plays at conservatism in order to portray it as unendingly ugly, should be labeled for what it is: vile political blackface. When Colbert plays “Colbert,” it’s not mere mockery or satire or spoof. It’s something far nastier.
.. Conservatives, it goes without saying, are not an oppressed, powerless group of people being culturally and monetarily exploited, completely without the freedom or ability to set the terms of their own representation. Indeed, they are free to portray themselves how they see fit in the many media outlets that they own: on television and the radio, in newspapers and magazines, and all over the internet. Those places—where conservatives proudly stand up and say the things they believe—are the direct sources of Stephen Colbert’s character
.. The audience is supposed to believe that the Colbert character “exist[s] in type,” because the character is based explicitly on right-wing media superstars like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.