Welcome back, everyone. I feel a little unsure of what this week will bring. The banner on Colbert Nation says there will be new episodes from Tuesday through Friday, but the guest list has no TBD for Friday, nor does the Late Night TV Page (although it does have one for Jon’s Friday show). So who knows what’s going on? I’ll assume that the banner is right, and as soon as there’s any news, I’ll update this BKAG.
What I do know is that I can’t wait for Stephen’s reappearance. He has a banquet of tasty topics to choose from, thanks to the Republicans. You have Akins’s “legitimate rape” comment; Isaac at the RNC (caused by God? Or just the bad judgment to hold the convention in Florida during hurricane season?); the Mittster’s little “joke” about no one asking to see his birth certificate because everyone knows where he was born (but what about the tax returns, Mitt, what about the tax returns?); and, oh well, so much more. That doesn’t even take into account the latest late-night news: Jimmy Kimmel’s just-announced move to 11:30, opposite Stephen. All the papers keep mentioning Leno and Letterman, but really? There is only one 11:30 guy in my book. Anyway, there simply is no lack of material. The only tough thing will be deciding what to leave out. But, basically, it will be a hard turn from the music of Colbchella to the politics of the presidential nominating process.
So let’s see what lucky people will appear with Stephen this week.
Tuesday 8/28: Andrew Sullivan
With the Republican convention in (we assume) full swing, it must be time for a pundit—a real one—to help comment on the proceedings. Conservative blogger and journalist Andrew Sullivan is one of the most prominent. He writes for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and for many years, his essays appeared regularly in the New York Times Magazine. (More on that below.) His conservatism, though, is complicated by his homosexuality, which is not embraced by the Republican party. In fact, Sullivan seems like the kind of conservative my sister is: fiscally so, but socially liberal, with a desire to keep government out of our personal lives. There used to be many Republicans of that stripe—the so-called Rockefeller Republicans—but they have long been chased out of the party.
The British-born Sullivan received his BA in modern history and modern languages from Oxford, but came to America to study at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he earned both his MA and PhD. In 2011, he finally was able to become a permanent resident of the US, after having been banned for years because of his HIV-positive status, which at one time disqualified you for consideration.
Sullivan’s journalistic career began at The New Republic, where he eventually became editor. He then joined the Times, but was let go, possibly because he openly criticized the newspaper on his blog, The Daily Dish. His other employers since then have included TIME and the Atlantic, and his books include Same Sex Marriage Pro and Con: A Reader and Love Undetectable: Notes of Friendship, Sex, and Survival.
Although Sullivan has had a great career in the traditional media, without a doubt his biggest claim to fame at the moment is his blog, The Dish, which won The 2008 Weblog Award for Best Blog. This article, from Harvard Magazine, queries whether he is, in fact, the world’s best blogger. Incidentally it also is the place where Anderson Cooper officially “came out.”
Read one of Sullivan’s most recent articles, on the Catholic Church and New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, from the Advocate.
Like the Andrew Sullivan/Dish Facebook page.
Sullivan visited the Report only this past January.
Hear him on NPR discuss Obama’s support of gay marriage.
Wednesday, 8/29: Jennifer Burns
We have all heard so much about Paul Ryan’s adoration of the writer Ayn Rand; presumably Ryan urges all his staffers to read her work. For Jennifer Burns, that’s a stroke of luck, because she’s a Rand specialist whose book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, which began life as her PhD dissertation, addresses the enduring appeal the Rand holds for conservatives. Drawing for the first time on Rand’s private papers and journals, Burns analyzes the Russian-born Rand’s life—which was upended by the communist revolution–and philosophy. Not having read the book myself, I wonder if Burns addresses the fact that Rand was both an atheist and a supporter of abortion rights—two things that Ryan abhors. (Actually, given the articles she has subsequently written on the subject, I believe she must.)
Burns, who received her BA in history from Harvard and her MA and PhD from Berkeley, is currently an assistant professor of history at Stanford University. The Organization of American Historians honored her as a Distinguished Lecturer. If you’re interested in learning from her, you can go to iTunes and look up her podcasts on American history. (Sorry–there is no URL on iTunes.)
Visit her website.
Like her on Facebook.
Read her op-ed article on Ryan and Rand in the New York Times. I think it’s excellent.
Burns has already visited Jon on The Daily Show. AND, on her website, she answered the “top three questions” about her visit with him! I hope she’ll do the same with Stephen—and that she’ll say something as flattering about him as she did about Jon’s “mesmerizing blue eyes.”
In this video, Burns discusses whether she would actually want to live in the world of Atlas Shrugged.
Read a review of Goddess of the Market in the Washington Post.
Thursday, 8/30: Jon Huntsman
He’s the Mormon who didn’t win the Republican nomination, but as a consolation prize, he’s getting a second visit to the Report. Frankly, I’d prefer that to being at the head of the storm-tossed convention in Tampa, but well, that’s just me.
Jon Hunstman is the former governor of Utah, and unlike certain other members of his party he actually has been out in the world—mostly because all Mormons have to do some proselytizing. (Didn’t seem to make a difference in Mitt’s knowledge, however.) Hunstman went to Taiwan to do his religious recruiting, where he mastered both Taiwanese Hokkein and Mandarin, the latter of which served him in good stead when he became Ambassador to Singapore and, later, to China.
His political career began in the Reagan administration, where he worked as a staff assistant, and he was appointed Deputy US Trade Representative under Bush, Sr. He touts his “market-based” healthcare plan for Utah, as well as his legislation to “protect the sanctity of unborn life.” In addition to his public service positions, he is the CEO of his family’s Huntsman Corporation and chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, and, surprisingly, is currently a fellow at the somewhat liberal Brookings Institute.
Follow him on Twitter.
Like him on Facebook.
As we can tell from his appearance on TCR, he decided to skip the convention. (Or wasn’t invited?)
Read his views on immigration, which differ from most Republicans (and Dems, too). It’s one area where he feels the GOP is not reaching out to a larger electorate.
Slate discussed why Hunstman is “ripping” his party.
Take another look at his first visit to TCR.
Who contributed to Huntsman’s campaign when he ran? Interestingly, the Ultimate Fighting Championship!
Read an Esquire interview with Huntsman.
Friday, 8/31: JAMES CARVILLE
So tonight’s guest is southern-friend political genius James Carville, who helped engineer Bill Clinton’s presidential victory. Currently, Carville works as a commentator on CNN and on radio, and he’s also teaching political science at Tulane University in New Orleans. I expect he’ll be providing some Dem perspective on the GOP convention. My biggest hope: that he opines on Clint Eastwood and the empty chair.
Visit his website.
Read an article about him in The Daily Beast.
And now, let’s check in with our good friend Jon Stewart!
We’ll be checking in with Jon all this week as his team covers the convention, so watch for news on our site! Also, I recommend following some of the correspondents and producers on Twitter. The ones most active are Sam Bee, producer and writer Miles Kahn, and Aasif Mandvi. While John Oliver has an account, he honestly hasn’t been doing much with it.
As for guests, we only have Tuesday’s listed, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. He’s the author of An American Son: A Memoir, and was rumored to be one of the top choices for VP. As the senator from the state where the convention is being held, and a person of interest for future presidential races, he’s playing a prominent role and introducing Romney on the final night—when he’s officially nominated.
Read the USA Today article about him.
He visited Jon on the show only a few months ago.
Not surprisingly, he’s discussing why Obama is “failing.”
Visit his Senate website.
Like him on Facebook.
Follow him on Twitter.
UPDATE: GUEST NEWS
We now know who will be stopping by The Daily Show on Wednesday and Thursday (but not Friday): Tonight, Wednesday, the Cain Train is pulling into the TDS station. Yes, former presidential candidate Herman Cain will weigh in on what’s going on. And on Thursday, former RNC chairman Michael Steele will appear. I have to admit, these are two of my least favorite people, but they’re usually good for some (unintentional) laughs.
That’s all for now. I’ll keep updating as more news arrives.
Let me know what you are hoping to see happen this week! It’s about a lot more than the guests, so weigh in!