Gay Marriage | Gay Rights | News | Stephen Colbert | Television

Stephen Colbert Talks to HRC's Joe Solmonese

Stephen Colbert talked to Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese this week in a new series called "Better Know a Lobbyist." Thoroughly amusing.

Colbert: Have you thought about supporting any Republicans this year? What about Huckabee, are you gay for him?

Solmonese: We're not gay for Mike Huckabee because Mike Huckabee's not gay for us.

Colbert: Tit for tat. No offense.

(via queerty)

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  1. Joe is too adorable. I have such a thing for him; he's just so wonderfully prissy and uptight.

    Posted by: nity | Feb 8, 2008 12:05:41 PM

  2. Colbert: "...They have vaginas."
    Solomnese: *squirms* "Okay... Um."

    What kind of awards do they give to people like this? Colbert needs one. So happy the writer's strike is over for him, who knows what would happen to the election if he and Stewart weren't on TV.

    Posted by: justincredible | Feb 8, 2008 12:06:52 PM

  3. You shouldn't post these videos directly from Comedy Central. These station specific viral clips are part of what the WGA is fighting for. The fact that Comedy Central will put them up and not pay any residuals to writers is a big contention. By putting them up on your sight you are just furthering access. Part of the strike is to have people not watch these clip in protest.

    Sorry to be a stick in the mud.

    Posted by: BSD | Feb 8, 2008 12:33:28 PM

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    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Feb 8, 2008 12:50:19 PM

  5. That was pretty funny. And I don't know why, but I kept flashing to PeeWee Herman when John was talking. In a good way.

    Posted by: todd | Feb 8, 2008 1:30:41 PM

  6. That was probably my favorite Solomonese interview yet but only because it was funny. How could it not be considering it was with the Great Colbert.

    Having said that I must admit that I have never been impressed at all with Solomonese is any other television interview. I don't think he is well spoken or fast on his feet enough to be very effective. He always strikes me as a guarded, fumbling wet fish who misses wide open opportunities to make obvious and critical points in interviews and debates. He also strikes me as an old-school, beltway player who guards his words too closely if he thinks it might rock the boat back in the smoke filled rooms.

    Posted by: ZEKE | Feb 8, 2008 1:56:29 PM

  7. I *hate* when gay men make faces (and sometimes words) of disgust whenever someone mentions any word for female genitalia. It's misogynistic, plain and simple. Given that homophobia stems from misogyny, you'd think most gay men, especially the head of the Human Rights Campaign, would do all they could to end misogyny. But no, whenever anyone says vagina, most of us get all squirmy and make faces. It's completely childish.

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 8, 2008 2:05:32 PM

  8. I agree wholeheartedly, Spiderman (yeah, Pete, your secret's out!). Gay men can be so flippant about things, which is sad when there are so many serious repercussions to homophobia and misogyny. We all love a good palaver and a joke, but there is a time and place for parody and playing up to stereotypes (e.g. Queer Eye). I can't take seriously an organization headed by a "wet fish" who wriggles when he hears the V word.

    Compare his bit to when Eleanor Holmes Norton was on Colbert - she was funny, smart and held her own. Someone draft her for the HRC, please.

    Posted by: Krypenthorff III | Feb 8, 2008 2:31:17 PM

  9. Zeke, Peterparker, good point. I don't recall any other interviews with Solmonese, but... I myself didn't see that as playing up to a stereotype but it's obvious by your comments that it does reaffirm attribution errors others have of gays. However, the Report is satirical, and maybe that's why I didn't take Solmonese's squirming seriously and thought he played the moment.

    I would have too if Colbert was sitting across from me, awkwardly trying to prove that women were better because they had soft skin and... vaginas. But I'm not the mouthpiece for the "Homosexual Rights Campaign."

    Posted by: justincredible | Feb 8, 2008 2:48:25 PM

  10. Aw, be easy on him about the nose-scrunching and 'we don't do that' comment about high-fiving. It's a comedic interview, and he did refute all of the other stereotypes Stephen's character brought up.

    Joe's got a bitch of a job; it's impossible to please a huge, diverse community of people all -or even most- of the time. And, yes, he does choose his words very carefully, it's obvious. But with how touchy our whole community can be, and how quick other people are to attack us... who can blame him? He does a fine job.

    Posted by: Nity | Feb 8, 2008 2:57:01 PM

  11. colbert is priceless. i would so gay-marry him while he slept.

    the "Repor(t)" is a parody of character driven punditry so common at, but not limited to, faux news. shammity, o'really, colt-er, et al, may just pull stuff out of their asses, but they support their sh*t with the conviction and tenacity of a rat terrier.

    i agree with JUSTIN'S assessment. i think solmonese was just going with the leitmotif of the show in general.

    Posted by: nic | Feb 8, 2008 3:52:23 PM

  12. HRC is a nambypamby, assimilationist group of gaybots. Not interested in marriage or military service, sorry.

    Posted by: Bill W | Feb 8, 2008 4:23:22 PM

  13. I didn't like Solomonese's reaction either. It didn't reflect well on him as a leader of a Coalition that is at least half women.

    Now, I have to ask, is it misogyny that makes lesbians, straight men and even straight women make faces, as they OFTEN do, when someone says the words "penis", "testicles" "foreskin" or "scrotum"? Is that somehow different and acceptable? Is it based in misandry? I wonder if anyone would comment on, or even notice if a lesbian GLBT leader had made a face in response to a silly question by Colbert about "foreskin"? I serously doubt it.

    I don't like it when ANYONE makes faces about anyone's genitals but I think it's overstretching a bit to make more out of it than need be. Some people just don't like certain genitals or the words for them. It doesn't necessarily mean that it is based in a hatred of women.

    This is the second time this week I have complained about over playing the misogyny card. With people accusing anyone who supports Obama of being a misogynist I have become very aware of just how much the accusation is abused and overused. It will lose its power and meaning if we don't reserve it for occassions where the accusation fits the crime.

    Posted by: ZEKE | Feb 8, 2008 4:48:44 PM

  14. Oh, and in my earlier post I wasn't saying that Joe was not good in the Colbert interview; if fact I said I thought he was good mostly because it was not serious.

    When I said I don't think he's a very effective spokesman I was refering to his serious interviews and debates on CNN, MSNBC, Fox and the Network news shows.

    I will say one thing for the man. When LOGO asked people to send in questions to ask the candidates in the LOGO Debate I sent a question about marriage in to both LOGO and HRC. To my great surprise, the very first question out of Joe's mouth was mine, WORD FOR WORD without a single edit! My husband, son and I just about fell out of our chairs. It was awesome. I was a bit surprised that they didn't let me know before hand or contact me about using my question. Oh well, I'm just glad they used it. The candidates' answers weren't nearly as awesome.

    Posted by: ZEKE | Feb 8, 2008 5:01:23 PM

  15. I was watching it last night! It was hillarious :)

    Posted by: Alexsander | Feb 8, 2008 5:04:16 PM

  16. to quote eric cartman, "whatevah, whatevah!!!, and, "are you questioning my authoritahh?!"

    i can't get even mildly discontented over an innocuous bit on colbert's show. is it impossible to look at one funny episode in a continuum of a life without having it relate inextricably to the prior and inexorably to the next? dare we crack a smile, do we dare to eat a peach?

    Posted by: nic | Feb 8, 2008 6:05:14 PM

  17. Before we cast too much judgement on the face Joe Solomonese made, it is known that Comedy Central edits these interviews for comedic value. He may have made a face about something else and the editors decided to show it out of context for the laugh factor (which it did garner laughs).

    I have learned to take these things with a grain of salt. It is a bit of a stretch to suggest making a funny face on a comedy show when hearing the word vagina is misogny, especially if we don't know if he really reacted to that or not. He gets points for holding his own with Colbert but it probably would have been better if he laughed a little more. Thank you for listening.

    Posted by: Angela Channing | Feb 8, 2008 8:38:35 PM

  18. For the record, my earlier post castigating gay men for implying that women's genitals are disgusting was not meant to be taken solely as a slam on Joe Solmonese. That bit in the interview simply called to mind, for me at least, the fact that gay men often have that reaction when someone mentions or refers to female genitalia. As someone pointed out, The Colbert Report may have edited the interview so that he appeared to make that face after Colbert said the word 'vagina' when in fact we don't really know if he reacted in that way to the question. However, it sure looked like he answered the question in that way. I suppose we'll never know.

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 8, 2008 9:02:16 PM

  19. PETERPARKER, I was sincere in the questions I asked in the second paragraph of my next to last comment above.

    I would like to hear your response.

    Posted by: ZEKE | Feb 8, 2008 10:24:25 PM

  20. Hey Spidey,

    I agree that real misogyny is a blight, no matter where it comes from. But I'd also say that homophobia stems from more than just misogyny. There's ALSO: 'it's not natural!' (i.e., it doesn't make babies); 'it's different' (other); and 'eew' (it's not sex I like to think about, just like the sex my parents and grandparents had to get me here). Obviously, these are specious arguments, but they are often gut reactions that contribute to homophobia.

    And some of my best friends are women...who have vaginas! Okay, one each.


    Posted by: David R. | Feb 8, 2008 11:01:01 PM

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