Stephen Colbert has taken "The Colbert Report" on the road to Baghdad this week, broadcasting Monday through Thursday from Saddam Hussein's former Al Faw Palace, now within the confines of Camp Victory. Appearing in a camouflage-patterned suit, with khaki shirt and tie, he carried a golf club as a kind of salute to Bob Hope, who did this sort of thing all the time, on TV and off.
"What an honor it is for you to have me here," Colbert told his audience, gathered in a high-ceilinged marbled hall into which he imported his own brand of visual overkill.
As is widely known, but not always well understood, Colbert plays puffed-up right-wing pundit Stephen Colbert; much of what he says is meant to be ironic, but not all of it, which makes his character a little hard to fix. Indeed, an Ohio University study suggested that conservative undergraduates were likely to identify Colbert's onscreen character as an authentic Republican, while liberals saw him as joking. This is in part because the real Colbert (a self-identified Democrat, a serious Catholic) is not entirely masked by the fake one, and because, like most of us, he is more complicated than any labels you might apply to him.