Stephen Colbert plays a right wing, self-obsessed TV bloviator on Comedy Central.
Or does he?
A study in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media suggests something more ominous is at work. Conspiracy buffs -- and you know who you are -- pull up a chair.
Colbert, we all thought, was a liberal posing as a windbag conservative to make them look silly. But this study suggests people who watch his program actually become more conservative and more Republican. I blogged about the study in January, but now I've given it more thought.
It's simple: Colbert is not a liberal posing as a conservative to make conservatives look foolish. It's much deeper than that. Colbert is a conservative posing as a liberal who poses as a conservative. We think he's making conservatives look foolish when, instead, he secretly pulls people to the political right.
Clever, Colbert. Very clever.
And now I am so confused.