tv The Colbert Report Comedy Central September 12, 2014 1:33am-2:07am PDT
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stephen! >> stephen: welcome to the report. thank you for joining us, citizens. sit down! please! ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, thank you. thank you, members of the nation, citizens assembled dignitaries. smoke 'em if you've got them. metaphorically, of course. new york state law does not allow to you smoke indoors, and we're going to need all of our fighting age men and women healthy and strapping because at exactly-- ooooh. i forgot to wind my watch last night-- whatever time it is, the united states of america has heard the call of battle once again. this great nation is at war. sorry for the question mark. i just had to slap that on because i couldn't quite tell from obama's speech last night exactly--
( laughter ) you know, uh, this, what-- what are we doing again? >> my fellow americans, following consultations with allies abroad and congress at home, i
can announce that america will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. our objective is clear-- we will degrade and ultimately destroy isil through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy. >> stephen: got it. this great nation is. at. comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy. ( cheers and applause ). the point is the point is, ladies and gentlemen, we're going back to it iraq so we can finally complete the tril gee. and then throw the federal budget into mount doom. ladies and gentlemen, what while i unquestionably support our commander in chief, i do have
some questions. ( laughter ) sir, we're fighting isis. why can't you get their name right? >> the terrorist group known as isil. isil. isil. isil. >> stephen: now,
i agree they're acting like a bunch of isils. ( cheers and applause ). but, sir, technically, technically, it's isis. if you just slam an "l" on the end of words willy-nilly whenever you want, you're going to make mistakes. you'll think you're bombing syria, and instid end up bombing cereal, which-- which i support, by the way. sunny cuckoo is a mad man who must be brought to justice. ( cheers and applause ). and it's not-- and it's not just their name he got wrong. he doesn't even know what the name stands for. >> isil is not islamic. no religion condones the killing of innocents.
>> why won't he call isis what they really are-- islamic extremists. >> he said the islamic state in the levant is not islamic. hello? how-- how do you parse that anlative or noun or verb. if an islamist is not an islamist, does the bird tweet in the tree? ( laughter ) >> stephen: it's a simple question, sir-- does or does not the bird tweet in the tree? if something calls itself something, it is that thing, just like all english muffins are based in england. and canadian bacon is made from canadians. but, folks, i-- it's not just islamic he wouldn't woo say. britt hume noticed there are other words that did not appear in the speech. >> it seems that one would do whatever it takes to eliminate the threat.
he didn't quite go that far. he said we'd do what it takes. he didn't say we'd do whatever it takes. >> stephen: he didn't say the word "whatever." at least he could have today we're going to kill isis or whatevs. words matter, sir. words matter. or, whatever, whatever, mr. president. then, my friend britt here perfectly summed up what felt so wrong about the president's tone. >> there is a certain un-- what i might call a certain uncertainty in all of this in the sound of the trumpet he is blowing. when you blow an uncertain trumpet and commit to doing less than you could and-- and-- and -- >> stephen: hamana hamana hamana hamana. yes, obama is ploag an uncertain trumpet. well said, britt, spoken by a man who knows how to blow a rusty trombone.
but traps-- ( cheers and applause ) oh, yes. and you would not believe the feel when he blows it. ( laughter ) but perhaps, perhaps the president's fiercest critic was john mccain, who was everywhere last night. he was a guest on cnn. he was a guest on msnbc. he was a guest on fox news. he was a secret ingredient on "chopped." i thought it was so inventive to pan fry him with a corn flake crust. ( laughter ) and mccain's message was as clear as it was self-congratulatory. >> the president of the united states is now forced to listen to what, frankly, lindsey graham and i have been arguing for. our withdrawal from all of our troops from iraq, was a major contributor to the situation that we're in today. if we had left a residual force, the situation would not be what it is today. we had it won, thanks to the surge. it was won. >> stephen: yes, it was won. all we had to do was keep a
residual force in iraq for-- let's say, ever. ( laughter ) then, today, we wouldn't have any terrorism there except for the terrorism we had when we were there. ( laughter ) problem-- samed. and john mccain was not the only one that barack obama forgot to thank last night. the "wall street journal" journaled the real message of obama's speech should have been dick cheney was right all along. seeing those words in print must melt whatever is in place of his heart. i'm going to say an egg timer duct taped to a sick bed. and, folks, and, folks, i gotta say-- ( cheers and applause ) huge, huge cheney fans here tonight. ( laughter ) and if dick cheney got it right, so did his little buddy-in-chief, who got it right
before the surge in 2007. >> president bush issued this frighteningly accurate, as it turns out, assessment of what would happen. >> we begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for iraq, for the region, and for the united states. it would mean surrendering the future of al-- of iraq to al qaeda. it would mean that we'd be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. it would mean increasing the probability that american troops would have to return at some lateridate dateto confront an enemy that is even more dangerous. >> how eerie. >> stephen: yes. how eerie. it's like he's some kind of prophet. what's that guy's name. nostra-dumbass. yeah, yeah. that's it. ( cheers and applause ). he saw is coming. because it really eye gotta say, listening to that, it really seems as if bub could see the
future in 2007. if only he could have seen it in 2003. oh, my god! oh, my god, folks! if his predictions were right about this, that means his predictions were right about everything. >> i ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research, creating human-animal hybrids. ( laughter ). >> stephen: folks, folks, do you know what this means? i am now predicting that after this war, the new prime minister of iraq will be a prime minittor. we'll be right back. it's back, but not for long.
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our glaciers are dropping. jungles cropping up in strange places and she sometimes we wake up and find our streets all wet. it's natural. but it turns out-- and i didn't know this-- humans aren't the only creatures on the planet. >> climate change will affect north american birds. the national audobon society said half of our continent's 650 species will be forced to find new places to live, feed, and breed over the next 65 years. >> stephen: these are the scare tactics from the loon-loving loons from the audobon society. name one bird that will thrive. you want to know what climate change sounds like? it's the soundave mourning dove. yes. the haunting call of the mourning dove reminds us of all we've lost. let me guess. the other surviving species will be the northern guilt-trip sparrow. and the i told you songbird. >> i told you so. i told you so. >> stephen: but sadly,
official state birds like louisiana brown pelican, vermont's hermit thrush, and new hampshire's purple finch will be pushed out of their states completely. suddenly the hundreds of hours i spent memorizing state trivia seems like a total waste of time. by the way-- a total waste of time? the official state motto of delaware. still got it. ( applause ) and worse, and worse the study says that the state bird of america, the bald eagle, might have its habitat decreased 75% by 2080. how can that be? i thought its native territory was discount patriotic t-shirts. and based on the size what i've seen at wal-mart, that territory is expanding. folks, the ini have row-nuts demand energy source sources toe the birds, new sources. but who's going to save the birds from our new energy sources? would the audobon vot prefer
wind power. >> wind farms i can more than 100,000 birds each year. >> it's pitting global warming environmentalists against the bird lovers and wildfire conservation. why? because wind farms are killing more than 1,000 birds a at a. many are protected or migratory species. >> stephen: that's right, your beloved wind farms are just high-rise cuisinarts. what about your spreshes solar energy gee, a new controversy over solar power. birds are getting ignited in midflight and falling from the sky. >> the heating produces up to 900 degrees is charg the feathers of birds flying through, often causing them to crash and die. >> stephen: here's an idea-- put the solar panels next to the wind turbines and let it rain sparrow mcnuggets. have a pond full of hone mustard for them to fall into. will that make you happy? i'm sorry, bird lovers at this point it looks like america will
have to choose between having birds and lightbulbs. i'm sorry, i choose lightbulbs because i need them to read my audobon guide. the birds are so pretty. put i will say one thing-- as our planet warms, america will need a new national bird. so i #nominat hereby nominate t. >> 3,000 b.t.u. air conditioner. behold her glorious plumage and three fan speeds. and lo doth she soar when not properly secured with the included window mounting kit. we'll be right back. ( cheers and applause ) ♪ music plays
don't get up. thank you. good to see you. thanks for coming on. >> it's a pleasure to be here. >> stephen: all right, sir, you are a former historian at the smithsonian national museum of natural history, and you worked on the star spangle banner restoration project. >> that's right correct. >> stephen: let's show the folks what the actual star spangled banner is. jim, throw that up there. what is is the history of this flag? >> this flag is now at the museum of natural history. it came there in 1907. before that it was kept for nearly 100 years in an attic in baltimore. after the battle of fort mchenry, the commander of the fort, major george armstead, essentially took it home as a personal souvenir. >> stephen: wow. >> even though it was a very expensive piece of government property. it cost 400 bucks. >> stephen: the battle of fort mchenry which was 200 years ago...? >> tomorrow. >> stephen: that is the battle francis scott key is
describing in the star spangled banner. >> exactly. francis scott key was out in the middle of the river on a ship, and he watched the british fleet bombard fort mchenry for 27 hours. >> stephen: and this was the flag over fort mchenry. >> this was the flag raised at the end of the battle. >> stephen: to celebrate and commemorate the 200th anniversary of that battle and tomorrow his writing of the national anthem, you have a new book called "the star spangled banner: the making of an american icon." >> that's right. >> stephen: this is really about the song, isn't it? >> this is about the flag, the song, the battle, the whole nine yards. >> stephen: okay the diet book. >> exactly. >( laughter ). >> stephen: was the star spangled banner, the song itself, was that embraced by people right away? >> it was not immediately popular. it-- it grew slowly in popularity.
>> stephen: what was our national anthem before the star spangled banner. >> we had rather patriotic songs. "yankee doodle," "hail columbia." they played "yankee doodle at the end of the battle when they raised the flag. >> stephen: really. they played "yankee doodle went to town?" >> yeah. >> stephen: that's like ending a battle and going ba-da-da-dum. >> it became popular as a patriotic song during the civil war because it was about the flag. the flag was a symbol of loyalty during the civil war. >> stephen: so how did key come up with this? i mean, he literally just wrote it during the battle? >> key was an amateur poet. he had written a lot of poetry before the battle. so he's out on this ship watching the fort being bombarded -- >> stephen: why wasn't he fighting? why was he writing poetry instead of fighting? >> he was a lawyer! >> stephen: he was a lawyer, okay. >> he was a very prominent
lawyer. and he had gone out to the british fleet to try to spring an american prisoner, a dr. beans who had been arrested by the british and takenute-- taken out on board the british flags ship i. >> stephen: so dr. beans was out on the british ship. >> he was. >> stephen: and did they get him back? >> they did. >> stephen: they would have said no beans. how did key manage to write the star spangled banner when you know he had his hand over his heart. do you know when he put our hand over our heart? >> we used to pledge allegiance to the flag going like this. >> stephen: wow. why on earth did that stop? >> it was the like a rolling salute, you know. the hand over the heart, when the song was sung, really began during word war one. >> stephen: do you have a favorite version? because there have been a lot of
controversial versions of the star spangled banner. rosanne bar, jimi hendrix of woodstock played it. >> yup, yup. >> stephen: do you have a version you particularly love? >> you know, there's no official version. any way they play it and sing it is already lrt with me. it can be sung in spanish. can be sung in polish. >> stephen: don't you dare! you take that back. you take that back, sir. >> live where spanish is a second language. texas. >> stephen: do you have to sing the official tune or can you change the tune? >> no, the tune is set by congress. >> stephen: really? >> yeah. >> stephen: i didn't realize they were so musically gifted. ( laughter ). >> that was the result of a very intense lobbying effort by a baltimore lady and the congressman from baltimore. they lobbyed for 20 years to get congress to make the star spangled banner our national anthem. >> stephen: and what were
their names? >> i knew you'd ask. mrs. holloway. and congressman charles lunthecom. >> stephen: well done. >> thank you. >> stephen: you should write a book about this. >> i'm a historian. we know stuff like that. >> stephen: thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you, stephen. >> stephen: lonn taylor. no, you stay there. you stay there. the book is "the star spangled banner." we'll be right back. thank you. ( cheers and applause ) ( cheers and applause ) ♪ ♪ this is a pip.
♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming. ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars. ♪ through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched. ♪ were so gallantly treming. ♪ and the rocket' red glare the bombs bursting in air. ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. ♪ o say does that star spangled