NT Wright on Colbert

Others have noted this as well. I have to say that I think Akma’s comments and those on his post are a bit too harsh.

Bishop N. T. Wright appeared on the Colbert Report the other day, and I have to say that this match-up didn’t bring out the best in Tom. He’s a quick-witted guy, and his scholarship stands among the best in the field of New Testament studies, but he was making an argument that didn’t fit well into the Colbert format, and he persisted at trying to drive home his point when the few moments might have been better spent playing along with Colbert, I think.

… In essence, the whole of an interview segment on Colbert is “asides”; it’s almost all banter, without much room for making a point of substance. Tom kept pushing his book’s thesis, more than treating the segment as an opportunity to make a jovial public appearance, trading witticisms with Stephen Colbert.

I think we read Colbert’s interviews differently. Yes Colbert is constantly making "asides" and little jabs, but that is his role. The role of the quest is that of the straight man, the guest is to stick to their topic, hopefully with a good sense of humor, and provide the vehicle for Colbert to do his thing. Tom’s attempts at humor were a little weak, but by and large I thought it was a very fine and fair showing. (For an example of a guest who got too uptight and was ripped apart by Colbert see Debra Dickerson’s interview . You remember this, she was arguing that Barak Obama is not black.)

All in all, I think it was a good appearance (but Cookie Monster was better 😉 ) Here is the video.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.