Stephen Colbert, the host of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, will be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee this morning about his experience with immigrant laborers.
Some background from The Hill:
The hearing, titled “Protecting America’s Harvest,” will also feature United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, who has appeared on Colbert’s show to plug the UFW’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign, which invites Americans critical of illegal immigration to work as laborers in agricultural fields.
Colbert accepted Rodriguez’s offer, and worked for 10 hours on a farm in rural New York last month, picking vegetables.
At the hearing, the late-night talk show host will appear in the form of his fictional character, an anchorman also named Stephen Colbert, whose stated goal is to get at the “truthiness” of the news. The comedian often stays in character throughout public appearances.
In a conversation just off the House floor, Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa), the ranking member of the subcommittee on immigration, tells National Review Online that he is not enthused about Colbert’s visit. “This is a serious subject,” King says. “I am not quite familiar with the rationale that would bring comedians in to talk about serious subjects.” King, who did farm work while growing up in Iowa, says “it is a bad deal when you have comedians giving hard work a bad name.”
King adds that he does not watch the Colbert’s popular late-night program. “I can’t even think of a single clip,” he says. “I did ask my staff to take and look and see how many times I have been the subject of those discussions.” Before leaving for a vote, he tells us that his television diet does not include political satire. “I turn on Fox News and leave it there,” he laughs.