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Stephen Colbert urged to cancel speech for RSA (theguardian.com)
122 points by justin66 1374 days ago | hide | past | web | 43 comments | favorite

It would be completely out of character for him to pull out of the speech - far better for him to go along and mock them. I for one would love to see that.

Yes I agree let him speak there.

It's like the reverse incidents where students at some universities demand controversial speakers not be allowed to speak at their university as if censoring a speech is a victory.

Let people speak and if what they say is wrong then debate it to show what's wrong don't hide it or hide from it.

Not providing a platform for someone else's speech is not the same as censoring someone else's speech. All the more so if one's tuition is partially paying for that speech and there are many other roughly equivalently effective venues for the speaker.

I wish to give a talk about how space aliens built the Brooklyn Bridge using telekinetic herring, and give the talk in your kitchen. If you neither grant permission nor tell me where you live then obviously you have something to hide and wish to censure my speech.

I would love to hear it.

If you don't give me the $2,000 in travel fees to reach you then you are suppressing the free speech rights of both me and my herring.

You need to wait a bit, just bought a honey bee. Will sell honey and raking in the millions. This is my eco-friendly MVP. If that does not work we pivot with your herring. And make fish. While listening to your free speech and all.

I think herring is a fish.

Yes, herring is the honey bee of the seas. That's why they are so useful when building a bridge.

My take: I'd kind of like for him to give that speech. Keeping in mind his performance at the White House Correspondent's Dinner:


Agreed. I feel people often forget that Stephen Colbert is a character, not the actual person.

How does that factor in here?

I would say the comic showed up in Washington, not the character.

(I would also say that the character is slowing vanishing, because it doesn't work as well when everybody is in on it. A lot of times it holds back his interviews, playing the idiot foil limits the questions he can ask.)

I'm not a habitual watcher of his show but it seems to me like he's pretty good about knowing when to turn it off, or just turn it down a bit. One interview on his show where I remember him being very close to completely straight was with an astronaut who had walked on the moon, which I feel indicates that his priorities are about right.

It's both. They have the same name.

This video was my introduction to Stephen Colbert many years ago and it immediately made me a fan. I was specifically thinking about this when I've read the headline and am also hoping he will do something alike.

Have you seen the speech he gave Bush? Right in front of Bush?

I most certainly want him to speak to RSA.

Question is: why would he be speaking at RSA conference.

Imagine him speaking at PyCon closing. Why would he go there? It just makes the conference more like high school / college graduation where you invite someone interesting/outstanding to talk about what it means to be successful person. Do we need someone else to tell us how terrible X is doing? What public policy is bad? How to become a successful person in the industry? I mean come on... I reserve my conservatism here. If someone else needs to mock RSA / Python / Ruby whatnot, let someone else in the tech community do it?

"why would he be speaking at RSA conference."

Well, let's say you've got an extra 10 million dollars laying around after selling out your customers, you gotta use it on something...

It's that $10 million that makes me skeptical that he'll be speaking truthiness to power at this event. The WHCA was one thing but i suspect he's raking it on the private lecture circuit like everyone else.

RSA always has a "normal" non-tech comedy/general interest speaker doing the closing keynote on Friday, after everyone actually working on stuff has already left or is in meetings.

That speech was awesome and if I was the RSA, I would be reconsidering asking him, considering what he could say.

No I have not.

Wow that is amazing, I can't believe I have never heard of it. Makes me much more comfortable with him going if he pulls off something like that again.

Shh.. If we don't publicize this too much he might actually get to make his speech. But I think after this publicity RSA will probably figure out who Colbert _actually_ is and what he stands for and cancel it.

I don't like the idea of boycotting a speaking gig. If you don't agree with what RSA is doing, isn't it best to keep a dialog going?

If we only allow those who agree with us to speak to the choir, they'll be a series of different choirs never speaking to each other.

> isn't it best to keep a dialog going

Don't be silly, RSA is not interested in honest dialog. Have you seen the press release? It's nice to be for virtue but play pretend virtue is not virtue.

> RSA is not interested in honest dialog

I'm sure some of their 1300+ employees are interested in honest dialog.

In any case, what's your suggestion for improving the situation?

Personally, I think capitalism is a pretty good solution to that one. Boycott them, put them out of business, let them serve as a warning to the next bunch of people who consider screwing over the customers under the counter.

It's not that easy. Too many companies are dependent on them (stares at the hard token from RSA on my desk) and most people don't care.

We've known that Microsoft has provided back doors for decades and privacy conscious geeks already boycott them but their software is still everywhere.

The NSA scandal in the eyes of the general public is just a joke. "Haha, the NSA knows everything. OK, now what's on TV tonight."

Geeks who care about privacy don't have the numbers to vote with their dollars.

Sorry, meant to hit the up arrow, but hit down by mistake. Why can't votes be changed? :/

> In any case, what's your suggestion for improving the situation?

What do you ask me that? It's a question best asked to RSA, they created the bad situation.

Exactly! It is a question for them. So boycotting all speaking engagements especially by those likely to oppose them seems stupid.

That's an inapt comparison, one group comprises a large group of customers of the other, which is absolutely dependent on them.

Doing, or did? Is the RSA actively doing anything negative? The Bush comparison doesn't really hold if they aren't.

What Bush comparison?

Colbert's White House Correspondent's Dinner speech while George W. Bush was in office.

Ah, I think you commented on the wrong thread. Thanks for clarification.

I didn't, but I wasn't commenting argumentatively with you. Just because I replied to you doesn't mean I require your specific input.

I hope he goes. I might be wide of the mark, but my guess would be that RSA have probably bit themselves by booking Colbert at this point in time.

I pray to god if he gives the speech, it is filmed and made public.

If he cancels, I'd understand.

If he decides to do it, it will be awesome.

Doesn't anyone remember the White House Correspondent Assoc. dinner where he ripped both Bush and the lily-livered press new ones? I for one can't wait to see what he says to these guys.

This is like a group of Greeks trying to persuade Odysseus to boycott Troy by canceling delivery of the Trojan Horse.

This comparison is 3000 years outdated. I don't even care to try to understand it

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