Colbert Strays Onto Capitol Hill for Immigration Hearing
Published September 24, 2010
Stephen Colbert rides an Army ASV while taping an episode of the Colbert Report in New York Sept. 8. (AP Photo)
One of Stephen Colbert's split personalities will testify Friday on Capitol Hill, transforming the hearing chamber for an obscure congressional committee into a showroom of gawking onlookers.
Colbert's appearance has created a buzz in Washington. United Farm Workers announced Wednesday that its president would testify alongside Colbert in Washington for a hearing on "Protecting America's Harvest." Despite initial reports that Colbert would assume the role of his tongue-in-cheek conservative pundit alter-ego, one source tells Fox Business Network that his prepared testimony is "serious."
Watch the testimony starting at 9:30 a.m. ET on FoxNews.com.
A committee aide told FoxNews.com the House Judiciary subcommittee hearing will be about migrant farm workers and probably touch on the so-called AgJOBS bill, a proposal that would give illegal immigrant farm workers a pathway to legal status.
The appearance already has triggered some grumbling from the Republican side. Rep. Jason Chaffetz -- who sits on the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law -- called the hearing a "joke."
"We have never, ever had a substantive discussion on any immigration issue ... and they're calling Colbert as their first guy?" the Utah Republican told Fox News. "The meeting room will be packed. Everybody will want to get their picture taken with him and an autograph and what no, but we're not here to make Comedy Central look good. We do that all by ourselves."
The idea for a Colbert appearance on the Hill apparently sprouted in August, after Colbert met subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., on a New York corn farm.
Both Colbert and Lofgren had taken up UFW President Arturo Rodriguez on a challenge to experience life as a field worker - Colbert agreed to the gig when Rodriguez appeared as a guest on his show in July. At the farm, Colbert and Lofgren taped a segment together for "The Colbert Report" and somewhere along the line arranged for Colbert to come to Washington.
Send in the clowns.