Fantasy Colbert League February 28th–March 3rd

Fantasy Colbert LeagueWelcome back to a new week of episodes—if “Anonymous” doesn’t take the show down with his nefarious hacking. Now that Stephen’s on his radar, who knows what will happen? We all saw the mark on Stephen’s face…

Let’s meet our guests–some brave enough to come back for a second or fourth encounter–from the worlds of politics, journalism, music, and biology.

Monday, 2/28: Michael Scheuer
Michael ScheuerAs we approach the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center bombings, it’s sobering to realize that the US, with all its resources, has still not managed to capture the mastermind of that destruction. Michael Scheuer, a 20+-year veteran of the CIA and author of the new book Osama bin Laden, believes he knows why, and he has expressed his views widely and strongly.

Currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies, Scheuer was formerly the chief of the CIA’s bin Laden tracking station for three years, and then served as a special adviser to the same unit. In 2004 he gained renown as the formerly anonymous writer of Imperial Hubris, an unflattering examination of US assumptions about Islamic insurgency and terrorism. This Washington Times article explains his views in brief—and apparently, Osama bin Laden felt Scheuer’s analysis was dead-on. (Warning: this tape is from FOX News.)

Scheuer’s other books include Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq; Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America, co-written with Bruce Hoffman; and Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy, co-written with Grant F. Smith.

FRACT: The wrath of Jon: What has me especially eager for this interview is that, a few years ago, Jon Stewart lashed into Scheuer with fury. So it will be fascinating to see how Stephen handles him.

Tuesday, 3/1: Evan Osnos
Evan OsnosLast time Evan Osnos visited The Colbert Report he spoke about China’s cashmere farms (and was briefly stunned into silence by Stephen!). Recently, however, Osnos has turned his attention to jasmine—or rather the Jasmine Revolution, the name given to recent protests for more democracy to China. Formerly a bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune, he moved to The New Yorker in 2008. As their China correspondent, he posts dispatches from Beijing, where he currently lives. Additionally, since his last appearance, Osnos has participated in a Frontline documentary on Christianity in China.

Osnos has won the Osborn Elliot prize from the Asia Society for his work and has interviewed major figures in the region, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiabo, who was jailed and then later placed under house arrest. China isn’t the first foreign country where Osnos has resided in order to do in-depth reporting: He used to live in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as well as other countries in the Middle East. As a student, he also wrote for the Harvard Crimson, where he covered a variety of topics. If you’re interested in knowing what’s on his bookshelf, look here for a fun article, or follow him on Twitter.

FRACT: When he worked for the Chicago Tribune, he was the only reporter who covered Obama’s Congressional race in 2000.

Wednesday, 3/2 : Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr.Can you hear the sounds of the 40s and 50s, coming from the voice and piano of today? Then it must be Grammy® and Emmy® Award winner (and Tony® nominee) Harry Connick, Jr., who has specialized in the American songbook since he was just a child. He first performed in public when he was only six, was recorded when he was 10, and at 22 years old, the New Orleans-born musician headlined PBS’s Great Performances. His music was used in the popular film When Harry Met Sally, and Connick also starred on Broadway in The Pajama Game and Thou Shalt Not. Rumors keep popping up that he’ll return to the stage—lately, for a revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

He’s back on PBS and Great Performances now, with Harry Connick Jr. in Concert on Broadway, which will have aired earlier on the very day of his appearance. (Fortunately for him, PBS has multiple reruns, so those who learn about the show from The Colbert Report should have another chance to catch it.) Featuring a traditional big band, it will showcase Connick singing and playing both a regular concert and a honky-tonk piano. Here’s brief promo interview, or, if you’d prefer a full song, look at this. He’s currently on tour, and you can get all the information from his official website.

FRACT: About the family: His father was a district attorney in New Orleans, and his mother (who died of ovarian cancer when Connick was only 13) was a judge—but they also owned a music store. Since 1994, he’s been married to former Victoria’s Secret model Jill Goodacre, with whom he has three children. Incidentally, he attended a Jesuit school, so he probably could do some religious debating with Stephen! (But I would much prefer he do some SINGING with Stephen. Hope springs eternal.)

Thursday, 3/4: Mark Moffett
Mark MoffettHello, friend of the show, Mark Moffett! Welcome back for your fourth visit. Please don’t present Stephen with any poisonous animals to stroke today—PLEASE?

Now I shall digress a little: Does anyone remember a scary sci-fi film called THEM! about giant ants and the havoc they wreaked? Point is, in reality these superpowered little creatures have amazing strength—way beyond what you’d imagine for their size. Well, Moffett, a writer for National Geographic magazine, wrote a book about these incredible insects: Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions, that he presented on The Colbert Report back in May 2010. And if you go onto Amazon and check out the reviews, you’ll find this: “[Adventures among Ants] is hefty, yet aerodynamic. It’s really good for killing ants”–The Colbert Report. And that’s not the only work by Moffett that has won Stephen’s admiration: He’s called Moffett’s Face to Face with Frogs, written for children, “gorgeous… I wish I was in it.”

An entomologist and a photographer, Mark Moffett has been called “the Indiana Jones of ants” by National Geographic. He earned a PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University, in spite of the fact that he was originally a high school dropout, and is also a Research Associate in the Department of Entomology at the National Museum of Natural History in the Smithsonian. In addition to ants and frogs, he’s has done extensive exploration of the rainforest canopy. Moffett has won numerous awards, including the Lowell Thomas Medal from the Explorers Club and Rolex, the Roy Chapman Andrews Society Distinguished Explorer Award.

FRACT: He got married to his wife Melissa Wells in a traditional Easter Island ceremony. You can see the photos and a wedding video on his website, the wonderfully named doctorbug. Warning: traditional costume means sometimes a little backside is visible. If this will be a problem at work—hold off!

Let me know which guests you’re most looking forward to, and have a fantastic, Colbertian week, everyone!


  1. Ohhhhhh, man, that TDS clip…excellently said, Jon. I particularly loved him pointing out the irony of his cussing being edited while Scheuer got to say what he said free and open. Yeah. That should be one heck of an interesting interview tonight, no doubt. I’m looking forward to that.

    And I’m interested in Harry Connick, Jr. coming on, too, simply because like you, if there’s a chance at all of possible duet singing or something, I’m a happy girl :D.

    Pretty fascinating guest list overall, though, can’t wait. Should be good.

  2. lockhart43 says:

    *please let Stephen and Harry Connick, Jr. sing together, please let Stephen and Harry Connick, Jr. sing together, please let Stephen and Harry Connick, Jr. sing together*

    Midterms be damned, that is I will be thinking about until Wednesday night.

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