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Monday, May 22, 2006

Cobert is still the man

An audio version of the roast of President Bush by Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central rose to the rank of No. 1 album at Apple's iTunes store on Saturday, three weeks to the night of the White House Correspondents Dinner. Also in the Top 10 were new releases by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam and Paul Simon.


By many accounts, Mr. Colbert's performance landed with a thud among his influential audience of journalists and politicians, who were more overtly enthusiastic about a comedy routine involving Mr. Bush and a professional George W. Bush impersonator. But the broadcast of the speech is enjoying a lucrative afterlife online, an unusual development for its owner, the nonprofit cable network C-Span.

Earlier this month, C-Span ordered more than 40 versions of the speech removed from the popular video sharing sites youtube.com and ifilm. C-Span said it ordered the clips removed to assert its copyright on recordings of the performance, and shortly thereafter allowed Google Video to stream it free. In the two weeks since, it has been at or near the top of Google's most popular videos. Over the weekend, it was still No. 4 there.
If you haven't seen it yet, go and check out the video. It's priceless!