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Monday night, Stephen Colbert welcomed Caitlin Flanagan, a writer for The Atlantic, onto his show. For those of you who don’t know, The Atlantic has had a recent vendetta against fraternities, publishing several anti-Greek pieces in its magazine and on its website. Who am I kidding? None of you knew that–no one fucking reads The Atlantic.
“Looks like I might be breaking out my paddle,” Colbert announced as he welcomed her onto the stage. He proceeded to haze Flanagan from behind his desk, refusing to sit idly by and let her badmouth the Greek system, and, by extension, the United States of America. Instead, he mentioned “the bright strength of fraternities that allows men to bond with each other,” and he argued that fraternities are responsible for good works, like the occasional food drive or fun times “ass cheek to ass cheek in the basement.”
“Is it because you’re a woman and you don’t understand how men [bond]?” Colbert asked a visibly offended and flustered Flanagan at one point.
Flanagan admitted she was actually in a sorority, a founding member of one at the University of Virginia, in fact. However, she continued insisting her focus was on shining a “bright light into the negative sides of fraternities.”
Colbert interjected with some facts: “Eighty-five percent of Supreme Court Justices since 1910 have been frat members, 85 percent of Fortune 500 executives are frat members, so they must be good guys! Because, you know what they say, nice guys become the heads of Fortune 500 companies.”
Flanagan incessantly tried to change the subject. She brought up violent hazing at one point, to which Colbert responded, “It’s done with love, because those are my bros.”
Then shit got fun.
“I’m sorry, what am I doing here, do you want a beer?” Colbert interrupted, before pouring two beers from a keg hidden behind his desk. Then he forced Flanagan to drink.
And by that, I mean she gave into the peer pressure that fuels the hellish, alcohol-ridden world of frats that we all must endure on a daily basis.
“You can do a keg stand now!” Flanagan told Colbert.
“Or you could,” Colbert countered.
“Well, I was in a sorority after all, but my son is here tonight so I won’t go that far,” she said.
Cue Colbert, who took the opportunity to force an embarrassed Flanagan to chug.
Colbert moved on, asking the University of Virginia alumna about her college days before interrupting her once more to talk about his time partying with the Phi Kapps.
Flanagan did eventually admit that there are redeeming factors to fraternities, like leadership training, mentoring, and millions of dollars raised for good causes–but she was still insistent that fraternities can be “extremely dangerous and devastating for people who party there.”
Yeah, my four years in college have been fucking devastating. I’m sure you all agree.
It seemed that Colbert mostly disagreed with Flanagan–at least in the broadness of her assertion–though throughout the interview he laid down his trademark thick sarcasm on both sides of the issue.
Perhaps the highlight of the interview came at the end, when Colbert interrupted Flanagan by screaming, “Drink motherfucker, drink motherfucker, drink motherfucker, drink motherfucker, drink!”
Flanagan then chugged her beer, and Colbert ended the interview.
Real power move.