While I certainly find this clip from Colbert Report entertaining, I also find it deeply troubling. On the one hand, Stephen Colbert is joking around about trying to find "gay/lesbian, bohemian, and artistic" people to move to their neighborhood, but on th other, there are certainly people who take this seriously. In and of itself, I don't think that it is necessarily troubling that this is the case, but the commodification of gayness is disturbing, to say the least. The commodification of gayness blunts the real political message of tolerance; gay people are assets to a community economically and, therefore, should be accepted on economic grounds. While I am certainly more pragmatically-minded than many of my friends, I find it deeply troubling that people are accepted only on account of their economic advantage to a city. While I think that Florida's point is that diverse communities fare better because they are diverse, measuring openness to diversity by the sole metric of acceptance of gays, lesbians, bohemians and artists is a deeply disturbing metric of tolerance that has the effect of fetishizing gays and lesbians as a metric against which to measure one's own diversity.
This openness to diversity is also not everything that it is purported to be. For instance, in the preface to the paperback edition, Florida's own evidence shows that five of the ten most creative regions  are also in the top ten in terms of income inequality. Furthermore, Florida himself acknowledges that "diversity" does not always mean people seeking open communities:
Some of my critics like to argue that many people who work in high-tech industries tend to be blandly conservative and prefer homogeneous communities and traditional lifestyles of the sort found in middle-class suburbs. They find evidence in the fact that so many high-tech people line in suburban enclaves like northern Virginia, the heart of Silicon Valley or the Seattle suburbs. My response is simple. These places are all located within major metropolitan areas that are among the most divers in the country and offer a wide array of lifestyle amenities. In face, these places are themselves a product of the openness and diversity of the broader areas. Had the Silicon Valley-San Fransisco area not been receptive years ago to offbeat people like the young Steven Jobs, it could not have become what it is.
Unfortunately, however, it seems like Florida wants to argue from two perspectives that don't quite fit. On the one hand, he is arguing that diverse neighborhoods are the important important level of analysis to consider when talking about creative people and that these mobile creative communities should gain a class consciousness because they understand the reshaping of the world better than those who rely on neighborhood social networks and "old world" institutions like labor unions. However, when people point out that the very "creative class" he is talking about settles in homogeneous suburban enclaves (and, in many cases further racial and economic segregation, more on this later if I have time), he simply says, "oh, it is the metropolitan area that is the most important level of analysis."
This is not to say that I disagree with him. I think that the "creative class," or, more specifically, people employed in the creative/high-wage service professions that he identifies do look for tolerant places to live. But, I am not sure that it is the search for this creative "diversity" that drives the changes as much as the economic realities that help shape where those jobs exist. While people are certainly more mobile than we were a generation ago (I say as I am "telecommuting" from New York to Ann Arbor), there are still economic factors that are at play well beyond the search for gay, bohemian and artistic communities. Housing prices for instance, have gotten to such a point that you either have to live in extreme suburbs or pay exorbitant prices to live in established neighborhoods in the city. Therefore, artists and bohemians look for places to live that are less expensive but might not be acceptable to a mainstream population. Where are these places? Often in areas that have seen decades of systematic disinvestment and are almost always poor and most of the time predominantly communities of color. So, while Wicker Park (Chicago), Clinton Hill and Harlem (New York), Adam's Morgan (D.C.) might be more tolerant towards gays, they certainly didn't accept mingling with the poor or an integrated neighborhood. But, this is where it is convenient to note that Chicago, New York and D.C. all have large, multi-ethnic populations at the metropolitan level.
While I don't find Florida's work repugnant or un-academic (which are charges that I have seen or been implied in work that I have read), I think that it is occasionally sloppy in its inferences. This would not be so bad except for the fact that growing inequality is incompatible with the understanding of a place as "tolerant" outside of a very narrow frame of what it means to be "tolerant." And, if we are to take seriously Florida's call to action among the creative class to find ways to reduce this inequality (in the conclusion of Rise of the Creative Class, then we must also question what it means to be "tolerant" and accept that class-based and race-based tolerance are also important notions towards a "diverse" city.