Stephen Colbert used his appearance on ABC’s This Week to satirize Citizens United and point out the absurdity of corporations being people.
Here is the video from ABC News:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Also on Facebook…
COLBERT: Really? Do you get your questions from anywhere but Facebook?
STEPHANOPOULOS: No, we got a few of them from Facebook, though. “Do you believe the outcome of the 2012 presidential election is based on how much money each candidate can raise?”
COLBERT: No, it’s how much speech they can express, because money equals speech. It doesn’t matter if the speech comes from money or comes from your mouth.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you agree with the Supreme Court?
COLBERT: On almost everything. Money equals speech, therefore, the more money you have the more you can speak. That’s just — that just stands to reason. If corporations are people, corporations should be able to speak. That’s why I believe in super PACs.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you believe in super PACs. You believe they’re full expression of the First Amendment?
COLBERT: Without a doubt, do you not, George? Do you not believe that some — are you saying…
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m asking the questions today, Mr. Colbert.
COLBERT: Well, you answer one of my questions, I’ll answer one of yours. Do you believe that corporations are people?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m not going to weigh in on that. We’re going to have a long campaign here. But I want to know what you think about that.
COLBERT: Really? Corporations are people. You won’t weigh in on whether some people are people. That seems kind of racist, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you are — but are you worried about how much money, what money is doing to this political environment?
COLBERT: No. Why would you worry about what money is doing to the political environment? There are $11.2 million in super PAC ads being run in South Carolina. Super PACs are outspending the candidates two to one in South Carolina right now.
That just means, according to Citizens United, there’s just more speech than there was before. And I don’t know about you, but I believe in the freedom of speech, especially as a member of the press, you should support that.
Colbert also lampooned Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich’s habit of claiming that they have nothing to do with their Super PAC ads, and taught America a lesson about the impact of Citizens United. Colbert has been able to use his Comedy Central character to constantly test the boundaries of the Citizens United decision. Colbert’s super PAC has purchased $10,000 worth of airtime in South Carolina to run an attack on Mitt Romney that calls him a serial killer because of his corporate raider past at Bain Capital.
Here is the ad:
The South Carolina ad highlights the problem with the Citizens United and the Super PACS. These anonymous organizations are free to say any untrue thing that they want. Colbert’s serious point is that if corporations are people, then Mitt Romney is a serial killer. Thanks to Citizens United, there is nothing out there stopping former Colbert Super PAC from wreaking havoc on the primary process.
Stephen Colbert is using his comedic celebrity to make a serious point about the damage being done to our democracy by Citizens United. Much like Jon Stewart, Colbert is the perfect person to criticize the media and politics of a country where most citizens have been anesthetized by a constant stream of corporate media infotainment.
Colbert may be a comedian, but he is also educating America about the dangers of Citizens United.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association