Stephen Colbert For President Of ALL 50 States (Not Just S.C.)

This blogspot is a part of the infamous Eye On Washington. Stephen Colbert for president? I don't believe we could do better looking at the slop we have been given.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stephen Colbert Super PAC Disclosure Reveals No Unlimited Contributions, Few Corporations

From Huffington Post by Paul Blumenthal 1-31-12


WASHINGTON -- At 12:01 Tuesday morning, the most famous super PAC in America disclosed its donors for the first time. Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, the vehicle for much of comedian Stephen Colbert's recent hijinks, disclosed that it had raised $825,475 from its inception in the middle of 2011 through December 31.
While most political observers want to see which billionaires and millionaires are bankrolling the super PACs backing the Republicans competing for the presidential nomination, the Colbert super PAC did not receive similarly super-sized campaign contributions. In fact, 90 percent of the contributions to Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow -- which can receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and unions -- came from donors giving under $250. Those small donors are not required to be listed on the super PAC's disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Colbert has repeatedly satirized the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, praising it for opening the door to unlimited corporate campaign contributions. His super PAC, however, only received contributions from two corporations. The Sticky Fingers Band, a Rolling Stones tribute band, and BestDamnTutoring.com gave $400 and $310 respectively. (You're welcome for the publicity.)
The filing came accompanied by a press release announcing that Colbert had reclaimed control of his super PAC from fellow comedian Jon Stewart, who had taken charge of the group while Colbert pursued his bid for the Presidency of the United Statea of South Carolina.
In a separate filing sent to the FEC along with the year-end disclosure, Colbert states that the super PAC has raised almost $200,000 more in the month of January alone. That brings the full total raised to $1,023,121.
Colbert is quoted in the filing saying, ''Yeah! How you like me now, F.E.C? I'm rolling seven digits deep! I got 99 problems but a non-connected independent-expenditure only committee ain't one!''
Throughout the past year Colbert has used his show, "The Colbert Report," to make fun of the absurdities of campaign finance law in the wake of the Citizens United decision. In a five-part series, The Huffington Post documented the comedian's use of satire to help explain the variety of ways that the campaign finance system, from super PACs to the FEC, works in often incomprehensible ways.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why We Should Thank Stephen Colbert: 3 Ways the Culture-Jammer Exposes Our Rotten Corporate State

From Alternet.org by Scott Thill 1-27-12

Colbert educates viewers on America's arcane political machinery, while schooling mainstream journalists on how to properly inform the citizenry.



He may no longer be running for president of the United States of South Carolina, but The Colbert Report'hyperreal satirist (and genuine nice guy) Stephen Colbert is still educating viewers on America's arcane political machinery, while schooling mainstream journalists on how to properly inform the citizenry. He's participated in the democratic process by recently launching the super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and campaigning for office in both 2008 and 2012. And he's amassed a well-funded war chest of still-unknown size, with which he plans on creating more attack ads to monkeywrench the electoral status quo, and perhaps more.  
Some in Colbert Nation, including this writer, spend much time dreaming that Colbert announces a surprise third-party run for the White House. If only to further illuminate the two-party system at worst, and at best, to strike a blow for satirists and other culture jammers who should seriously think about local or national politics as a worthy side project. 
"The Yes Men come the closest to Colbert for using existing rules and structures to expose and satirize their intent," media theorist Douglas Rushkoff toldAlterNet"Of course, Timothy Leary ran for governor of California, and Abbie Hoffman levitated the Pentagon. But Colbert is clearly on a scale that would have been hard to imagine early on." 
To accomplish his clever political gamesmanship, Colbert mashes his fluid identities (both of which command separate Wikipedia entries) into a unified force for transparency and hilarity, gliding in and out of character until he's destabilized the situation to his advantage. It's a much-needed merge. His various goofs have galvanized what has otherwise been depressing months of paid advertising -- courtesy of CNN, Fox and MSNBC, which should really be reporting something important -- for 1-percent cheerleaders like Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and worse. Even though they've had a mind-numbing number of "debates," none of them, save Romney, probably have a shot at winning their own party's primary, despite the disgraced Newt's peaking popularity. They certainly have little chance at winning a national election against Obama, a powerhouse incumbent. 
But last week, Colbert was polling nationally at 13 percent in a hypothetical presidential election between Obama and Romney, and he hasn't even announced a run. The Republicans need him like the Democrats need more actual socialists like Bernie Sanders. But even if they, and we, can't actually vote for him in the 2012 election, Colbert has blazed trails for present and future culture jammers seeking to derail business as usual, in politics and beyond. Here are three ways his pranks have made us stronger as a nation in a tumultuous time when we could desperately use some better press.
Uniting Citizens Against Citizens United
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission hammered the last nail into the creaking concept of clean American elections. But it also energized Colbert's attention, perhaps because it's the ultimate long-running joke: A judicial ruling so ridiculous and offensive that it's destined to rust alongside Dred Scott v. Sandford and Bush v. Gore as the worst Supreme Court decisions in American history. The best thing that can be said is that Citizens United has kicked progressive asses into action, from Scott Walker's recall to SOPA blackouts. 
"The good part is that we get to see what total corporate fascism looks like in our own lifetimes," Rushkoff wisecracked. "We don't have to imagine this as something that happens to our grandkids, and worry about the future. But the chief concern is that the evolution of the corporation to personhood, and corresponding devolution of humans to disempowered drones, has advanced even further than I would have imagined." 
By absorbing the abuses of Citizens United and pounding out an activist political action committee of his own, Colbert has launched culture-jamming attack ads that complicate the campaign's media circus by asking Iowa voters to misspell Rick Perry's name to deplete his vote count. Or asking South Carolina voters to vote for Herman Cain, who's not in the race anymore, so Colbert can count how many votes he would have gotten if the state had let voters write in their candidates. Indeed, it was in South Carolina's gospel-fueled whistlestop where Colbert, following a Pokemon-quoting Cain, broke character to rail againstCitizens United
"The pundits have asked if this is all a joke," Colbert said at the College of Charleston. "And I say if they are calling being allowed to form a super PAC and collect unlimited, untraceable amounts of money from individuals, unions and corporations, and spend that money on political ads and personal enrichment, and then surrender that super PAC to one of my closest friends while I explore a run for office, if that is a joke, then they are saying that our entire campaign finance system is a joke." 
Crowd goes wild, including those waving signs that say "Skipping class for Stephen Colbert." Crowd also learns that our political process was a joke long before Stephen Colbert started regularly lampooning it. 
"It educates so many of us about the unfairness and intentions of the current political fundraising structure," Rushkoff added. "The ease with which he can find and exploit loopholes exposes the actual intent of much of these rules. So for those who are already concerned and suspicious, this amounts to a great education and a terrific media virus. The question, as always, is whether our knowledge translates to power, or whether all this activity just gives us a way to vent."
Participatory Democracy For Post-Millennials
"Voting is nothing more than a brief chance to register our disgust with the corporate state," journalist Chris Hedges wrote last week. "The campaign is not worth our emotional, physical or intellectual energy."   
Not as it is currently composed, it is true. But having riveting electives can help change that, which is one reason Colbert entered the race in 2008 and 2012. Rather than writing a knotty exegesis on how and why the political process has been so thoroughly hijacked, he has simply gotten involved, and offered us a vehicle in which we can live vicariously through his experiences and enlightenments. By walking the walk, his campaign has injected enough "intellectual energy" to draw hundreds and sometimes thousands to everything from a banal Federal Election Commission filing (PDF) to full-blown events like the South Carolina stump. 
Colbert's strategy is a simple one. The easiest way to demythologize and even combat a corrupt system is to go to work on its guts. By participating in the political process, Colbert has given his growing audience a means of understanding its hidden intricacies, and he's not the only one hoping that they do the same and get involved. The New Organizing Institute's Candidate Project is looking to recruit progressives across the country for thousands of local offices just begging for hungry minds invested in making change. In fact, Project Candidate's stated aim is as simple as Colbert's participation: "We want to help change-makers become decision-makers." 
"He’s illustrating how the system works by using it," Trevor Potter, Colbert's DC-based lawyer and a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told the New York Times. "He can bring the audience inside the system. He can show them how it works and then leave them to conclude whether this is how it ought to work.” 
The Network Effect 
Colbert's compelling bleed between media satirist and political player is especially sharp when he's taking down candidates whose very existence is a mockery of the electoral process -- mostly because they're stuck in the revolving door between politics and media that Colbert glides through without a scratch. He's merciless when it comes to Fox News darlings like Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. Rick Perry fled the South Carolina primary ahead of Colbert's appearance, perhaps after hearing that Jon Huntsman dropped out because of Colbert, who had been both polling ahead of him there, and crowing about it nightly on television as a chaser. 
And even though Colbert's presidential explorations may have come to a halt, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are living in an alternative reality if they think he isn't going to destroy them from his desk for the rest of the election. Which is another way of saying that Colbert is running for president, even if he isn't. Just because he isn't stumping in Florida and parts outward doesn't mean that he isn't shaping the election's future with damning skits on Santorum's frothy xenophobia, Gingrich's naked hypocrisies or Romney's 1-percenter arrogance.  
All of these political animals who once worked for Fox News or Murdoch in one capacity or another have been bred in and by media. But like Sidney Lumet and Paddy Chayefsy's foundational satire Network, "The Colbert Report" disrupts the creaking facade disguising the fact that most journalists and politicians have for decades served the sensational at the expense of the body politic. America's crap memory forbids most of the nation from recalling that early newspaper titans like William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer -- whose name endows the annual prize awarded to the industry's supposedly finest talent -- invented yellow journalism. It's a feat that mogul Rupert Murdoch has mastered at News Corp, whose disinformation outlets like Fox News and the New York Post have takenNetwork's authoritarian corporatism to illogical extremes. 
"The Colbert Report" is the flip side of Network's fascist coin. Colbert's democratizing deprogramming simultaneously educates and humors us, rather than simply feeding our fears and inflaming our prejudices, despite the fact that it looks like it's doing exactly that. Unlike Network's mad-as-hell Howard Beale, Colbert's informed rants are veiled as idiocies, but remain exactly what the citizenry needs to deconstruct a political machine now more powerful than ever, thanks to Citizen United.  
"The scariest thing about all this is that corporations have the ability to write the laws most directly, by putting their own officers and advocates in office," Rushkoff concluded. "The people have been disconnected from the last form of feedback they had, voting through the democratic process."
Colbert deserves our undying thanks for trying to reconnect them to that democratic process in a much more effective way than any other mainstream media journalist or outlet on television. Sure, he was brilliant before he undressed President Bush at his infamous 2006 White House Correspondents Association Dinner performance. But by culture-jamming American elections and their inscrutable machinery, he's making history with every run for office, and every searing critique of accepted reality.
Scott Thill runs the online mag Morphizm.com. His writing has appeared on Salon, XLR8R, All Music Guide, Wired and others.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stephen Colbert Befuddles Some Political Commentators

From Huffington Post by Joseph A. Palermo 1-23-12


Stephen Colbert's super PAC exposes the corporate news media's incapability to express what would be in normal life circumstances a totally justified sense of righteous outrage. Why do people become upset with the notion of anonymous corporate donors filling the coffers of Super PACS and corporations being considered "people?" It must offend a sense of propriety somewhere.
The TV political reporter, Chuck Todd, doesn't get what Stephen Colbert is doing because he's blinded by his position as a corporate media conduit (even on "liberal" MSNBC). Colbert and Jon Stewart, of that prestigious political organization Comedy Central, are playing the roles that Mark Twain or Will Rogers or Pat Paulson played in earlier periods: public foils and jokesters exposing deeper truths about the corruption and dysfunction of our nation's money-drenched politics.
If someone like Todd who represents a "liberal" network can't see this parody for what it is then it truly illustrates how disconnected the corporate media have become. Todd got the story backwards. He faults Colbert for "making a mockery" out of our nation's politics. Remember it was just four short years ago when 43 percent of New Hampshire voters believed Sarah Palin was qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. And the recent spectacle of the Republican primaries -- with Donald Trump's "birtherism," Herman Cain's "the Koch brothers' brother from another mother," and Rick Perry's "Oops," and with the burlesque that has become the U.S. Senate and the Supreme Court's small-minded and partisan Citizens United ruling, and the metastasizing of SuperPACs and the corruption all around us -- Colbert and Stewart are merely parodying the parody that already is our nation's politics.
I found it interesting that MSNBC's anchors felt compelled recently to disclose to viewers when reporting on Mitt Romney's Bain Capital days that General Electric (GE), MSNBC's parent company, is co-owner of the Weather Channel with Bain. I only wish they would have shown the same sense of propriety during the run up to the Iraq War and tell their viewers that GE is also a major military contractor and that many of the retired military officers and other "experts" they had on the air were in a position to personally profit from the outbreak of war.
The real mockery comes from the terrible ideas we've heard spewed forth from the GOP candidates: Zero taxes for corporations, huge increases in military spending, attacking Iran, putting poor kids to work as janitors at their schools, breaking up labor unions, another round of tax cuts for the richest Americans, eliminating entire federal departments without explaining what the country would look like without them, slavishly serving an imaginary group they call "job creators," pimping for TransCanada's XL pipeline, calling for the repeal of every environmental regulation on the books, denouncing Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme," and so on. None of their public policy prescriptions make a lick of sense yet do we hear Chuck Todd or CNN's John King calling them out on the substance of what these rich white men are proposing?
The flaccid exchanges between the debate moderators and the candidates that flare up now and again, which the cable news shows cover as being confrontations worthy of an Edward R. Murrow, drive home just how inadequately political "news" is spoon-fed to the American people. For example, John King let Newt Gingrich divert his question about his ex-wife's recent ABC interview. The only question that matters is not what Newt did in private with "Little Newtie," but the hypocrisy involved in denouncing President Bill Clinton and trumpeting his commitment to "family values" while carrying on an adulterous affair himself -- that is the issue. At the very least King could have asked Gingrich to clarify whether or not he was calling his ex wife a liar? The racist stuff that has already come out of Newt's mouth about President Obama being the "food stamp president" and poor children scrubbing toilets and cleaning up vomit at their schools as a way of teaching them "work habits" should already disqualify him for the nation's highest office. But the corporate political media is expert at one thing: swaddling corporate hacks like Newt in raiment befitting an emperor.
It's the media system Chuck Todd and John King serve that has become a closed circle of opinion and ideas that snuffs out or marginalizes opposing views that stray too far from orthodoxy. This circumscribing of our political debate wouldn't matter much if it did not severely limit our capacity as a nation to respond to the daunting challenges confronting us (from the financial sector thievery to global climate change).
Klepto-capitalism appears to have prevailed with the nation's political "representatives" openly shilling for giant corporations or industry trade groups. This wholesale corruption violates a hidden feeling in many of us that is still capable of discerning between right and wrong. Most figures inside the corporate news media have lost this sense, because, as Upton Sinclair pointed out a century ago: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
With this kind of toxic media context it's a miracle that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261), didn't sail through the U.S. Congress unopposed. The SOPA/ Protect IP Act (PIPA, S. 968), deal was all set to glide right through greased by the millions of dollars in lobbying money by giant media conglomerates, yet people power (with a heroic effort by the tech sector -- thank you Google and Wikipedia!) slowed it down. The same is true with TransCanada's XL pipeline; it too was all set to glide through the Congress until people came out in massive protest. With hope, the Occupy Wall Street movement will reemerge even bigger going into the 2012 elections and people power might begin to finally move the federal machinery away from its servitude to the top 1 percent and give the victims of the big banks a way forward to seek some modicum of justice. But don't expect corporate media personalities to recognize these efforts for what they are -- if they can't challenge Newt Gingrich or even comprehend the antics of Stephen Colbert don't expect them to be guiding lights in the life-and-death struggles that lie ahead.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stephen Colbert, Herman Cain Hold Rally In South Carolina

From Huffington Post by Sam Stein 1-19-12


American politics either peaked or hit a nadir on Friday afternoon, depending on one's perspective.
A mock presidential rally held by a comedian, Stephen Colbert, and an ex-candidate accused of serial sexual harassment, Herman Cain, drew far more attendees than any actual presidential event in this election cycle's South Carolina primary. But for the first time this election, someone theoretically running for president engaged in sustained discussion on the rising influence of money in politics.
"If corporations are people ... I'm proud to say I'm a people person," Colbert declared, before an audience estimated to be around 3,300. He went on to call himself "The Lockheed Martin Luther Burger King" of the corporations-are-people civil rights movement. He thanked the Supreme Court for taking a stand in favor of corporations "while technically still sitting" in the damaging Citizens United case, and waxed gleefully about the whole state of modern campaigns.
"As Lincoln said at Gettysburg: 'give me some money,'" Colbert said. "They don't teach that at school anymore. They've replaced that with gay Mexican history month."
For the past week Colbert has been spearheading a satirical presidential bid in which he's assumed Cain's candidacy without Cain actually still running. The super PAC he launched was, for legal purposes, handed over to his boss Jon Stewart. The PAC then aired ads accusing Mitt Romney of being a serial killer before ultimately turning on its creator and questioning why the T was silent in Colbert.
But if all the satire was meant to educate, it seemed a bit lost on Cain, who gave a speech that, at some points, symbolized the type of campaign vapidity that was being subtly skewered. A day after he had "unconventionally" endorsed "the people" during a speech in South Carolina, the former Godfather's CEO was keeping to the platitudes.
"Sign up to be a member of this army of Davids," he declared, as he urged people to visit his cainconnections.com website.
It was as if Cain didn't realize the whole thing was a show until, finally, he ended it with a Pokemon quote ("Oh, I know me some Pok√©mon words," he said) and a rendition of "Believe in Yourself" from The Wiz Cast.
"We're having some fun. It's as simple as that," Cain's chief of staff, Mark Block, told The Huffington Post's Jon Ward before the event. "America, lighten up."
It wasn't all comedy for comedy's sake, however. Cain, the one-time Republican frontrunner, may now be Colbert's sardonic sidekick, but he's a willing one at least. Even before taking the stage, Cain offered a straightforward validation for what Colbert has been arguing through satire.
"I happen to believe that the campaign finance laws are flawed and they need to be changed," Cain said on MSNBC. "One of the flaws is the ability for super PACs to have the kind of impact that they've had. We saw the impact in Iowa. We saw the impact all over. So [Colbert's] right that they are flawed but we need to overhaul the entire campaign finance law in order to make it much more equitable such that big money does not determine who actually gets the nomination."
Cable news ignored the Colbert-Cain event in real time. But the celebrity and stage craft did make it far more entertaining than anything happening with actual candidates, who drew half-filled rooms and skipped campaign events throughout the day. The duo of Colbert and Cain entered Friday's event to screaming throngs as the Coastal Carolina University Marching Band played LMFAO. On stage, a gospel choir sang "This Little Light of Mine," before Colbert joined them for a deeply off key national anthem. After thanking Gov. Nikki Haley and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) for not coming ("He must still be looking for parking," Colbert cracked), Colbert listed all the attacks he would not make.
"I'm not going to answer the gotchya question: 'Am I interested in an open marriage?'" he said. "Though I'm flattered that Newt Gingrich asked me."
Cain then gave his standard stump address before Colbert came back to the stage. This was Colbert's one day of on-the-ground campaigning for President of the United States of South Carolina and the person he is asking people to vote for -- Cain -- had stumbled in his pitch to get them to cast ballots on Saturday.
"Now the experts say he can't win," said Colbert. "They've been wrong before. Not this time, this time they are spot on. But just because you lose that doesn't mean you surrender ... the fight goes on. The dream endures. Eyes on the prize. Enter the octagon."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stephen Colbert's Super PAC Goes To Washington (Part 3)

From Huffington Post by Dan Froomkin and Paul Blumenthal

View video here.


This is part three of a five-part series by The Huffington Post about Stephen Colbert's ongoing exploration of the nation's campaign finance laws. Stay tuned through the week of Jan. 16, 2012, for the rest of the series. Read about his PAC launch inpart one and his super PAC launch in part two.
WASHINGTON -- In May of last year, with Comedy Central's parent company still threatening to shut down his newly created super PAC, Stephen Colberttook his fight straight to the Federal Election Commission.
The most remarkable thing about the act was not that a comedian, staying in character, submitted a serious request to the FEC, but that he got a majority of the commissioners to agree to anything.
Colbert's parody of a right-wing blowhard may be one of the greatest ongoing jokes in recent television history, but in its own sphere, the modern FEC may be an even bigger one.
Five of the six commissioners are still serving despite the fact that their terms have expired. The three Republican members, seemingly dead-set on undermining what few campaign finance laws remain, have repeatedly deadlocked the commission, essentially preventing it from policing the electoral system.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as the top Republican in the upper chamber, is by tradition accorded the privilege of picking the Republican commissioners. And McConnell, perhaps the nation's preeminent opponent of campaign finance rules, does not appear to be planning to pick anyone because he seems perfectly happy with the status quo. Even if Obama were to submit five nominees to the Senate for confirmation, McConnell could still stand in the way if those appointments were not to his liking.
Reform groups that support campaign finance regulation have been calling on President Barack Obama to do an end-run around McConnell, on the grounds that the nation must have a cop on the electoral beat. Two of the groups recently wrote in a letter to Obama:
The FEC is widely recognized as a failed, dysfunctional enforcement agency and has itself become a national campaign finance scandal. The refusal of the FEC to properly enforce the campaign finance laws is well known to candidates and political operatives. This has created a "do-anything-you-want approach" to complying with the country's campaign finance laws.
Apparently, however, there is one way to get the FEC to do its job: show up with a lot of cameras and klieg lights, a few great lines, and a big, easily incited audience.
COLBERT'S CASE
Colbert stormed the FEC's downtown Washington, D.C. office building on May 13 not because of anything the commission had done to him, or because campaign finance rules were too strict.
Hardly.
He went because his corporate bosses at Viacom, Comedy Central's parent company, were still not satisfied even after his PAC became a super PAC, and he needed a so-called media exemption from reporting requirements.
Super PACs can accept unlimited contributions from corporations -- but they still need to report all of those contributions, in-kind and otherwise, to the FEC. And Viacom did not want to get in the business of assigning values to contributions of things such as studio time or a show's staff.
While on air, Colbert asked his lawyer, Trevor Potter, the obvious question: "How do the guys on Fox get away with it?" And Potter explained that Fox is exempt because it is a media organization.
"The media exemption says that if you're a broadcast station, not owned by a candidate or a party" -- "I'm not!" Colbert interjected -- "and you're reporting the news in your normal way of going about business, then you're exempt. You're not making a corporate contribution when you talk about candidates and politics."
So Potter drafted a request for a media exemption, and two days later, Colbert showed up (along with several hundred fans) to file it in person.
Two major reform groups -- Democracy 21 and, ironically, the Campaign Legal Center, which Potter leads -- urged the FEC to limit Colbert's media exemption so that it would not apply to ads he aired on other shows and networks. (That would conceivably have allowed news networks to get into the business of producing campaign ads.)
And six weeks later, in a rare moment of functionality, the commissioners voted 5 to 1 to grant Colbert a limited exemption, saying he does not have to report Viacom's in-kind contributions as long as his ads only run on his show. Having satisfied Viacom with FEC approval for an exemption, Colbert could proceed in the unlimited-donation super PAC big leagues.
Video produced by Sara Kenigsberg.








Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert Expose More Super PAC Loopholes Without 'Coordinating'

From Huffington Post by Katia McGlynn   (See video via the link.)


Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart's grand experiment in using satire as a political weapon continued Tuesday night on "The Daily Show," when the "Colbert Report" host dropped by to "not coordinate" with Stewart on how his Super PAC money is being spent.
Stewart already released two attack ads on Colbert's behalf ahead of the South Carolina primary, one painting Mitt Romney as a serial killer and another suggesting that a vote for Colbert is a vote for Herman Cain. But that doesn't mean he hasn't been confused about how he should spend the rest of the money. So on last night's show, Colbert came by to remind him of some of the giant "loopchasms" in the FEC laws protecting the Super PAC that they can exploit with vigor.
First, Colbert reminded Stewart of what he realized on Monday night's "Daily Show," that he can comment on what he wants the PAC to do as long as he says it publicly, as a citizen, on television. If Stewart is watching and abides, that doesn't count as "coordination."
So, Colbert did the only logical thing: he pulled out a cardboard TV set, stuck himself inside and started doing the "Report" right there at Stewart's desk:
"Nation, I am calling on the Super PAC," Colbert said to no one in particular, "Not to run vicious character assassination ads that impune and borderline slander any candidate -- if in any way those ads can be traced back to me."
Think that's not coordinating? Then you'll love the next two FEC loopchasms Stewart and Colbert exposed last night. First, they figured out that they can call Stewart's Super PAC lawyer and Colbert's exploratory committee lawyer at the same time (it helps that they are the same person, Trevor Potter) and even though their conversation is obviously about the PAC, Potter can confirm that they're not coordinating as long as Colbert doesn't give concrete instructions.
"Still can't believe that's legal," Stewart said in disbelief.
Watch the full segment above and hear about the third, even more unbelievable fact regarding PAC spending. Let's just say that even if they did get accused of coordinating, neither Stewart nor Colbert would have to worry about who's going to pay the fines (and no, they won't be going to "The Big House").