The Colbert Report

Season 6 Episode 34

Annie Leonard

Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Mar 09, 2010 on Comedy Central
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Annie Leonard
Tonight Stephen welcomes that author of The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change, Annie Leonard.
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      • Stephen: To stop this thing we're going to need all the help we can get, which brings us to tonight's Word: Define & Conquer: Folks, we all remember what Shakespeare so famously said: ("Taste the rainbow!") What's in a name, that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Maybe. But would your true love really want you to give her a beautiful red taint blossom? ("You shouldn't have!") Of course not because words have power. They can hit like a fist, especially if you write them on your fist. And Republicans now this, they have always found just the right word. ("No") From limousine liberals to welfare queens to death panels, Republicans know that the right name can make any legislation sound as unwelcome as a turd in a punchbowl. (What they now call Michael Steele) And we all know that reconciliation is a gross abuse of Senate rules. (When Democrats do it) The problem is the word reconciliation sounds kind of nice, no matter how hard Michelle Malkin tries.

        [Video: Steve Doocey: You're spelling reconciliation differently than the President is and his men.
        Michelle Malkin: Yes, with a W at the front as in train wreckonciliation.]

        Stephen: Ha ha ha. She is great. (G-R-A-T-E) Thank God for conservative pollster Frank Luntz. His company Word Doctor specializes in message creation and image management. Their actual motto: It's not what you say, it's what they hear. So instead of the estate tax, he gave us the death tax, and instead of offshore drilling he sold us deep sea energy exploration. (Instead of "Offensive Stereotype," "The Situation) Now, Luntz knows just what to call reconciliation.

        [Video: Frank Luntz: How many of you believe the Democrats should try to get any healthcare through and accept 51 votes as being enough? It's called reconciliation. Who wants them to use the so called nuclear option?]

        Stephen: See? They lowered their hands because no one likes the nuclear option. Except these people.

        [Video: Reporter: Some call it the nuclear option….
        Matt Laurer: The nuclear option….
        Pundit: Nuclear option…
        Reporter: Nuclear option…
        Senator: …the nuclear option…
        Nuclear explosion]

        Stephen: Now I'm sure Frank would have a more positive name for actual nuclear bombs. ("Instant suntan") But even calling reconciliation the "nuclear option" may not sound evil enough. (I hear the name "Blackwater" is free) Because ultimately it seems people still like the idea of healthcare. And why not? Health plus care, those are just two positive words jammed together. (Like cheeseburger + Pringle) And people seem to like doctors because the word doctor sounds so comforting. But let's remind people, these guys sometimes stick their fingers up your butt. (Take two and call me in the morning) And ultimately couldn't breathing be oxygen addiction? (Or restless lung syndrome?) So let's all take a poll. Let's vote by applause: Who wants Obama to use reconciliation to push through his healthcare bill so you can see a doctor and go on living? Okay, now, who wants the Democrats pulling a legislative gangbang so rubber gloved ass probers can keep you from going to Heaven? You know what? We might need healthcare, because you people are sick. (Define & conquer)

        And that's the Word.

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