The Colbert Report

Season 3 Episode 13

Barry Lando

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Jan 29, 2007 on Comedy Central
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Barry Lando
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Tonight Stephen welcomes a former producer for 60 Minutes and author of Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush, Barry Lando.
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      • Stephen: Tonite...Microsoft hired somebody to tamper with Wikipedia. Back off Gates, that's my job. And Scientologists name their new messiah. You must be OT Level 5 to watch the rest of the show. Plus author Barry Lando blames the troubles in Iraq on western leaders dating back to 1914. Finally, we can pin those missing WMDs on Woodrow Wilson. A-E-I-O-U and sometimes Y? Consonant or vowel? Make up your mind, we're at war!

      • Stephen: It has over on million articles but still no entry for tonight's Word: Wikilobbying. Last year I defined the concept of Wikiality, when Wikipedia becomes our most trusted reference source, reality is just what the majority agrees upon. (Ladies and gentlemen, Taylor Hicks!) To inaugurate Wikiality I called on you heroes to change Wikipedia entries to say that elephant populations had tripled. You responded, the entries were changed and Wikipedia crashed. (Wikiality bites) Now I thought that was the end, but lo and behold look what that page said just last week. "Thanks to the works of Stephen Colbert the population of elephants has tripled in the past 10 years." We saved the elephant again America! More proof of what happens when you bring democracy to information. (Easier than brining it to Iraq) But there is another force out there so powerful that democracy orbits around it like a satellite. (Until China shoots them both down) That force is free market capitalism.

        I saw this headline in last Wednesday's Washington Post: Microsoft Offers Cash for Wikipedia Edit. Apparently the software behemoth hired an Australian computer expert to change Wikipedia entries so they would be more favorable to Microsoft's products. Now I know a lot of people don't trust Microsoft, (Anti-trust violations) just because they've been accused of bundling software to crush smaller companies like puppies in a piledriver. (New X-Box game) But I'm sure people are going to start trusting Microsoft again if Microsoft just pays someone to write and entry in Wikipedia about how people are trusting Microsoft again. Of course Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he was quote: …"very disappointed to hear that Microsoft was taking that approach." Boo hoo comrade! Open source software is like free trade and the invisible hand of the market has the mouse now. (Downloading invisible porn)

        Now others, I'm sure others out there are going to say: Can't Microsoft competitors just pay someone to change it back? Exactly! IBM can throw some of their money at perception and make their product "objectively better." Then Microsoft can just fire their cash cannons back and we're off to the races. (On Trojan horses) This is the essence of Wikilobbying, when money determines Wikipedia entries, reality has become a commodity. And I'll give five bucks to the first person who goes on Wikipedia and changes the entry on reality to that: ("Reality has become a commodity.") And to all those who say: That's not what reality is. I say: Oh really? Look it up on Wikipedia. I think you might find I'm right.

        And that's the Word.

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