The Colbert Report

Season 4 Episode 43

Clay Shirky

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Apr 03, 2008 on Comedy Central
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Clay Shirky
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Tonight Stephen welcomes telecommunications professor and author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations, Clay Shirky.
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11:30pm
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      • Stephen: It's not a recession, it's a correction! Correction, it's a recession. This is the Colbert Report!

      • Stephen: …and it brings us to tonight's Word: Let The Games Begin: Nation, the Olympics are too important a tradition to boycott. They remind us how far our civilization has come since ancient Greece. For example, athletic apparel is now made out of cotton rather than olive oil. (Only extra-virgin thing about Greek wrestlers) Today the Olympics combine the best in amateur competition with the best in professional advertising, from Michael Johnson selling running shoes to Michael Phelps selling Speedos to Izzy the Atlanta mascot selling crack cocaine. Now some will say the U.S. has to boycott the Olympics because China oppresses people and supports genocide and we don't do that. (Play along, Native Americans) But if history proves anything is when the United States wants to change China it's not by boycotting, it's with a policy of engagement. (Till debt do us part) For example: After Beijing crushed the protests in Tiananmen Square, we sent a strong message by giving China most favored nation status and making them our number one trading partner. And evidently it worked, I haven't seen protesting students in Tiananmen Square since. (Too busy making our toys in prison) So how do we engage the Chinese, enjoy the games and still satisfy our conscience? Simply incorporate human rights abuses into the games. Imagine the possibilities folks, the javelin catch, unintentional gymnastics, cut off your hand ball and race walking. That's just torture to watch. This way no one can say that China's human rights abuses aren't being covered by the media. (Bob Costas surprisingly knowledgeable) Protestors get their message our, athletes get to compete and corporations have new sports to sponsor. [Oppresso's] Folks, everybody wins. (Give or take a Lama)

        And that's the Word.

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