The Colbert Report

Season 2 Episode 158

Daniel Pinchbeck

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Dec 14, 2006 on Comedy Central
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Daniel Pinchbeck
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Tonight Stephen welcomes a writer for the Village Voice and Rolling Stone and author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, Daniel Pinchbeck.
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      • Stephen: …and it's tonight's Word: Clarity. Along with cut, color and carat it's one of the big "4 C's" of the diamond industry, (Fifth is "Conflict") and it's the rarest. Clarity is just what we need to navigate the murky waters of the anti-diamond agenda. (Blitzkrieg on bling) Just take the United Nations. They say 23 million dollars in conflict diamonds from the Ivory Coast are still finding their way into international diamond markets and further churning up the mud a new movie with Leonardo DiCaprio called Blood Diamond which claims to blow the lid of the corruption and violence of the diamond industry. Take a Look.

        [Video: Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly): People back home wouldn't buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand.]

        Stephen: Certainly not without having it appraised. The point is while it's horrible to hear about these human rights violations a lot of it is hype. Let's look at the facts. The diamond industry is now regulated by a rigorous oversight system called the Kimberly Process. ("A diamond is like, totally forever." The Kimberly Process tracks diamonds from mine to store to make sure incoming shipments are conflict free, (Until they reach married couple) and it relies on what is historically the best way to check industrial human rights abuses: voluntary compliance and self policing. (Works for global warming) The best part is the guys who came up with the process if the diamond industry. They're not gonna lie to themselves! (If they do, they've go perfect make-up gift.) So clearly they've cleaned up their act but the word isn't out, someone's got to spread the message. Well riding to the rescue is hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons. Mr. Simmons just came back from a fact finding mission in Africa where he found: "…he declared diamond mining today ninety nine and 3/4 percent clean." That is 31/100th of a percent cleaner than Ivory Soap. (Ivory Coast still dirty) If there were any real problems with the industry, one of the DeBeers representatives who led Russell Simmons on his tour would have said so. (Falling on def ears) Plus Simmons will clearly bring an objective view to this issue. For proof, just check out his jewelry company, where you can get your lady a Hello Kitty yellow gold pavé diamond ring. What better way to tell her: I love you, I don't want to exploit anybody, and I wish you were a 12 year old Japanese girl.

        So this Christmas folks, head on down to that jewelry store and remember, nothing says "I love you" like spending the monthly food budget on a pair of earrings she's afraid to wear in public. (Except to "Save Darfur" gala) And all that really maters is that diamonds are beautiful, and something that beautiful could only come from a beautiful industry. (A beautiful mine)

        And that's the Word.

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