The Colbert Report

Season 5 Episode 95

Edmund Andrews

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Jul 16, 2009 on Comedy Central
8.2
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Tonight Stephen welcomes New York Times economic reporter and author of Busted: Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown, Edmund Andrews.
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      • Stephen: Tonight: Should Supreme Court Justices be influenced by their own experiences? No. Clarence Thomas uses Scalia's. Then: A new way to deal with getting hurt. I found it helps to be emotionally dead inside. And my guest Ed Andrews has written about his own struggles with debt. If he really wants to get out of debt he should write about teen vampires. The Sears Tower is now called the Willis Tower. Man, Bruce Willis is loaded. This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: Because of Sotomayor's obvious "things I have learned" bias, the Supreme Court's neutrality is in danger, which brings us to tonight's Word: Neutral Man's Burden. Folks, over the past 220 years the vast majority of our Supreme Court Justices have been neutral, like Samuel Alito.

        [Video: Samuel Alito: When I get a case about discrimination I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or their religion or because of gender and I do take that into account.]

        Stephen: Yes, he takes his life experiences into account but he does it neutrally. So why is he neutral and not Sotomayor? (Scalia neutered him) It's because Alito is white. (There goes Stephen's Essence Award) In America white is neutral. (Fair's fair) Now for years Band-Aids came in only one color, white person. It's standard person color. (Source: Bureau of whites and measures) In fact, it is so standard that when I was a kid in Crayola boxes is was the color called Flesh. Now most Americans accept this as neutral without thinking about it. (Also accept fishsticks as fish) And that is why the decisions made by all those white justices were not affected by their experiences, because their life experiences were neutral. That led to neutral decisions. (Landmark case: Eggshell v Ecru) For instance take the Dredd Scott case, those Justices life experience, being white men in pre-Civil War America, some of whom owned slaves, in no way influenced their decision that black people were property. (Judge's robes were white) And the personal backgrounds had nothing to do with the all neutral Court's decision that it was legal to send Japanese-Americans to internment camps in 1942. Imagine how the life experience of an Asian judge would have sullied that neutrality. (Domo arigato, Justice Roboto) Now, I am sure Asians are neutral in Asia, and Africans are neutral in Africa and Hispanics are neutral in Hispanica. (And the ants in Antarctica) But folks it doesn't work here. (Although Hispanics do) Now I'm not saying that Sotomayor's life story isn't compelling, everyone say how compelling her life story is.

        [Video: Senator: She has a compelling life story and a strong record of educational and professional achievement…
        Senator: You made your start from very humble beginnings…
        Senator: You are and admirable judge, an admirable woman…]

        Stephen: It's just that if that compelling, humble, strong, admirable life story in any way informs her judgment she will destroy our nation. (Unless high fructose corn syrup beats her to it) But folks, the thing is, she's probably going to be confirmed anyway so the best we can hope is to neutralize her personal background the way Band-Aids reached out to minorities. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center: "After hearing calls to make Band-Aids more inclusive of varying skin tones, the company released its sheer Band-Aid…." So in addition to white Band-Aids, we now have invisible Band-Aids. Problem solved. (Or at lead Band-Aided) The same goes for the Court. If you're a white male like Sam Alito, naturally everything that happened in your life just helps make you a completely neutral, objective person. (Though bias-curious in college) But if you're Sonia Sotomayor, everything that happened in your life should be invisible.

        And that's the Word.

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