The Colbert Report

Season 5 Episode 105

Kurt Anderson

Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Aug 04, 2009 on Comedy Central
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Episode Summary

Kurt Anderson
Tonight Stephen welcomes columnist for The New Yorker and author of Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America, Kurt Anderson. Also, Stephen talks with Esquire magazine's cocktail historian Dave Wondrich.

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

    • QUOTES (3)

      • Karl Marx: If you need to know the time, just fill out an application with the Department of Time and in two or three weeks you'll know what time it was.

      • Stephen: Luckily we have a new kind of grassroots, which brings us to tonight's Word: Hippie Replacement. Folks, festivals have gotten a lot better since the days of Woodstock. ("Mudslide" now a $10 drink) For starters you don't need to rely on word of mouth to bring people together, (Now rely on tweet of thumb) instead music festivals are promoted by its corporate sponsors, like AT&T and its special Coachella iPhone app with great features like showtimes and a venue map which help you forget that you paid 269 bucks to watch Henry Rollins do spoken word. (Fight the power, pay the convenience charge) Another modern improvement: heavy police presence. (In case Henry Louis Gates shows up) You see, back in 1969 getting naked got you into the Woodstock movie, but at Coachella, it gets you tased, like this man described on a popular online video as a naked wizard. But as my studio audience, who was watching this footage uncensored can attest, he's not exactly sporting a magic wand.

        And our political grass roots movements have been improved by corporate involvement too. Take The Coalition to Protect Patients' Rights, a non-partisan grass roots group working to assure that "…concerned citizens…" make healthcare decisions. In this case, those concerned citizens are the PR firm DCI Group which represents pharmaceutical and insurance companies. (Their concern: getting paid) And remember, there's the spontaneous anti-tax TEA parties on April 15th, organized by FreedomWorks, a group of activists led by working class joes like former Republican House majority leader Dick Armey and billionaire Steve Forbes. They're the perfect people to stand up to the man. (He works one office over) Just look at this helpful memo FreedomWorks actually released explaining how to confront your Democratic Congressman at town hall meetings about healthcare. It's full of time tested tactics to make your highly planned spontaneous uprising that much more real-ish. (Like John Boehner's tan) Like try to get your people into the front half of the audience to create the impression that the majority agrees with you. Now this beats the old strategy of actually having the majority agree with you especially because on this issue they don't, 71% of Americans do want healthcare reform. So since you can't have an actual popular movement, just say you have one.

        {Video: Sean Hannity: Now Americans across the country are voicing their opposition to government run healthcare…
        Glenn Beck: You have pushed us too far, our numbers are far to great…
        Michelle Malkin: This administration and the Democrats have vastly underestimated just how grass roots this movement is….]

        Stephen: They also vastly overestimated whoever books George Stephanopoulos' roundtable. (They couldn't get Gary Busey?) The point is we don't need to look at what real people think to know what's important. We can just look at our faxed memos, our talking points and press releases and decide what they really think is important. (Shark week!) And soon folks our grassroots people power movement will be rid of the one thing that's holding them back, the people. This plan is already working, look who CBS chose to interview to prove grassroots anger over healthcare was real: FreedomWorks! The last time I saw investigative reporting that insightful, I wound up buying a Slap Chop. So, Woodstock maybe gone, but if we keep this movement going we can have our own, like when like minded memos, talking points and press releases from all over the country come together at Crapstock, a grassroots festival celebrating whatever we pay people to say it's celebrating. (Give PR a chance)

        And that's the Word.

      • Stephen:You (quoting from Kurt Anderson's book Reset ) say, The Colbert Report has been a special haven of sanity amid last year's Sky is Falling hysteria. Did you miss my special report, The Sky Is Falling, the top 12 ways to panic?

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