The Colbert Report

Season 5 Episode 161

Tom Brokaw

Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Dec 16, 2009 on Comedy Central
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Tom Brokaw
Tonight Stephen welcomes journalist Tom Brokaw.
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      • Stephen: But there is a way to keep us safe without the Patriot Act and it brings us to tonight's Word: Spyvate Sector. Nation, for once I can't blame Barack Obama, and it's all your fault! See, Obama wants to renew the Patriot Act and true that might be changing a campaign promise, (Change you can believe in) but when Presidents take office they learn a secret. (Mount Rushmore shoots lasers!) The secret? Unlimited power is awesome. Now there's a good change Congress won't reauthorize the Patriot Act. (It didn't donate to Lieberman) Luckily someone out there is ready to step in, America's corporations. It was recently revealed that Sprint gives the government their customers GPS coordinates. Sprint's electronics surveillance manage Paul Taylor describes the program's success.

        [Audio: Paul Taylor: Our GPS tool we turned on – for law enforcement – about one year ago last month and we just passed 8 million requests]

        Stephen: That conversation was recorded without Mr. Taylor's consent, which is a terrible violation of Sprint's violation of your privacy. ("Can you hear me hear you now?") Sprint cannot replace the Patriot Act on its own. (Only nights and weekends) Thankfully folks, other companies are pitching in, like Yahoo who is currently facing a freedom of information suit that seeks to learn how much money they made selling their customers private information to the feds. They are fighting this suit because according to their lawyer: "The information, if disclosed, would be used to 'shame' Yahoo! and other companies – and to 'shock' their customers." I for one am shocked. Does Yahoo still have customers? (Google it) But this should not shame Yahoo or shock any of us. This kind of cooperation between government and business is the essence of democracy. As Thomas Jefferson said: "Democracy should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Ahem, I'm sorry, I have a frog in my throat. I meant to say it was Mussolini talking about Fascism. But I'm sure Jefferson could have made the trains run on time. (That guy was a real slave-driver)

        I would gladly give up my privacy for national security. That's why I don't mind that Google's Street View caught me fighting a raccoon over a Tasty Cake wrapper. But if you have some strange objection to being spied on by corporations that you're paying, there is a simple opt out. (Unlike your wireless plan) Folks, just cancel all your credit cards, suspend all you e-mail, close all your bank accounts, built your own shelter in the wood and drop off the grid. Of course if you do that, you'd be just the kind of disgruntled loner the government really should be keeping tabs on.

        And that's the Word.

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    Season 5 Episodes

    See All
    Ep 161
    Tom Brokaw
    Ep 160
    Alicia Keys
    Ep 159
    Snoop Dogg
    Ep 158
    Lara Logan
    Ep 157
    Matt Taibbi
    Ep 156
    Andy Schlafly
    Ep 155
    Bill T. Jones
    Ep 154
    Janet Napolitano
    Ep 153
    Craig Watkins
    Ep 152
    Sherman Alexie
    Ep 151
    Cevin Soling
    Ep 150
    Elvis Costello
    Ep 149
    Norah Jones
    Ep 148
    Malcolm Gladwell
    Ep 147
    Paul Goldberger
    Ep 146
    Woody Harrelson
    Ep 145
    Christopher Caldwell
    Ep 145
    Christopher Caldwell
    Ep 144
    Maria Shriver
    Ep 143
    Thomas Campbell
    Ep 143
    Mon, Nov 9, 2009
    Ep 142
    Chief William Bratton
    Ep 141
    Harold Evans
    Ep 140
    Andrew Sullivan
    Ep 139
    Nicholas Thompson
    Ep 139
    Mon, Nov 2, 2009