Stephen Colbert wants the U.S.A. to know he means B.I.Z., as in ... business, people! As you may have heard by now, the satirist announced "an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork” for his “possible candidacy for President of the United States of South Carolina." (Hee hee.) Then, he made jaws drop by handing over his Super PAC funds to his partner-in-comedy Jon Stewart. NOW ... things have taken a even more serious turn. ABC News is reporting that Colbert's Super PAC, Citizens for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, is buying up airtime in South Carolina. A helluva lot of it, too.
A source tracking ad buys in early primary states told the network that Colbert's group has purchased nearly $10K worth of time on a broadcast station in the Charleston, SC area between January 15 and 19. And they're also in the midst of negotiations for a "substantial media buy in the Columbia market." Innnnteresting. What kind of ads could Stephen be planning to run?
Of course, any ad Colbert is going to air in SC will be satirical in nature, poking fun at not just the Republican primary, the party's candidates, but also the way our elections are run. His underlying message has always been pointing out what big, scary role big bucks play in getting anywhere on the road to and inside Washington. His stunts are designed to provoke voters to better understand how the more money a candidate has, the better the chance he or she can control the conversation ... and steer it in whatever direction they please. Even if their message is a total joke.
And this is why his campaign is more than just a laugh riot. It's a serious slap on the face to America to wake the heck up and do something about campaign finance reform.
I want to give people credit, assume voters in SC know Colbert's making a broader statement here. I want to believe most of them know he's mocking us all and the system we all buy into (literally). But whether you're riled up about him wasting our time or so excited that you're willing to cast a pseudo-vote his way, neither reaction is ideal. I'm sure by "organizing an exploratory committee" and buying up air time, what Colbert truly wants is for us to direct any anger or elation at the candidates and politicians who aren't joking ... They're the ones we MUST give a mandate to to finally put a stop to extreme spending being the only way a candidate can be heard.
Have Colbert's antics riled you up? Has he drawn your attention to the problems with campaign financing?
Image via Comedy Central