Thursday, June 30, 2011
FEC Rules that Colbert’s Super PAC Can’t Play with all the Other Super PACs
Today, the FEC issued it's ruling on whether Stephen Colbert could form a Super PAC.
National Journal article
As the headline on many news outlets reads, the FEC ruled that Colbert is allowed to form his Super PAC. But there's a catch. A really fucking big, massively unfair, bullshit of epic proportions, nonsense catch, that makes Colbert's Super PAC essentially useless.
How is that possible? Well, the FEC also ruled that Colbert cannot play any materials or ads produced by his Super PAC outside of his 30 minute television show on Comedy Central.
In other words, the FEC basically just told Colbert, "We're going to let you form your Super PAC so the public doesn't think we're blatantly corrupt, but we're going to limit the shit out of what you can do. Have a nice day, sucker."
Colbert is already well within election law when he insults candidates and presents stories about them on his program. He doesn't need a Super PAC to do so. Just like other news stations don't need to a form a PAC every time they want to cover a story about Michele Bachmann making some asinine statement that contradicts accepted history.
Why is it that Karl Rove and Sarah Palin can both have Super PACs, and frequently appear on Fox News and other television programs plugging them; but Stephen Colbert, who arguably is at least an order of magnitude less connected to Washington politics than either of them, can't do anything outside of his talk show?
If Stephen Colbert could produce campaign ads and play them on other networks, who knows what he would do? He's unpredictable, and that scares the shit out of Washington. He might actually bring some transparency to the election, or he might just make a fool out of candidates by making a mockery of the whole campaign ad process. Hell, maybe he'd even be a unexpected champion of the interests of middle and lower class America.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, goes against everything the Supreme Court intended with its Citizens United case ruling.
What can we do? Nothing except to do our best to ignore all campaign ads this election cycle, and watch the Colbert Report instead (Full Episodes Available Online Here).