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Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Stephen Colbert's "Corporations Are People" Focus Group Is Colbert at His Absolute Best


On last night's Colbert Report, Stephen sat down with Republican strategist Frank Luntz, who creates focus groups that test specific language to change people's opinions on topics (he's the one who turned "global warming" into "climate change" to make it sound less scary). He wanted Luntz to work his doublespeak magic on the Colbert Super PAC's new goal: to get everyone on board with the idea that corporations are people.

The two-part piece runs over 10 minutes long in total and is a showcase of Colbert at the top of his game. When Luntz is trying to convince Colbert that "Planning a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" is a bad idea while Colbert defends it with rock-solid logic, it's an off-the-cuff exchange that's better than 99% of written-out sketches. And the fact that they were up for dedicating over half of the episode to this shows that the folks over at the Report don't feel beholden to their format, feeling free to ditch the desk for something more freewheeling and ambitious.

Not to mention the subversive nature of what he's doing with his Super PAC. He continues to use it to highlight the landmark Citizens United ruling, which stated that corporations have the same rights as individuals. He's explaining what the ramifications of this precedent are to more people than pretty much anyone else, and using pitch-perfect satire to do so.

That's all to say that it's well worth watching, so check it out. The first part is above, and the second part is below.

  • Rogue Towel

    That was a great piece, all around. Really interesting at points too, not just in a comedic way. The focus group suddenly turning into an ideas group for branding corps. as people was a little creepy. Personal highlights were the aforementioned exchange on tomorrow vs. today, the gauge exercise and the slogan debate.