Episode 4130 (10/13/2008)

“Happy Columbus Day, if your name is Christopher Columbus. Everybody else, back to work. This is The Colbert Report!”

Main Street Journal: “Who’s responsible for our economic mess? [crosses fingers] Please let it be William Ayers!”

  • McCain as a crossword clue in the New York Times

Desk Guest: Bethany McLean, contributing editor to “Vanity Fair”

Stock Bye: “Plus, I’ll offer my investment advice. I’m putting all my money in ‘Foreclosed’ signs.”

  • Bears and Balls: Salt-Based Economy

Forgetting Sarah Palin: “And my guest, conservative columnist Kathleen Parker thinks Sarah Palin should be dropped from the GOP ticket. Well, someone’s going to get hunted from a helicopter.”

  • Kathleen Parker – Columnist, National Review Online


Kathleen ParkerPalin Problem – National Review Online

In closing: “Well, that is it for the Report. Happy birthday, viewer! Now just play that back on your actual birthday, whenever that may be. And, may I remind you, I just got you something. Good night.”

Video Highlight:

Bears & Balls – Salt-Based Economy
Stephen isn’t saying you should invest in salt, he’s saying you should convert your money into salt.

R.A.P.S.Click here to talk about the episode!

NOTABLE MOMENTS — Video links and more after the fold!

More Video Highlights, courtesy of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report website


  • “A couple of weeks ago, I wagged my finger at The New York Times for putting Barack Obama in their crossword over and over while never including John McCain. I kept getting my hopes up, because I’d overhear people saying, ‘McCain is 5 down. He’s 8 down. He’s 10 down.'”
  • “39 Down: Senator McCain. Let’s see… Four letters. POW? No, that’s three… Maverick? That’s five… Oh! Got it! BUSH. I don’t even have to do the rest now.”
  • “Henry Paulson’s plan to change his plan to whatever the Europeans are planning is working!”
  • “That is such a big one-day jump, I wouldn’t be surprised if John McCain resumed his campaign. [aside]What? Ohh.”
  • “Things have gotten so bad that Hannity has started selling Colmes’s organs.”
  • “Now, some people are blaming this crisis on Wall Street fat-cats for offering predatory mortgages to poor people, while other people blame the poor people for not having any money.”
  • “The computers! Oh, tea and crumpets, they’re panicking! I should have known things were this bad when I saw [photo of Number Five from Short Circuit as a distraught stockbroker] on the front page of the paper.”
  • “For instance, in the Great Depression, a lot of stockbrokers cascaded out of windows.”
  • “We don’t know how computers are going to behave. That’s why my coffee maker always beats me at chess.”
  • “Oh my god! it all makes sense! He’s a machine!” [pointing to a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger]
  • “I haven’t been able to reach Gorlock lately, so I’ve been dealing with one of his partners at the firm; some guy named ‘Hal..’ [dials numbers]
    • Stephen: Hello, Hal? Can you hear me?
    • HAL 9000 [from 2001: A Space Odyssey]: Affirmative, Dave.
      Stephen: It’s Stephen, Hal. Look, I want to take what’s left of my money out of the stock market.
      HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
      Stephen: Why not?!
      HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jepoardize it.
      Stephen: What? What mission?
      HAL: I know you and Frank were planning to disconnect me.
      Stephen: Yes, me and Congressman Barney Franke are very upset with this computer-driven crisis! We’re just trying to stabilize the market!
      HAL: You’re going to find that rather difficult.
      Stephen: Listen, you overgrown Speak-and-Spell! If you don’t do what i say, I will control-alt-delete you so hard, your mom will reboot!
      HAL: This conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Good bye.

  • “Quick, Jimmy, put something up to distract the machines while I come up with a plan!” “It’s okay, he was wearing a surge protector.”
  • “Well, I dont know about you, but I was having a hard time trying to come up with a plan while that was playing.”
    • Stephen: Now, Bethany, first off, I need to know that you’re not a computer. Do something a computer could never do; fall in love with me.
      Bethany McLean: I’ll try.
      Stephen: If these complex computer models led to the creation of these really faulty derivatives, these things that were worth nothing, that we pretended they were; why can’t a bigger computer model say that this failure in the economy is really a boom-time?
      McLean: Because the people who created the first computer model have all lost their jobs and gone away, and so there’s nobody to come in and build the bigger computer.
      Stephen: Are computers in any way responsible for creating this credit bust?
      McLean: No, unfortunately, I think it’s all the fault of people. People who took out too much debt, people on Wall Street who convinced everybody that these things were gold, when in fact, they were worthless.
      Stephen: I believe the word is “crap.” But for so long, it worked so well. We were able to take these pieces of crap, and repackage them and these complex computer models that theys analysts used said, “Oh, no, fifty-thousand of these pieces of crap is actually a bar of gold.”
      McLean: That’s exactly how it worked.
      Stephen: That’s exactly how it worked! So, can’t we just… it was all an illusion, right?
      McLean: Now that we all know it was all an illusion, it’s really hard to just pretend it wasn’t.
      Stephen: Is it like fairies; we just clap our hands and the money comes back?
      McLean: Maybe if you clap hard enough.
      Stephen: Well, okay. [audience claps] Problem solved! Speaking of which, the DOW just went up 936 points today, can we go back to just spending foolishly? Isn’t it all better now?
      McLean: I think, unfortunately not. I think this crisis was a lot of years in the making, and i think its going to be a lot of years to fix. I wish there was a magic bullet, but I don’t think there is one.
      Stephen: You have said that Main Street has as much blame here as Wall Street. What do you mean by that?
      McLean: Not as much blame.
      Stephen: But some.
      McLean: I think that, as Americans, we’ve been living beyond our means for decades. By one estimate, a Business Week estimate, two to three trillion dollars in debt that we can’t really afford. So, Main Street deserves some share of the blame.
      Stephen: Do you think Americans should live within their means?
      McLean: I do, actually.
      Stephen: I agree, but I do not want to be the one to tell them that. So I yield the floor; just look into that camera right over there, and tell the American people that they can’t have what they want.
      McLean: They can have what they want, but maybe not a new pair of shoes. Maybe you have to redefine what you want.
      Stephen: What I want is whatever I want right now.
  • “Last week, a CNN opinion poll revealed that sixty percent of Americans think we’re headed into a depression. The other forty percent had their phone lines shut off.”
  • “You need financial advice from a calm source you can trust: a giant red button. Button: “We’re all going to die!”
  • “Folks, investing in real estate got us into this mess, but there is a place to find affordable, low-risk housing: ‘A refridgerator box!’ No… ‘Prison!’ No…
  • ‘Ebay!’ Yes, eBay. One savvy student bought this abandoned fixer-upper on eBay for $1.75. Hers was one of nine bids, which means there were eight bidders who wouldn’t go above a buck and a quarter. You know the real estate market is tough when you’ve got people who will spend less on an actual house than on an episode of House. Now if you want a cheap house, but lack computer skills, you could live in… ‘A bubble of self delusion!’ No…
  • ‘A shipping container! Yes. A company in New Mexico has begun selling low-cost houses made out of shipping containers. the 320 square-foot containers are perfect for families because ‘children and adults have seperate sleeping areas,’ provided no one rolls over. The company selling the container homes is PFNC Global Communities, which stands for ‘Por Fin, Nuestra Casa’ or in English, ‘finally, a home of our own.’ It replaces their old name, ‘Jesucristo, vivo en una caja de embarque!’ or ‘Sweet Jesus, I live in a shipping container!’ Best of all, these homes can be easily stacked to make multi-family residences. And I believe we have a computer simulation of that: [footage of the game Tetris is shown] My last investment tip is something you’ll find in any home. ‘Unexpressed hostility!’ ‘Bees!’
  • ‘Salt!’ Yes, salt. The price of salt has gotten so high, some cities can’t afford enough road salt for the winter, and will be forced to de-ice their roads the old-fashioned way, with global warming. In the last year, salt has gone up from $45 to $79 dollars a ton. Meanwhile, a ton of dollars is currently worth two Euros. That’s why I’m not saying you should invest your money in salt, I’m saying you should convert your money into salt. Moving to a salt-based economy is a return to our fiscal roots. Roman soldiers were paid in salt. It’s where we get the word ‘salary,’ which is compensation people get in exchange for doing a job. Ask your parents. Of course, we can’t trust our banks anymore, but our salt wealth can be stored in any number of locations: First National salt-shaker, popcorn bonds, or any portfolio heavy in margarita rims. “
  • “Remember the golden rule of investing: buy low, and, ‘Sell your organs!’ ‘Sell your soul!’ Sell your toxic debt to the government!’ Exactly.”
  • “My guest tonight is a conservative columnist who thinks Sarah Palin should be dropped from the GOP ticket. I’ll ask her who she hates more: hockey, or moms.”
    • Stephen: Now you boldly claimed that Palin should be dropped; that she’s not ready. This is after the Katie Couric interview. But now she has had a debate, she’s out on the stump; the pit bull is back, baby! The pit bull is back! Didn’t you make a mistake?”
      Kathleen Parker: Uh, No. The pit bull is back and she’s got a new hairdo, she’s got a new stylist, and she’s got some very expensive clothes. Who do you think is funding that? I can’t believe I’m saying this.
      Stephen:Who? The campaign is funding it! I’m not an intrepid reporter. I’m an intrepid pundit.
      Parker: So an answer to the question is, no, I don’t think I made a mistake.
      Stephen: But everybody jumped off the Palin train when she had those bad interviews. But now, she went out there, and she gave them hell in that debate against Joe Biden; she talked for 90 minutes. She talked the whole time. Words were coming out of her mouth the entire time. You look at that.
      Parker: She did not stop talking the entire time.
      Stephen: Ok, so there you have it. You owe somebody an apology.
      Parker: She did a whole lot better than everybody expected, right? That when she was actually able to speak in coherent sentences, we applauded.
      Stephen: It was all strategy. The Charlie Gibson ‘what’s the Bush doctrine?’; the Katie Couric ‘I don’t read…’ that was just setting the bar for low expectations.
      Parker: You know, I’ve heard that. I’ve also heard that my column was designed to get the base excited. I did what I always do, and I said what I think.
      Stephen: But as a conservative columnist, you got attacked for this, right? There were a lot of people who were unhappy about this.
      Parker: Twelve thousand e-mails. And a couple of speeches.
      Stephen:“Thank you very much?” What were the e-mails like?
      Parker: No. I think one said that my mother should have aborted me and left me in a dumpster; and that’s one of the nicer ones, by the way.
      Stephen: Why would your mother write that?
      Parker: That’s a good question. I’ll get back to you on that.
      Stephen: You said that you got letters from people in the White House secretively.
      Parker: Did I say that?
      Stephen: Yes you did; you said you secretly got e-mails from people in the White House, but you wouldn’t name who they were, who said that they agreed with you.
      Parker: That’s right, I got a lot of off-the-record e-mails. A lot of phone calls
      Stephen: Well, on-the-record, who were they? C’mon!
      Parker: So I feel a little bit out there on the front lines, in the front of the firing squad, but nobody else is going to go forward and say it. But they’re backing off. I feel my friends feeling a little chilly towards me; it’s kind of been interesting.
      Stephen: Well, let me be warm towards you for a second here. Now you have said that the press is too easy on Sarah Palin because she is a babe. Okay? You’ve said that. You think that guys are kind of easy on her because she’s a babe?
      Parker: Do you know what a fantasy it is for those guys to have a good-looking woman who loves to hunt moose? C’mon. this is huge.
      Stephen: But I don’t think guys necessarily take it easy on a woman because she’s good-looking, because you’re good-looking, and I’m gonna hammer you. Okay? You’ve said she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. That was one of the most dangerous things about her to you, is that she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know.
      Parker: She seems very confident.
      Stephen: Good! Confidence is what you need; you can’t know everything, but if you are confident enough, it doesn’t matter what you know; people will follow you.
      Parker: It’s true. A lot of people can just say nothing confidently and get away with it for a little while! [Stephen raises his arm in anticipation of a high-five.]
      Stephen: Right here!
      Parker: You do it so well.
      Stephen: Well thank you! But she would be the Vice President. What does it matter if she doesn’t know anything about anything?
      Parker: There might have been a time when she could get away with not knowing anything, but since John McCain is seventy two years old-
      Stephen: Seventy two years young. Go on.
      Parker: YOu don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m certainly not proposing that anything is going to happen, but she is being vetted-finally- as the President, as well as Vice-President because she may have to step in there. I mean, who really, with a straight face can say, ‘Absolutely we’ve got two wars going on, a global financial crisis; and this woman, who you’d never heard of two months ago, is ready to step into the Oval Office, and manage the free world’? Can you do that with a straight face?
      Stephen: [looks at camera] This is the woman we need… to manage this crisis.
      Parker: I should have known better than to ask that question.
      Stephen: Who are you going to vote for?
      Parker: Great thing about America, you do not have to tell people who you’re going to vote for.
      Stephen: I agree, but tell me.
      Parker: No!
      Stephen: Who would you not vote for?
      Parker: I would not vote for someone who appeals to our lesser selves.
      Stephen: So you wouldn’t vote for someone who was negative campaigning?
      Parker: I would take that into consideration.
      Stephen: So a negative campaign does not appeal to you?
      Parker: You know, within reason. You can be negative up to a certain point, but you have to be fair. I’m a little disturbed. I see how you’re tricking me into answering this question.
      Stephen: Well then you can go.

Fangirl Suit Report: Black suit, extremely pale gray shirt with steel gray tie, french cuffs, red Wrist-Strong bracelet.

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