Episode 5117 (9/15/2009)

epguideiconEPISODE NUMBER: 5117 (September 15, 2009)
GUEST: Jeffrey Toobin, Christiane Amanpour
SEGMENTS: Stephen Colbert sets record for insults to Mexico, The WØRD: Let Freedom Ka-Ching
VIDEOS: Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hey, remember yesterday when I said “Screw sleep”? Yeah, not such a good idea actually. So today, I’m back on my 6a schedule. And I gotta admit, the best part of waking up is Stephen in my cup.

The Mexican Insult Counter was offensive on so many levels, and yet I couldn’t help laughing out loud. Stephen has been conditioning us for this over-the-top politically incorrect smörgåsbord ever since the days of “Strangers With Candy”. (By the way, I can always tell when I’ve been watching too much SWC when things start coming out of my mouth that even my husband gives me the ookie eye for.)

I really found the “Corporations as People” segments of the show very interesting. I really enjoyed The WØRD – nothing like watching Stephen bite the hand that feeds him. But he also brought to light a court case that I haven’t really heard about before the show aired. Little side note here – what it is about Stephen eating donuts that is so adorable? I didn’t realize that case about corporations as people was going on, and Jeffrey Toobin was actually quite informative in getting us a basic foundation about the situation at hand. I’m sure our resident lawyer, MsInterpreted, will give us more information in the comments.

What did you all enjoy about the show today?


  • Stephen Colbert attempts to set the Guinness World Record for most insults to Mexico in a single nightly news broadcast.
    • Hey, Mexico, is that a tilde over your ñ, or did one of the other letters throw up?
    • Hey, you know why Mexican food runs right through you? Because it’s late for an appointment to be in the next burrito.
    • And I am just getting warmed up, Mexico. Unlike the Azteks who are stone cold dead. Too soon?
    • Bullfighting isn’t cruel. It’s far crueler to keep those bulls alive in Mexico.
    • Oh, and donde esta la biblioteca, I need to check out a book on how much Mexico sucks.
    • I understand how corporations are people, what I don’t understand is how Mexicans are people.
    • Hey Mexico, you forgot to inflate your bread!

  • And created both the largest meatball in the world and the largest cheesecake in the world. Which positions them perfectly to also set the record for the largest communal heart attack.
  • These insults will be cheap, heartless, and purposeless, just like Tijuana.
  • I didn’t realize that the largest collection of traffic cones was in the Magna F@#king Carta.
  • Instead of sinking the Clinton campaign, these filmmakers had to watch that honor go to someone else. [The Clinton Campaign]
  • [We Hold That Pandering to be Self-Evident]
  • So, Corporations are legally people. And it makes sense folks, they do everything people do except breathe, die, and go to jail for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCB’s into the Hudson river. [GE – We Bring Bad Things To Fish®
  • But [Corporations] can’t speak like you or me, they don’t have mouths or hands. [Just A Giant Middle Finger]
  • How great would it be if Kraft had guns, and they could just shoot cheese down our throats? [Too Late]
  • Are we finding out right now that the most powerful man in America is the court reporter of the Supreme Court? And how can I get that job, because there’s a few things I want to fix.
  • Could I actually wear a NASCAR suit and have logos all over me and run for President as the “Gatorade Thirst for Justice” campaign for President.
  • Right now, corporations will actually have more power as people than people, until people catch up with corporations. That’s what kind of confuses me, that corporations are more people than people, could we settle that by ruling that people aren’t people?
  • Stephen: I bet half your success is based on the name Christiane Amanpour. Amanpour: Possibly all of it.
  • All you need to do is add Chandelier as the middle name – Christiane Chandelier Amanpour.
  • Just go everywhere with 8,500 armed soldiers and you’ll be perfectly fine.
  • But who could possibly insult Mexico more than me? … Lou Dobbs! Well I’ve been beaten by the best. At least until he’s replaced by a Mexican is willing to insult Mexico for pennies on the dollar.


  1. Christina Amanpour gets my vote this time. She’s is just everything I am not and wish I could be. *sigh*


  2. I enjoyed The Word segment because, as ususal, it helped bring to light the duality of those who want their cake and eat it, too. Corporations as people? People as corporations? [Technically, isn’t Stephen really Colberico based on one of his “tax tips?” :) ] I also like how it extended into the next segment. I find it all very interesting–if not a little alarming.

    As a former Spanish student, I loved the “Donde esta la bibiotecca?” line because it is one of the first that is learned and often repeated [even by those who have never taken a foreign language class], yet many don’t know what it means!

  3. The WORD was fabulous, funny and scary, cause if corporations win this case, democracy in the US is truly over: sic semper tyrannus!

    Also, I loved watching Stephen turn tough reporter Christine Anampour into a puddle of giggles.

    • Ms Interpreted says:

      Eeek, can I confess something to you? I always get a little creeped out by that sic semper tyrannus motto because that’s what John Wilkes Booth shouted after he shot Lincoln (“Thus always to tyrants”). The fact that it’s *still* Virginia’s motto also gives me the willies. Is that weird?

      • Not weird at all given Booth, I didn’t know that was still VA motto. I was inspired by the original utterance in the Roman Senate as I’ve been enjoying DVDs of HBOs Rome series lately, which is fabulous.

  4. Just a side note, but watching the credits I noticed that Kerri Plant-Price wasn’t listed for hair & makeup anymore. She goes all the way back to Strangers With Candy. I wonder if she’s on leave, or has moved on to other projects? I find I’m a tiny bit sad whenever I see someone has left the show. Maybe I’m worried that the perfect alchemy of the show is dependent on a particular set of people, and too much change might break it. Maybe I’m just jealous that they got to work there, and thus they should never leave! ;)

    • MaryLovesColbert says:

      Aww, no! Yeah, I realized while watching some of the DVDs that she wworked on “Strangers with Candy” as well. Sadly, I think you make a good point about too many people leaving and the show losing…something. Sigh, I hope it doesn’t keep happening.

  5. Ms Interpreted says:

    I really, really appreciated The WØRD last night. In addition to being one of my favorite segments, I just really enjoy it when Stephen decides to highlight something important that may not be prominently featured in the news. (It’s also why I get so baffled by people who watch The Daily Show but don’t stick around for The Report — Stephen isn’t tied to the news cycle the way Jon sort of is, but there’s no lack of substance on The Report for all that.)

    The Citizens United case scares the crap out of me, because it’s about the only way I can think of to make our elections even less about “We, the People” than they already are. Justice Sotomayor asked some very pointed questions about people who disagree with a corporate stance, and the response was simply that they can choose what corporations to invest in (i.e. if you disagree with the corporate stance, pull your money out). Of course, this is totally impractical, as she pointed out, saying generally that (1) not everyone has the time or expertise to research what every corporation’s political stance is, (2) people choose their investments for financial reasons that are generally independent of (and take priority over) the political leanings of its Board members and (3) many people’s investments in corporate stocks come through mutual funds or retirement plans in whose portfolios they have no say (some companies include these plans as part of compensation, so there’s effectively no “choice” in whether to even participate). She also asked about what happens when corporations are owned, in whole or in part, by foreign entities who are not supposed to be part of our political process. The sick thing is that I’m pretty sure SCOTUS *is* about to rule that corporations are people, which will be the last nail in the coffin for campaign finance reform. Bullet was right about corporations giving all of us the finger …

    The Christiane Amanpour interview was lovely, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Wow. That is really depressing. Last night’s Word was one of those times where I was laughing and thinking “holy crap!” at the same time. And then the feeling of “holy crap!” just escalated during the interview with Toobin. If SCOTUS does rule that corporations are people then that will completely strip away what little voice us common folk have. *sigh*

      On a lighter note, the insult counter was hilarious and the interview with Amanpour was lovely.

  6. popularpoptart says:

    I got a last minute ticket to the show – so freaking lucky!! Actually, Allison Silverman was still executive-producing, which is odd since her departure was supposed to be effective immediately? She looked really tired and down though. But the show was amazing :D In the Q&A, Colbert did the squirrel dance for us, which he says he does every six months or so, while crossing a busy street! And when the show ended, he squirted hand sanitizer into the hands of each person sitting in the front row (including me!). I died and went to Colbert heaven :D :D

    • Ms Interpreted says:

      Very cool! I wondered about Allison, since her name was in the credits last night.

      I’m a bit jealous that you got to see the squirrel walk; I haven’t seen it yet, alas.

      Great show — sounds like you had a lot of fun.

    • MaryLovesColbert says:

      Hmm, that’s interesting about Allison. Awesome, though, that you got to see the squirrel dance! And you got hand sanitizer from Stephen himself! Teehee!

    • I was at the taping last night too, and I was actually the one who asked him to do the squirrel dance. I couldn’t resist because I have been dying to see it for entirely too long, and it did not disappoint.

      The Q&A was fun when someone asked about the NY primaries yesterday. Stephen said, “I don’t know. I don’t follow politics.” I found that funny because a lot of people don’t realize that he actually doesn’t care for politics. Also, one of my favorite parts was during a break when Stephen asked if anyone had any tips for losing 20 pounds before the Emmys. Someone yelled out, “Burritos,” which was too perfect. Stephen replied, “We’ll make the jokes!”

      I also noticed Allison Silverman, and it was cool to see Killer just as a regular technician moving around cords for the camera. It was a great taping. And, my hands were quite clean after getting some Purell from Stephen!

  7. my favorite part was definitely learning about this Surpreme Court stuff. I had no idea that money was speech, corporations were people because of some verbal precedent, and that this campaign finance situation was about to get so messed up. it would be a giant step away from proper democracy in this country, because all those people comprising corporations are also private citizens, so end up having influences greater than just one person. law things are very complex, I’m sure, and far from my areas of even vague knowledge, but this little tiny primer from the Report last night was much appreciated.

    • Ms Interpreted says:

      If you liked that, digby has a great post about those segments over at Hullabaloo. Campaign finance reform isn’t a very “sexy” topic, but it’s an incredibly important one. If SCOTUS rules the way everyone expects, I think they will have all but legalized bribery.

      • thanks! I read all of that, and it was really interesting. the prospect of corporations gaining that power in election is very sad. I’m so glad to know about it, though.

      • I’d love to read the post at Hullabaloo, but it’s no longer available.

        Bill Moyers addressed the ‘corporate free speech’ issue last Friday, and I was so glad to see Colbert address it too. Moyers featured two lawyers, each on either side of the issue, and it was a fascinating discussion, I think.

        It just boggles my mind that corporate leaders and their PACs with their tens of thousands of lobbyists don’t already have enough influence on Congress, but yes, poor ‘little’ ExxonMobil’ doesn’t have a ‘voice’ with which they could actually “participate in the political process.” It just makes me livid!!

        You can see the Moyers discussion at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09042009/watch2.html

      • Thanks for providing that link! Very sad and scary stuff there.

      • When I followed the link, it came up with an error – the page no longer exists. Did you happen to copy it to someplace I could read it? Or, failing that, could you summarize it for me?

  8. I was thinking the same, about SWC. :D I can’t help it; I love when he’s “wrong but hilarious”.

    Side note: NFZ posts are no longer showing up on my livejournal, rss-wise. Do you have any idea if this is a me-issue or if something’s up? Cause I was wondering where all the posts went, right as Stephen came back!

  9. Christiane Amanpour is gorgeous! Fabulous interview. :)

    The WORD was funny, subversive, honest and scary. Crooks and Liars has a great post on this: http://crooksandliars.com/dday/colbert-goes-there-only-media-figure-america

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