More than any other media outlet, I believe The Colbert Report has explained and illustrated the SuperPAC phenomenon to the mass audience of the American public. Because of Stephen Colbert’s satirical take on — and full implementation of — his own SuperPAC, including the faux non-coordination transfer of ‘authority’ to Executive Producer Jon Stewart, more Legacy Media outlets are able to simply refer to ‘SuperPACs’ with confidence Americans understand the concept.
And now, Colbert’s media leadership has been recognized.
Comedy show “The Colbert Report” won a prestigious Peabody Award on Wednesday for its segments on SuperPACs, in which host Stephen Colbert launched his own SuperPAC as a satirical protest against political spending.
The Peabodys, the oldest in broadcasting, recognize excellence in television and radio broadcasting, as well as by webcasters, producing organizations and individuals.
As sad as it is that a comedy program that airs near the ‘South Park’ and ‘Ugly Americans’ cartoons has now become a primary source about politics and civics for Americans of a certain age, at least the effort has earned the recognition Stephen Colbert deserves.
“Launching his own SuperPAC as a satirical protest against megabucks politics, Colbert mixed cerebral comedy with inspired sight gags, interviews and preposterously funny monologues,” the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which administers the awards, said in a statement.
The series on SuperPACs is essentially a 21st-century version of classroom show-and-tell: the host doesn’t only tell the audience how this odd committee-designed-by-SCOTUS works in a post-Citizens-United world, he illustrates it by implementing the process himself, with the assistance of straight man and former Federal Elections Commission chairman Trevor Potter.
Stephen Colbert is this century’s Mark Twain, H.L.Mencken and Dorothy Parker, all rolled in to one. Modern movement leaders would do well to attend, either by emulating him or by pitching him on their own efforts. Best of all, Colbert’s award presentation will be hosted by Patrick Stewart. Make it so, indeed.