07-06-2011, 08:52 AM
Campaign Finance Law Can’t Take a Joke
you really have to read the entire article to see the all the trouble this liberal wise ass had
| Campaign Finance Law Can’t Take a Joke |
Stephen Colbert unwittingly reveals a regulatory stranglehold on speech.
Originally intended as an ongoing comedy skit to mock the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, the Colbert SuperPAC gag has spun into something of a headache for the self-styled campaign finance “reform” community. Several media outlets have begun to report that the skit is backfiring, noting the unintended lesson being taken away by many.
The gag started when Colbert announced on his show that he intended to form a PAC. His corporate overlord, Viacom, quickly informed him that he couldn’t do that with the support of any Viacom resources, such as the staff, equipment, and facilities used to produce The Colbert Report, because that would be a corporate contribution. Corporations aren’t allowed to contribute to PACs, of course, at least not those that contribute to candidates.
At one point in the process, Colbert complained to his attorney: “Why does it get so complicated to do this? I mean this is page after page of legalese. All I’m trying to do is affect the 2012 elections. It’s not like I’m trying to install iTunes.”
Unwittingly, Colbert asked a monumentally important question. In our system of government, we all are supposed to be able to try to affect elections — that’s the point of having a democratic republic. And in fact, Stephen Colbert already has a significant platform for trying to affect elections — it’s called The Colbert Report, and there’s never been any doubt that he is free to use that platform to make whatever contribution he feels like to our nation’s political discussion.
It’s not the lesson he perhaps intended to teach, but he’s revealing what the rest of America — those without a national television show and a media exemption from any regulation of political speech — must endure simply to exercise their First Amendment rights to share their own views.
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