No, we're not talking about Tuesday's rock-bottom-turnout election. We're talking about HBO and Comedy Central, where a pair of political satirists last week set off some serious noise about corporate hegemony.
Then on Wednesday,
The upshot was a week in which the electorate roared everywhere but where it was most needed.
Online and the market? Pickets and pitchforks.
At the ballot box? Crickets.
Maybe it was all in the delivery.
Urging Internet commenters to "get out there and for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction," Oliver ranted for 13 smart, funny minutes on proposed
Allowing that net neutrality is so complex that "the only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are 'featuring Sting,' " Oliver nonetheless warned that the Web would cease to be a level playing field if the masses didn't demand better.
"If we let cable companies offer two speeds of service, they won't be Usain Bolt and Usain Bolt on a motorbike -- they'll be Usain Bolt and Usain bolted to an anchor," Oliver exhorted. "Seize the moment my lovely trolls! Turn on the caps lock and fly, my pretties! Fly!"
The clip was an instant
Or maybe it was the populist appeal of both issues. Like net neutrality, the Amazon-Hachette fight is, among other things, about burgeoning corporate power.
Locked in a dispute over e-book pricing, Amazon has been artificially delaying consumers' ability to purchase Hachette books on its massive website, a tactic that is punishing thousands of authors, Colbert among them.
Declaring himself not just mad at Amazon, but "mad Prime," Comedy Central's Colbert called on readers to buy their books elsewhere, and then directed them to the Colbert Report website, where they could pre-order a new Hachette release from
The response made an instant best-seller of "California" by first-time novelist
Or maybe it was sleep deprivation from watching all that democracy on late-night TV.
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