tv The Colbert Report Comedy Central June 4, 2012 11:30pm-12:00am PDT
stephen, stephen, stephen! (cheers and applause) >> stephen: thank you very much. what am i going to do, what am i going to do with you people? i got to tell you, it's like trying to stop the sun from rising. thank you so much. nation, it's no secret, these days what with their petty schoolyard bickering, congress isn't very pop are lar. and it does not help they're always bullying the only black kid. so folks, things are getting worse. >> a new report shows that congress might be getting dumber. the sunlight foundation analyzed recent speeches made by members of congress and found that they are speaking at the level expected of a sophomore in high school. in the same study seven years ago congress was speaking at the level of a junior in high school. >> stephen: congress is so dumb that it took themselve enyears just to be held back a grade. (laughter) nation this is outrage us.
and for you dim bulb congressman watching outrageous is a big word meaning stephen surprisey frown. (laughter) full range of emotion. america's leaders are speaking like high school sophomores. a silent language of angry glares at the dinner table, between text messages. (laughter) nation, if the founders knew how stupid congress has become, they would be pissed. with two fancy f shaped ss. after all, according to the same study the constitution is written at a 17.8th grade level. they used soaring poetic language about freedom so that no one would notice that they had slaves. (laughter) but folks, this isn't limited to congress. it turns out old president sparkle talk here is even
dumber. >> president obama's state of the union address. >> coming in at about 1/8 grade level. >> stephen: that explains why this year he opened his address to congress by saying the state of our union is toast, awesome sauce. nation,-- de. i remember that. (laughter) nation, i'm an anti-government guy. but if we're paying these clowns, i say we should get something for our money. they should talk in a fancy way that shows more respect for the sacred institutions i have no respect for. from now on i want to here naught but the most refined or tory from the distinguished exemplars of democratic dicta ensconced within our sacrosanct legislative, supercilious lupine pachiderm for betwixt the profligate lib attorneyism of the latitudinarian and the
scrupulous elms of 9 forthright conserve-- conserve trock ski-- if you use big words, no one will know you aren't doing jack squat. (applause) nation,-- (laughter) nation, nation, there's troubling news from the so-called scientists. now they're saying it that the co2 levels in the air have surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in 800,000 years. when willie mammoths roamed the earth in escalades. (laughter) but folks, i don't buy it. first of all, what do we
mean 400 parts per million. air's only got two parts. the breathey part and the part that makes balloons go up. for these alarming climate numbers have lead international research groups to predict that in the next 100 years sea levels will rise by approximately one meter. we have no idea how much devastation that could cause because it's metric. (laughter) but-- (applause) we don't know. no way, there's-- literally no way of knowing. but theoretically it could cost coastal communities billions of dollars in damage and lost development. plus whose's going to want to watch mtv spring break from georgia. nation, this issue is near and dear to my heart. and more importantly near and dear to my beach house
in south carolina. so it is time to take drastic action and that brings us to tonight's word. (cheers and applause) sink or swim. folks, now mi from the palmetto state but south carolina's neighbor north carolina is also worried. because their state appointed coastal resources commission has projected a 39 inch rise in sea level by the year 2100. that would devastate the coastal real estate market. and folks, it would be a tragedy to lose precious coastal wildlife habitats to flooding. those habitats should be lost to developers bulldozers. now folks, fortunately, fortunately, folks, north carolina republicans have drawn a line in the soon to
be underwater sand. they have written a new bill that would immediately address the crisis predicted by these climate models by outlawing the climate models. here's how it works. here's how it works. the law makes it illegal for north carolina to consider scenarios of accelerating rates of sea level rise due to global warming. you see right now all the scientists sea level predictions look like this. that he's steep curve, that's bad. that's-- that is predicting that things are going to get worse and worse in a feedback loop that accelerates. no politician wants that. so to fix that problem, gop lawmakers want the state to consider only the sea level rise over the last 100 years, then predict that's what will happen in the future. that makes that scary chart get all better.
now instead of the economy destroying 39 inch rise, the law makes it a rise of only 8 inches. and that is shrinkage makes sense because the water is cold. (laughter) now folks, i think this is a brilliant solution. if your science gives you a result that you don't like, pass a law saying that the result is illegal. problem solved. now in fact, i think we should start applying this method to even more things that we don't want to happen. for example o i don't want to die. but the actuary that my insurance company are convinced that it will happen sometime in the next 50 years. however, if we consider only historical data, i've been alive my entire life. therefore i always will be.
(laughter) and-- (cheers and applause) and if you extrapolate my life from the critical period of age 8 to 18, i will grow to be over 20 feet tall. (laughter) so i say bravo north carolina. by making this bold action on climate change today you're insurancing that when it actually comes, you'll have plenty of options. or at least two. and that's the word. we'll be right back. (cheers and applause)
>> stephen: thank you very much. welcome back. nation, long time viewers of this show know that i occasionally do a segment called better know a district. thank you very much where. i interview a member of congress and then here's the trick, i show it to you. none of them have seen that coming. you see, we've done 63 of these segments but the pace has slowed in recent years because former speaker of the house nancy pelosi told all democrats not to come on my show. but in february she broke her own rule and came on my show. to promote her campaign finance transparency bill the disclose act. it was ash wednesday.
and i made a deal with the devil. >> if i sport the disclose act will you encourage the democratic members of the house of representatives to do my better know a district series? >> it's a deal. (cheers and applause) >> stephen: it's a deal. well, i kept my end of the bargain by wholeheartedly supporting the disclose act because it has no chance of passing. you see, the disclose act would require all super pacs to reveal their donors. >> billionaires and big corporations should not be able to meddle with unlimited funds, anonymously behind phoney screens in our elections. >> the real issue if we really want to do something about campaign finance, reform is disclosure, disclosure, disclosure. sunshine is what the political system needs. >> sunlight is the best disinfectant. >> stephen: oh, come on.
if sunlight is such a great disinfectant than why can't i eat chicken left out on a park bench? well, apparently, folks, representative pelosi is a woman of her word. because i have already booked two more congressman for better know a district segments this summer. and to help bring in a new crop, there's an exciting edition to colbert nation.com. the representomap 6,000 where you can go encourage your congressman to come on my show through the ground breaking technique of me telling you without your congressman is. you see, you just go to the map, use it to find your representative and urge them to come on the report by sending them a heartfelt personalized form letter. (laughter) now the representomap 6,000 was test launched earlier this spring without my
knowledge, or me telling you about it. or me calling congress to tell them what was about to happen. >> people got a little up set. you see, thousands of you sent e-mails to your representatives or as the huffingpo reported it, stephen colbert spams congressional press secretary. and as en-- anyone who has received donation e-mails from a politician knows, you don't spam them, they spam you. (laughter) anyway-- (applause) anyway, good news is the site is back up. so i encourage all of to you go to colbert nation.com, urge your congressman to come on my show. but there's one representative you do not have to urge because he is my guest tonight. which brings us to the 64th installment of my 434 part series better know a district. tonight, the fighting fifth,
the fifth district is located in and around the great city of atlanta. and is home to the center for disease control. which sponsors the annual for the love of god don't take-your-daughter-to-work day. (laughter) perhaps the fifth most famous resident was civil rights leader martin luther king, jr.. at last count dr. king had 730 street its named after him in america. second only to rival civil rights leader the reverend doctors maynard main street. good man. the fifth is also home to the coca-cola corporation, whose headquarters include a coca-cola museum. which tragically is located right next to the pop rock museum. so who is the real thing to represent such a district?
none other than 13 term congressman and civil right its pioneer john lewis. i sat down with representative lewis in the future because he is my guest tonight. we'll be right back. (cheers and applause) new taurus is going to blow people away... starting with the guys who built it. this taurus is pretty serious. i can't believe they're actually going to let me drive it. all right, it's got what? 360 horsepower. 365 horsepower. let's see what that feels like. so this is 365 horsepower. all while delivering really great fuel economy. so we're getting great fuel economy? cuz that's what i'm thinking about right now.
>> stephen: welcome back everybody, my guest tonight was a civil rights leader and an original freedom writer. this is "the colbert report." no free rides. please welcome congressman john lewis. (cheers and applause) congressman lewis, thank you so much for coming on. >> thank you. >> stephen: now let us remind some of the people here who may not know the entirety of your cv, that you were a leader in the civil rights movement. you were elected to congress in 1986. >> yes. >> stephen: you played a key role in the struggle to end segregation as chairman of the student nonviolent coordinating committee. the youngest speaker at the 1963 march on washington. and your new book is called "across that bridge" what does that bridge you're talking about? >> well, not just the bridge across the alabama river that we marched across.
>> stephen: edmund petist bridge. >> but there are still bridges to cross and rivers to cross to make our country better to bring people together, because we are one people, one family, one house, not just american house but the world house. we all live in the same house. >> stephen: yes, but we are divided along political lines as we should be. >> oh that is not necessary. >> they are conservative, and then there are socialists. and some of us want what's best for america. we all should want the best but not just american communities, but what is best for its world communities because we all live in this same house and we must learn to live together or we will perish as fools. and that's what the book is about. (cheers and applause) >> stephen: all right let's talk about the edmund petist bridge. before we get to the bridge,
you knew martin luther king. >> i knew martin luther king >> stephen: good guy. >> wonderful man, wonderful man, wonderful human being. i met him when i was 18 years old. >> stephen: how did you get to know him? >> well, i grew newspaper rural alabama. and when i graduate from high school, i wanted to a a school called choice 125i9 college, 10 miles from my home some i wrote a letter to dr. king. told him i needed his help. he sent me a round trip greyhound bus ticket and invited me to come to montgomerie to meet with him. and i will never forget it in march of 1958, boarded a bus to montgomerie. young lawyer met me. i walked into this room, into bs, and dr. king said are you the boy from troy. are you john lewis. and i said dr. king, i'm john robert lewis, i gave my whole name. and that was the beginning. >> stephen: and he remembered. >> he remembered. >> stephen: so he was a mentor of yours. you became friends. you were actually the
youngest speaker at the march on washington in 1963. i was maybe the youngest attendee because my mother was there. she was pregnant with me. that is actually why i have this banner right here this is the freedom march banner, august 28th, 1963. >> that's very moving. that is very moving to me sdz i remember-- one of the things. >> thank you for being there. >> stephen: well, you are welcome. i had little choice in the matter. (laughter) >> you were were there. >> stephen: i was there and i remember you saying-- . it meant so much to me. >> you heard me. >> stephen: i z oh i definitely heard you. >> really. >> stephen: but then when you got to the bridge, what happened to you and the other marchers as you went across that bridge. first of all, why was there any resistance to you going across that bridge. >> we had planned to march from selma to montgomerie to
draum advertise to the nation and the world that people of color wanted to register to vote. in 1965, in so many of the southern states it was almost impossible for people of color to register to vote. in selma, alabama, on one occasion a man was asked to -- count the number of jelly beans if in a jar. he fulfilled his lat rass see test, he had been beaten, arrested, jailed. some people killed, all across the american south. but we had to change that. >> stephen: so you get to the bridge. >> we get to crossing the bridge. i was wearing a backpack before it was fashionable to wear a backpack and in this backpack i had two books, one apple, one orange, wanted to have something to eat, something to read, had toothpaste and toothbrush because i thought we were going to be arrested, i wanted to be able to brush my teeth. you know, being in jail with your friends and colleagues. >> stephen: you want to be
your freshest. >> right. right. we get to the highest point on the bridge, down below we saw a sea of blue, alabama state troopers and we continued to walk. and the state troopers identified himself and said i'm major john-- with the alabama state troopers. this is an unlawful march. you will not be allowed to continue. i give you three minutes to disperse and return to your church. and one of the guys walking beside me, young man by the name of jose williams from dr. king's organization said major, give us a moment to kneel and pray. and the major said trooper-- and these guys put on their gas masks came toward us beating us with night sticks, tramping us with horses and releasing the tear gasment i was hit in the head with by a state troop we are a night stick, got a concussion, i thought i was going to die. >> stephen: i don't want to have to cross that bridge is there some easier bridge for
the rest of us to cross, not that bridge. >> well, you know, you can go and cross that bridge to remind people of the distance we've come and the progress we've made. you should come and go with me one day. we can go back. i will take members of congress back to try to inspire them to change them to come together both democrats and republicans. >> stephen: i hope you don't mind if i bring more than an app nell my backpack. >> it will be fine. we provide you with enough to eat. (laughter) >> stephen: thank you, congressman. >> thank you. >> stephen: congressman john lewis, everybody. the book is across that bridge. we'll be right back.