Target: Stephen Colbert, Host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report
Goal: Thank TV host for donating hundreds of thousands to charity
Stephen Colbert can count himself amongst the upper echelon of television hosts. One of America’s most popular television personalities, his show The Colbert Report is not only a leading comedy program, but has become a reliable source for news, politics, and commentary.
In 2011, Colbert formed a Super PAC in his name, both as a way to teach the public about, and also to criticize, the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court Decision. The organization was real, a tool he used to fund his facetious presidential campaign and more importantly to point out the inherent flaws in campaign finance policy. All said and done, the PAC received well over $700,000. While he could have legally kept that money, Colbert donated the entirety of it to various charities.
He donated $375,000 to Hurricane Sandy relief and another $125,000 to the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which aids wounded military veterans and their families. The remainder of the money he donated to organizations that work for the overturning of Citizens United, which politicians from both sides of the aisle have described as one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in American history.
Stephen Colbert had the chance to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars. Instead, he took that money and donated to causes that work for the good of the nation, not just one group of people, or one political party.
In an age where we see greed as people’s primary motivator, when media personalities are normally shallow, and when people often forget what it is to give back, Mr. Colbert has broken the mold. Take a moment to thank him for his selfless and significant gesture.
Dear Mr. Colbert,
Frankly, your foundation of Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, better known as the Colbert Super PAC, was hysterical. However, it was more than funny; it was an effective way of educating the public about the convoluted intricacies of Citizens United, campaign finance, and the unsavory influence of money on American politics.
It was an especially effective move because your PAC was real, hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed into it. As you well know you could have held on to that money. At over $700,000 it would have been understandable (greedy and despicable, but understandable). Instead you donated the totality of the funds to charitable organizations, helping to aid Hurricane Sandy relief, injured veterans, and most fittingly, to promoting transparency in politics and fighting Citizens United.
You’ve gone against the grain, donating more money in a day than most anyone else will in their lifetime. Your legacy as a comedian and newsman was already cemented. Now you’ve cemented yourself another legacy—that of a philanthropist.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: James Mitchell via flickr