On Comedians and Super PACs
This post first appeared on the Money, Politics and the Law blog
Earlier this year, Stephen Colbert’s super PAC, raised $1 million. The host of the satirical news show The Colbert Report has been using his show to explain super PACs to his national audience while criticizing this outcome of the Citizens United decision. Last month, Dahlia Lithwick of Slate praised Colbert for taking on the Citizens United decision with his super PAC. Jacob Sollum, over at Reason, says both Colbert and Lithwick are misguided.
Colbert isn’t the only comedian and political commentator making news with a super PAC and a million dollars. Bill Maher, the raunchy host of Real Time on HBO, donated $1 million to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action. Maher has criticized the result of Citizens United but called the donation “practical.” Sarah Palin said on Thursday that accepting this money reflected poorly on Obama’s character. (Though Obama himself can’t be directly involved with the super PAC, he has signaled his support for its existence.) Greta Van Susteren made a similar argument against the super PAC keeping the money.