Stephen Colbert wins another Peabody Award

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 19:47 EDT
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Late night comedian Stephen Colbert was one of the 38 winners of the 71st Annual Peabody Awards, which honors excellence in journalism.

University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced Wednesday that Colbert had won the award — for the second time — thanks to his satirical “Super PAC” segments.

“Launching his own SuperPAC as a satirical protest against megabucks politics, Colbert mixed cerebral comedy with inspired sight gags, interviews and preposterously funny monologues,” the university said.

In 2011, Colbert formed his own super PAC, known as Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

The organization has produced ads telling Iowans to write-in “Rick Parry” instead of Rick Perry, accusing Mitt Romney of being a serial killer and urging South Carolina to vote for Herman Cain.

Colbert has used Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow to mock the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The ruling held that key provisions of the federal McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law violated the First Amendment, giving rise to super PACs.

“Money equals speech,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this year. “Therefore the more money you have, the more you can speak. That just stands to reason. If corporations are people, corporation should be able to speak. That’s why I believe in super PACs.”

The groups can raise an unlimited amount of money to influence federal elections — as long as they do not directly coordinate with a candidate’s campaign. So after announcing he was running for the President of South Carolina, Colbert renamed his super PAC to “The Definitely Not Coordinating with Stephen Colbert Super PAC” and handed it over to fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart.

The classic game show Jeopardy!, the website TED.com, the documentary My Perestroika, and news networks’ coverage of the Arab Spring were among the other winners of this years Peabody Awards.

“The range of the Peabody Awards’ search for excellence has never been wider or deeper than this year,” said Horace Newcomb, Director of the Peabody Awards. “Local news organizations covered stories with international import as well as those significant within their communities. Documentaries and news reports on issues missed or overlooked by big organizations were available on websites. Comedians engaged in political actions. Radio proved again the power of the individual human voice. Drama took on issues of power and control. Images of disaster appeared alongside images of hope and freedom.”

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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