Stephen Colbert is very upset about the influence that Super PACs have in today's politics. Namely, he's upset that the organizations which are legally allowed to raise unlimited funds for a political candidate don't have nearly as much influence as they could.
On Tuesday's "Colbert Report," he showed a clip from the latest GOP debate, the last in a series which he notes has "passed 'The Simpsons' for the most episodes in TV history," he was astonished to learn that candidates like Mitt Romney are trying to distance themselves from their Super PAC.
After all, Colbert had to give up a leadership post in his own Super PAC, formerly the Colbert PAC, renamed the Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC. And some journalists, namely Ben Smith of BuzzFeed, pointed out that Colbert Super PAC's ad endorsing Herman Cain aired before Colbert had taped "The Report" on Wednesday, seemingly indicating that Colbert had illegally coordinated with his former Super PAC (and its current head Jon Stewart) in producing the ad.
But as Colbert's lawyer, former FEC chairman Trevor Potter, pointed out, it actually is legal for Colbert to talk to Stewart prior to an ad airing, as long as he has no influence over it. "Non-coordinating just means I can't help them or approve what they're doing, but I can know in advance what they've done. That's not coordinating. That's just… ordinating."
Just to catch everyone up to speed -- BuzzFeed, which was known for viral content until about three weeks ago, is running serious political journalism about the legality of a joke video made by comedian who isn't actually running for anything. Comedy, you win again.