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Stephen Colbert allowed to form Super-PAC

Satirist Stephen Colbert speaks in front of a massive puppet of himself during the Washington DC rally held in November 2010 Stephen Colbert, the comedic host of "The Colbert Report," was granted permission Thursday to not only form a political action committee but the privilege of promoting it on his show.

The only restriction the Federal Election Commission laid out in its 5-1 ruling was that Colbert could not promote Colbert Super-PAC on any other shows on Comedy Central, the most likely being "The Daily Show," which precedes his 30-minute satirical program.

If any promotion of the PAC does take place outside of "The Report" on Comedy Central or programs aired on Viacom -- its parent company -- it will be considered a political campaign contribution.

Colbert's on-air persona is one of a well-dressed, overly patriotic conservative faintly reminiscent of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, whom Colbert refers to adoringly as "Papa Bear." That persona was in full bloom after the FEC allowed Colbert to have his PAC.

“There will be others who say, Stephen Colbert, what will you do with the unrestricted Super-PAC money?” Colbert told reporters. “To which I say, 'I don’t know. Give it to me and let’s find out.'”

Later, to a cheering crowd the comic actor addressed the elephant in the room: Was this too satirical?

"Some have cynically asked if this is some kind of joke,” he said. “But I don’t think that participating in democracy is a joke. I don’t think that wanting to know what the rules are is a joke.”

On Wednesday Colbert opened his show by saying, "Change is coming, and I hope a lot of large bills too."

Thanks to the feds, change, bills, checks, money orders and all sorts of politically earmarked dollars will soon be headed Colbert's way.


 Funniest signs and images from the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert rally

Jon Stewart rally attendance about 215,000; breaks 19-year-old Metro ridership record

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Satirist Stephen Colbert speaks in front of a massive puppet of himself during the Washington DC rally held in November 2010. Credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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