The Stephen Colbert that we know on The Colbert Report is lovingly conservative and capitalist but in a way that cannot and should not be taken seriously. In short, he's a buffoon, but he's our buffoon.
Because of this persona, you never know what Colbert is going to say to the guests on his show, especially those that have liberal leanings. Journalist and activist Naomi Klein appeared on The Colbert Report on Sept. 23 to promote her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. As someone who thinks capitalism is not only the best but the only option, Colbert had a field day with this guest.
Colbert and Klein sparred back-and-forth about capitalism's effect on climate change. Klein tried to convince Colbert that "Capitalism is attacking us," which must have been sacrilege to Colbert's ears. Unexpectedly, Colbert did acknowledge that climate change is happening, he just doesn't "know if we need to do anything about it."
Klein went on to recommend that we get profits from corporations to which Colbert responded to the Canadian-born journalist, "How dare you come down here. You never lived under a capitalist system. You're from Canada." Even in the face of Colbert's put-downs, Klein celebrated her crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford and the People's Climate March on Sept. 21.
Anyone who is familiar with Colbert's character and show knows that he and Klein were probably never going to see eye-to-eye on this issue, and they didn't. Colbert's parting shot to Klein was, "I haven't finished reading the book. I don't want to know who wins, capitalism or the climate, but I assume capitalism, because the book costs $30 and it's printed on dead trees." I think we can all agree that was a pretty good burn.
Watch the full clip below.