Ok. I know. How can you be mad at Stephen Colbert? He’s funny, he makes fun of the stupid things people on the far right do, and he generally reminds us all why we don’t watch Fox news. I want to establish before I go on that I have always been a fan of the Colbert Report. I have watched the show for ages, whenever I get time (often on my lunch breaks).
It pains me therefore to be pissy at him. Or, I should say, at the writers. I get that it’s satire. And maybe, deep down, he agrees with the raw milk advocates he speaks to on his show. But considering how few people understand the arguments about raw milk, he makes some of the strongest advocates look like complete idiots, and that certainly isn’t going to help our cause at all. In this segment, he interviews workers from Rawesome about this raid. Yes, the one where federal officials invaded their food club with guns drawn.
Colbert Report, October 6, 2010
Jump ahead to about 6:45 in the video to see the raw milk segment.
He starts out by showing video of Tea Party members and Christine O’Donnell. And then relates them to the members of Rawesome- who have nothing to do with either. He then, reasonably enough, lays out what happened. Federal officials invaded the space at gunpoint. And then here comes the former FDA agent… speaking about the dangers… who is then contrasted with the guy who talks about the vibrations in raw milk. I’m not sure what he’s on about, but he certainly doesn’t make things look any better for the raw milk team.
God, every time I watch it I just get more pissed off.
This is the same thing that happened when raw milk was discussed on NPR. Each time, raw milk advocates were portrayed as nut cases, while the FDA agents are portrayed as these sensible, science based experts who only have Americans’ best interests in mind. We’re just here to help, they protest. If you’ve ever watched the Colbert Report, you can also figure out whose side he is usually on. And this time I’m pretty sure he’s on the side of the government agent, who he makes fun of, but who was edited to sound like the one who knows what he’s talking about. Remember, the whole schtick behind the Colbert Report is that he pretends to be a right wing commenter, and makes fun of the people who he typically actually agrees with, while making it obvious that the other side are actually idiots. And here it is again. Ron Paul, mixed in with images of silly looking zombies. The guy from Rawesome, made to look like an idiot for saying he can choose to get dysentery if he wants to.
THAT’S NOT THE POINT.
Yes, I choose to risk getting diseases by drinking raw milk. But do you really think that if the risk was that high, I would be drinking raw milk? No. Obviously not. I am not an idiot, Stephen Colbert. I drink raw milk just like I drive in cars, and, gasp, go outside my door in the morning. I drink raw milk because I am pretty damn sure I am going to be safe when I do so. And the reason I am so pissy at the government is because they have no more right to tell me not to drink raw milk, whatever they may believe happens when you do so, than they have to tell me not to go outside my door in the morning.
There is plenty of debate online about whether or not the Colbert Report was really making fun of the people from Rawesome, or whether he was really on their side. It is true that it’s good the footage finally got out to the public, who if nothing else should be appalled that federal officials felt the need to go into a private buying club offering raw products as if they were entering a cocaine den. But I don’t know how much it helps us when he turns right around and fails to present ANY of the arguments in favor of raw food- and why so many people are willing to take so many risks, even the risk of being raided by federal officials with guns, just to drink some milk.
Here’s a take on it by The Complete Patient.