Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 37° Cloudy

Down To Earth

Raj Patel vs. Stephen Colbert

We have a complicated relationship with Stephen Colbert. He is funny. Very funny. His act properly skewers the hysteria and outrage of today’s ratings motivated TV pundits, left (Olbermann, Maher) and right (O’Reilly, Beck). But it’s also a sad state of media affairs when a comedian is more effective at expressing a higher truth (or truthiness) and has a job where an enlightening guest like Raj Patel can stop by for a chat.

Patel’s new book is titled “The Value Of Nothing.” He takes on neoliberal economics with a vengeance and it’s titled after a timeless Oscar Wilde quote about how “nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

The interview is uncomfortable to watch in the way Colbert ridicules Patel to prove the author’s point. And on a show of dubious respectability, compared to say Bill Moyers, it turns out to be a revealing discussion on questionable consumption. Look out for the hypothetical $200 hamburger which could be the true value when the hidden external costs are factored. A good joke indeed.

Watch video HERE.



Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.