For years now, oblivious or simply stubborn politicians have felt the remorseless wrath of YouTube, with video evidence of every public word ever spoken available to point out anything the least bit hypothetical. Late night satirists have used this to consistently point out lies and double-speak, which is sometimes amusing and often disheartening. Few politicians seem to know what to do with YouTube, and how to use it advantageously (Anthony Weiner is a notable exception), but while they deal with that, one of the sharpest of satirists has taken to another social medium to call out the inane.
Stephen Colbert has launched a forceful, hilarious, and near-perfect attack on Jon Kyl via Twitter, after the junior Senator of Arizona tried to defend an egregious lie on the Senate Floor. Kyl, a republican, in discussing budget cuts, claimed that abortion is “well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does,” when in actuality that number is 3%. When Kyl’s claim was fact-checked, and the huge inaccuracy found out, his campaign office released a statement that has now become one of the most popular trends on Twitter.
The figure stated by Kyl, says his office, was “not intended to be a factual statement.” Both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report discussed this jaw-dropping release with much humor, but it was Colbert with his razor sharp wit and determination that began tweeting around the clock, creating the hashtag #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement.
Colbert is no stranger to the medium; in December he was awarded Twitter’s first-ever Golden Tweet Award for the most tweet most retweeted. Since Monday night, @StephenAtHome, the handle of Colbert’s voice, has been tweeting nearly every hour with witty and outrageous comments about Senator Kyl with the hashtag #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement. Here are some of the many gems:
- On Weekends, Jon Kyl shoots manatees with paintball guns.
- Jon Kyl holds the Guinness World Record for “Largest Collection of Penis Enlargers.”
- Once a year, Jon Kyl retreats to the Arizona Desert and deposits 2 million egg sacs under the sand.
- Jon Kyl was sent from the future to kill Sarah Conner.
- Everything you would only do in the privacy of your own home, Jon Kyl prefers to do on a subway car.
- Jon Kyl is the only person who can sneeze with his penis. He calls it a “sneenis.”
The trend grew hot throughout Tuesday, and it looks to get even more popular throughout the week last night on his show, Colbert led off by discussing his campaign, lauding his followers for carrying it out with him. At one point, the hashtag was tweeting at a rate of 46.2 posts per minute. Few are as funny as Colbert, and far fewer are as dedicated. He has a vast following, and not just the nearly 2.2 million on Twitter—when Colbert speaks on the air and asks his viewers to act, they respond. Among his many endeavors, he has raised money for his yet-revealed Political Action Committee, co-hosted a rally on the National Mall, and helped alter the top Google search return for Santorum, the surname of a contentious Congressman. The point is that Colbert is not to be trifled with, and his influence is vast.
Regardless of your political affiliation, or lack thereof, there is no foundation from which to argue Kyl’s absurd defense and it is certainly ripe for comedy. Look for Colbert to continue his attack, and soon enough, Kyl will be forced to return the ridiculous and now famous phrase from which it came.