Comedy Central's two faux-news anchors have secured merchandising deals with Urban Outfitters, it was reported on Wedesday. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report began selling products through the chain in August, with merchandise for both shows, as well as Indecision '12, being produced.
“Smart, funny and election-inspired merchandise," is reportedly being produced, as part of Viacom's overall plan to build its consumer product lines.
Some people -- really, one Deadline reporter -- seem to have taken issue with this fact. Deadline's Nikki Finke, while breaking the news, wrote, "Look at your watch: this may be the exact moment when Stewart and Colbert sold out."
How does she figure?
Both shows air on an ad-supported cable network owned by Viacom, which means they have to attract advertisers and are owned by one of the larger entertainment companies. If their satire hasn't already been affected by the pitfalls of consumerism, I'm not sure how putting out a few t-shirts and coffee mugs can really mark the duo "selling out."
And has Finke missed out on Colbert's overly obvious product placements throughout the years? This week's Stephest Colbchella Rocktaugustfest 2012 has been sponsored by Pepsi, and Colbert has shamelessly promoted the soft drink each day this week. "Pepsi: Put it in your mouth," he joked was the soft drink's slogan. "I know it's my favorite place to put it."
So really, accusations of Stewart and Colbert selling out are more than a little off-base. By their very ad-supported nature, the duo are already sponsored by various companies and corporations. And their satire certainly hasn't become any less biting.
The Daily Show/Colbert Report merchandise launched in Urban Outfitters Wednesday.