Vantage point

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Stephen Colbert Hid

There has been a fascinating development in the Stephen Colbert Hid story.

For those who came in late, last month Stephen Colbert announced in his show that the Hungarian government is holding an online poll to decide whom to name a new bridge after. The leading vote-getter at that time was Chuck 'WTR' Norris. Colbert urged his "nation" to go vote for him online. Colbert's own site also provided several scripts which could be used to vote multiple times.

A week later, Colbert was sitting on top of the heap with 17 million votes...that's 7 million more than the population of Hungary! The Hungarian government obviously grew wise to the bogus voting and changed the rules of the poll. They made it compulsory to register for voting, thus cutting down on the fake votes.

But they underestimated the might of the Colbert Nation. He still won with 93,000 votes!

The interesting twist came yesterday. The Hungarian Ambassador to the United States turned up at the show. Armed with an official communique from the Hungarian Government. They acknowledged that Colbert had won the poll fair and square, and congratulated him for it. But before the bridge could be named after him, they had a teeny tiny stipulation which needed to be fulfilled.

Stephen Colbert would have to be... dead. Because under Hungarian law, bridges can be named after only dead people.

As soon as Colbert completes this stipulation, the Hungarian Government says it will fulfill its end of the bargain. :)