The Daily Show Makes A Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” Parody To Highlight Wall Street Crime
Jon Stewart and The Daily Show were frustrated that a financial scandal broken by Bloomberg last month had received no coverage from cable news or print media. So correspondent Samantha Bee set out to publicize the story by any means necessary, and ended up swinging naked on a wrecking ball.
As Bee discovered, part of the problem is that the scandal can’t easily be summarized or described. But basically, the giant American private equity firm Blackstone loaned a European gaming company (Codere) $100 million to intentionally delay an interest payment on another loan; that delay triggered a deal that payed Blackstone over $15 million.
In other words, Blackstone bet that Codere would pay its debts late, then paid Codere to pay its debts late.
Stewart compares it to the fraud plot in Goodfellas, where the mobsters take out insurance on a restaurant, and then burn it down. But the late night host notes that “in Goodfellas, it was illegal. In the financial world, it is above board.”
Bee then interviews New York Times business reporter Gretchen Morgenson, who tells her that there are more stories of financial misdeeds than can be reported.
“I’m drowning in material,” says the Pulitzer-prize winner, as Bee suggestes that a hedge fund not doing something terrible would be more newsworthy.
Bee sets out to find ways to make the story go viral. She talks to the team at Buzzfeed, who suggest incorporating Nicholas Cage, Disney Princesses, and an analogy using friends. Then she attempts to create videos using a local newsman in extreme weather, and of course, the Internet’s favorite: kittens.
Finally, Bee writhes around and licks a sledgehammer while describing the financial scandal, over the strains of Miley Cyrus‘ “Wrecking Ball.”
What do you think- will this help publicize the Blackstone scandal?