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By Edward W. Said

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Stephen Colbert Fills Us In on All Things China

Posted on Dec 18, 2013
pedronet (CC BY 2.0)

Smog smothers the city of Shanghai, China.

Tuesday’s Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger segment of “The Colbert Report” was an “All-China” edition, though somehow Kim Jong Un got in to the mix. From China’s pernicious smog levels to its recent landing on the moon, the faux-conservative pundit gives us the rundown on some current events in Asia.

Beginning with unlivable smog levels in Shanghai, Colbert jokes that you can see the Great Wall from space, but now it’s not even visible from China. But rather than address the extreme pollution at hand, the Chinese government has decided to loosen up the regulations to avoid having to issue so many health warnings. And perhaps more absurd is the government news agency’s attempt to destigmatize smog, citing five often overlooked benefits such as the fact that the pollution’s being a “common enemy” unites the country in the fight for survival.

The late night show host then transitions abruptly to North Korea where Kim Jong Un had his uncle killed for clapping less than wholeheartedly for him. And last but not least, Colbert extols the moon for “giving it up” to China and letting the nation’s spacecraft “soft-land” when it should’ve remained exclusively American terrain. Though a short update, and absolutely incomplete, the segment allowed for a welcome tangent from American politics, which are currently in as suffocatingly dismal a state as Shanghai’s.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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