Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee both investigate the shady nature of major corporations, and Stewart interviews Jehane Noujaim on Wednesday’s new Daily Show.
There is a question that has been plaguing both the the business and the ethics worlds lately, and that’s the question of whether corporations can be considered “people.” The Supreme Court has already deemed it so, but Jon Stewart decided tonight to take a look inside it. Most of the major banks have started to get reprimanded lately for faulty loans and shady deals that led to the 2008 recession. The biggest payment coming is from JP Morgan Chase, who are paying 13 billion dollars in a recent settlement. Or, as Stewart put, the movie “John Carter” 52 times over. Although it seems like a lot of money, the corporation made 20 billion last year, or 80 “John Carter”s. So it’s really a slap on the wrist.
These corporations are not even being held accountable. None of them are claiming any responsibility for their defaults, just paying the fine and moving on. Stewart highlighted a case with Johnson & Johnson, where the corporation is being forced to pay 2 billion. They discreetly bribed doctors and physicians to prescribe their placebo products in lieu of real medicine to disabled, elderly and toddler patients.
Corporations are getting away with these deals without any real trouble. Stewart answered the question of them as people by playing a viral story about three black students who were arrested for loitering while they were waiting for their school bus.
Samantha Bee filmed a field piece that was also about shady corporations and the lack of responsibility surrounding them. Blackstone recently made a faulty deal with the Spanish gambling business Codere, that ended in Blackstone making a $15 million dollar profit. Stewart compared the shady deal to his favorite movie, “Goodfellas,” where they buy a restaurant and burn it down for the money. The difference, Stewart said, is that it’s illegal in “Goodfellas.” Bee went to the New York Times to break the story, only to find out they never covered it. So she decided to make it go viral, by going to Buzzfeed. Their staff recommended telling the story with Nicolas Cage pictures and comparisons to Disney princesses. She had no luck turning it into a viral video with cats, either. In a final attempt to make a viral video of it, she re-enacted Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” explaining the deal instead of singing. The media does not cover stories like this, Bee proved, and corporations are getting away with everything.