Bad news, everybody: Jon Stewart isn’t actually launching a Kickstarter campaign to buy CNN, despite what last night’s Daily Show might have you thinking.
The joke drive came up during a segment about Rupert Murdoch’s recent bid to purchase Time Warner. If the deal had actually happened—or if it does happen eventually—Time Warner would be forced to sell off its subsidiary CNN, since the news net’s work conflicts with that of News Corp’s own Fox News. (Though fans of both CNN and Fox would probably balk at the comparison.)
But who would buy CNN in this hypothetical situation? That’s where you come in.
Stewart said that The Daily Show was spearheading a campaign to purchase CNN via Kickstarter—all for the low, low price of $10 billion. The crusade even has its own dedicated URL: letsbuycnn.com.
Of course, when you actually visit that address, you won’t find a bona fide Kickstarter page. Instead, it simply hosts a mockup of what such a campaign would look like, were it real. You’ve got to admire Stewart and co.’s attention to detail: Rewards for the fake campaign include a night of taking molly with Fareed Zakaria, a chance to host a CNN anchor fight to the death (the photo: Wolf Blitzer’s head Photoshopped onto Katniss Everdeen’s body), and a “Martin Savidge couch simulator” (a steal at $10 billion). You’ve also got to admire the show’s restraint—a legitimate fundraising drive could have easily raised thousands of very real dollars, if not the billions “Let’s Buy CNN” was supposedly going for. (In an age of $60,000+ potato salad, anything is possible.)