“I don’t think that the result in the Colbert issue was all that surprising, it seems to me its a fairly straightforward application of our traditional press exception standards,” Bauerly said. “Obviously providing independent political committee expenditures doesn’t fall in the press function as we know it, so that’s where the line was drawn for the advisory opinion.”
“Obviously Mr. Colbert’s show has provided a lot of coverage for the agency and has brought a lot of attention to these issues that I think are important issues, so I appreciate that there are more people talking about campaign finance issues as a result of his show than might otherwise be,” Bauerly said.
So has Colbert shined a positive or negative light on the FEC?
“I guess we’ll see!” Bauerly said. “He obviously has a show where he likes to poke fun at certain elements from his perspective. Whether he finds the agency to be a part of that, a part of his humor, I guess we will see. But he didn’t approach this from a comedic standpoint, he approached it as a legitimate legal question for the commission to answer, and that’s how the agency handled it.”
“What he chooses to do from here going forward is up to him,” Bauerly said.
Note: This article has been updated from its original posting