Watch Colbert imagine if Facebook was around during polio
CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” just took dead aim at Facebook for its role in spreading COVID vaccine disinformation.
In the show’s Monday-night cold open—posted overnight as a YouTube standalone video titled “If Only Facebook Had Existed During The Polio Vaccine Rollout” (below)—we first see a CNN clip of U.S. infectious diseases czar Dr. Anthony Fauci saying that “If we had the kind of false information that’s being spread now—if we had that back decades ago, I would be certain that we’d still have polio in this country.”
Cue a promo spot for something called “The Facebook Variety Hour” and an old-timey announcer hyping the faux show’s polio vaccine coverage: “The polio vaccine continues its rollout. But what do we really know about it?” He ticks off a slew of conspiracy theories—e.g., the vaccine needles might be “made from the whiskers of Stalin’s mustache”; the vaccine contains miniature radio transmitters “so now the Cubans can track your children and use their hula hoops as missile targets”—before issuing a stern warning: “Don’t let Dr. Salk mind-control you!”
The spot’s sponsor, it turns out, is the National Association of Iron Lung Manufacturers.