Better Know A Guest: April 2 – 5, 2012

The Colbert Report Guest Line Up Happy April! Once again, I am here to present this week’s guests on TCR. Don’t worry, karenatasha will be back soon — in the meantime, let’s take a look at the folks appearing on this pre-Easter week. My guess is Stephen is getting ready for a Catholic binge next weekend, complete with “genuflecting all over the back of a cab.” Been there. And/or will be there.

Before all of that commences, we have on the roster two governors: one former, and one currently presiding over Stephen’s home state of South Carolina. We also have a renowned deep sea explorer, and a famous author. Let’s take a look!

Monday, April 2: Gary Johnson

Our first governor is former Governor Gary Johnson, who is currently seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President. If you thought there wasn’t a serious presidential nominee who was in favor of legalizing pot, you’d have missed this guy. Essentially, he is the poster child of any true-blue Libertarian: in his college days he turned his side job of working as a door-to-door handyman into his own company, Big J Enterprises, in 1976. He then grew the company into a behemoth 1,000 employee strong construction corporation, eventually selling it in 1999.

He ran for the governorship of New Mexico in 1994, which he won handily, going on to serve two successful terms. During his tenure as governor, he was known to be heavy with the veto pen, and reduced the state’s staff by 1,200. He is credited with leaving office with a budget surplus as a result of his fiscally conservative policies.

In April 2011 he announced on Twitter that he was running for President in the Republican Party, eventually switching to the Libertarian party in December of last year. He was largely left out of the Republican debates, having to sit sidelined while Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann soaked up whatever media interest was left. He has maintained an active presence on Youtube, posting his own responses to debates, and hosting his own Town halls on

He is a triathlonaholic, having runs several triathlons and even participated in the Ironman World Championship as a celebrity participant. In addition, he has got to be the only governor ever to have scaled Mount Everest; he has also climbed Mount Elbrus, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount McKinley.

Sounds definitely like a Type A.

Here is a great compilation of his debate performance at the Republican Primary debate held in Florida on September 22, 2011, which nicely highlights his stances on most crucial issues.

Visit his website.

He is naturally on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, April 3: Nikki Haley

Our second governor, Nikki Haley, the current Governor of South Carolina, shall meet Stephen Colbert, the unofficial Ambassador of South Carolina. She is in NY to promote her new book, Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story, and is appearing on TCR on the day of the book’s release. Clearly, she is seeking “The Colbert Bump” in its highest possible dosage.

The daughter of Indian, Sikh immigrants, Haley was born on January 20, 1972 in tiny Bamberg, South Carolina, where she experienced prejudice as a young girl. A graduate of Clemson University in accounting, she worked for a recycling company, and then assisted her mother in developing her multi-million dollar upscale clothing company, Exotica International.

She held a variety of civic organization posts and in 2004, successfully unseated an incumbent Republican State Representative, running on a fiscally conservative platform. She became the first Indian-American to hold office in South Carolina, according to Wikipedia.

In 2009, Haley announced she was running for governor, receiving an endorsement from Mitt Romney, Jenny Sanford, and Sarah Palin. These collective endorsements, coupled with Haley’s staunch conservative values and commitment to promoting transparency in South Carolina politics, vaulted Haley to the governorship on November 2, 2010.

Haley’s tenure as Governor has been a bumpy ride, having been plagued by unsubstantiated rumors of having extra-marital affairs, and criticism of her expenditures at high-end hotels while traveling as Governor. More damning are the critiques from her Tea Party supporters who claim that Haley has not been the champion of transparency they hoped for; rather, she is maintaining the “good old boy’s club” political mechanisms she campaigned to abolish, is their view.

Nevertheless, Haley is campaigning hard for Mitt Romney, whom she credits with helping her achieve the governorship, and she maintains a healthy presence on cable news shows, and has appeared on the cover of Newsweek.

Will the hammer come down on Governor Haley on Tuesday? Doubt it, but it should be a lively interview. Be sure to check it out.

Visit Governor Haley’s website.

Follow her on Twitter here. Facebook is here, and she likes to talk about 80s music on FB. A lot. You have been forewarned.

Here is a nice article from Myrtle Beach Online describing some Tea Party members disenchantment with the Haley administration.

Her new book is available for sale here.

Wednesday, April 4: Robert Ballard

Just as the new 3D version of James Cameron’s blockbuster hits the screens (like its stupid theme song, it will just go on and on and on), Stephen hosts the man who brought the real Titanic to light: Dr. Robert Ballard, the undersea archeologist who in 1985 finally discovered the long-lost wreck of history’s most notorious doomed ship. Ballard is about to host a show on the topic for National Geographic on what is the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

The former Navy officer and current professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island has a list of underwater achievements to his name; among other successes, he located the sunken Bismarck and found the PT-109, the infamous ship on which John F. Kennedy proved himself a hero. Ballard’s awards include an honory degree from the University of Bath; the Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award; and the Caird Medal from the National Maritime Museum.

Ballard has written several books, including The Eternal Darkness: A Personal History of Deep-Sea Exploration; The Lost Ships of Robert Ballard ; and Robert Ballard’s Titanic. He has also written children’s books and, like his “sky double” Neil DeGrasse Tyson, is very concerned with educating kids about science and the environment.

This is Ballard’s second visit to The Colbert Report.

Visit his home page.

Watch Ballard’s latest 60 Minutes profile; they’ve actually interviewed him several times.

Take a look at his TED video on ocean exploration.

Thursday, April 5: Anne Rice

Anne Rice is well-known and renowned author, selling over 100 million copies of her works, and penning many successful novels that focus on the gothic, the metaphysical, and erotica. She is now promoting her new work, The Wolf Gift. Born with the curious name of Howard Allen Frances O’ Brien, she grew up in the Irish Channel of New Orleans, a place she described as an “Irish Ghetto.” She was in part raised by her grandmother, as her mother struggled with (and later died from) the effects of alcoholism. She assumed the name “Anne” in school because she liked the way it sounded, and it stuck. She met her poet-husband of 41 years, Stan Rice, in high school, and moved West.

Ms. Rice is the go-to source for vampire-related literature. Her “Vampire Chronicles” have spanned over thirty years, with works such as Interview with the Vampire (1976), The Vampire Lestat (1985), The Queen of the Damned (1988), and the Blood Canticle (2003), to name the few of the books you may have seen the lady reading next to you on the airplane.

She adapted Interview with a Vampire famously to the screen in 1994, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and premiering Kristen Dunst. Other film adaptations of her work, such as Queen of the Damned, and Exit to Eden, were less successful at the box office. Her work has appeared as theatrical works, and even various comic books.

She has also written a great deal of literature based on Christian-related topics, including Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt (2005), Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, Angel Time, and a memoir entitled Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession.

Anne Rice has had a difficult relationship with religion– after many years spent as an atheist, she returned to Christianity in 1998. She created quite a stir in 2010 that she was quitting Christianity and organized religion altogether, later explaining “following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.”

Tragically, she lost a young daughter, Michele, to leukemia in 1972. She developed obsessive-compulsive disorder in the years after her daughter’s passing. Her husband, Stan Rice, also passed away in 2002.

Follow her on Twitter. Or on Facebook.

Visit her website.

Buy her book.
And let’s check in with our good friend, Jon Stewart!

I was able to complete only the first guest, and the other three only spontaneously appeared right before this posted, so I apologize for not having the last three completed.

[UPDATE: I have added a little info for our last three guests.]

Check out The Daily Show’s fantastic guest page for more information.

Monday, April 2: Mohamed Nasheed

In February of this year, Mr. Nasheed resigned from the presidency of the Maldives, a island nation compromised of an archipelago off the coast of India, a beautiful country plagued by years of political upheaval. He had been elected to the presidency in 2008, for years being a vocal and prominent critic of its 30-year dictator, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Apparently forced out of office at gunpoint by supporters loyal to the former dictator, there is currently a warrant out for his arrest, though it is not being enforced. This narrative is nothing new to Nasheed: he has been imprisoned numerous times as a result of his criticisms of the Maldivian government and Gayoom dictatorship, having formed an opposition party to Gayoom, and written extensively opposition writings critical of the government throughout his career. Amnesty International has called him a “prisoner of conscience.”

As President, he sought to address the effects of climate change (particularly rising seawaters) on his low-lying, small island country, making impassioned pleas at the U.N. Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009, distinguishing climate issues a hallmark of his Presidency. He also founded the Climate Vulnerable Forum to raise further awareness.

Mr. Nasheed’s first year in office is chronicled in The Island President, a new documentary by Jon Shenk.

Check out this fantastic article from The Guardian about President Nasheed which discusses his recent tumult.

Tuesday, April 3: Thomas C. Goldstein

Mr. Goldstein is an attorney of the firm Goldstein & Russell, and the founder and editor of SCOTUSblog, a super duper law blog that discusses the Supreme Court and other pressing legal issues. Thomas Goldstein should have a thing or to say about the SCOTUS: he himself has argued several cases before the highest court in the land. He was named by GQ as one of the top 50 most powerful people in Washington, so don’t mess.

Check out the SCOTUSblog here, particularly right now, it’s timely.

Wednesday, April 4: Jack L. Goldsmith

Jack Goldsmith is a Harvard law professor who worked for John Ashcroft as Assistant Attorney General for Office of Legal Counsel from 2003-4. He heavily advised the Bush administration on issues of terrorism, detainees, and enemy combatants during that period. His new book, Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11 (2012) argues that the Presidency today is a far more accountable institution than ever before, in fact bolstered by the legal and legislative measures introduced in this post-9/11 world.

Buy his book.

Check out his security blog. (A nice blog pairing with the SCOTUSblog, I dare say.)

Thursday, April 5: Anthony Bourdain

The sardonic, salt and pepper haired host of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations is well known for being a great chef, but is also a prolific author as well, on books about fly-fishing. No, food, of course! He is now launching his own line of books, called Ecco Press, which will feature chef-authors, but also non-food related topics as well.

Mr. Bourdain hilariously appeared rather recently on the TCR.

And he tweets.

Who are you looking forward to seeing this week? Do share your thoughts in the comments, and have a great week!

  • karenatasha

    Okay, guys: new thing happened today for Stephen and Jon to take on: The Supreme Court has just allowed cops to strip-search people for ANY offense…no matter how minor. That means ANY. What a horror! I hate this current Supreme Court. Most of them do not deserve to be where they are.

    I can’t imagine the boys won’t tackle this, though I don’t know if they can today. Think it should be a Word?

    • CN Helper

      Seriously karenatasha you are now just depressing me. I mean I realize this Supreme Court is a stinker…but this is NOT a good way to start the week, with some more limitations on our civil rights.
      Maybe they’re having a betting pool to come up with a worse decision than Citizens United. I can’t wait to see what they came up with for the Obama healthcare decision! I am sure it will be…something…

      • karenatasha

        Well the good guys are….the gals! ALL the women voted against this, along with Justice Stephen Breyer. (Must be because his name is STEPHEN.)

    • lockhart43

      Okay, no. Just no. No way in hell is that legal. The police are allowed to perform a Terry-pat down (also called a stop and frisk) on anyone that they suspect of a crime, as it is not a violation of your rights and most people will consent to it. But a strip search?! I already had a huge problem with the Supreme Court before Citizens United, but after that decision, it seems like every decision they’ve made after it has been appalling. I don’t understand the world anymore.

    • Mr. Arkadin

      I knew you would talk about this, Karenatasha! I know you so well. :)
      But it’s even worse than that. The gentleman (Who of course is black.) who brought the case was innocent! He was arrested on a bureaucratic snafu about traffic tickets! He’d paid his fine but his record wasn’t cleared. The state knew this. Gave him a paper clearing him. (With a state seal on it!) But the cop arrested him anyway. In front of his four-year old son and pregnant wife! They held him for six days, kept shipping him to multiple prisons, and strip searched twice. And with all that five guys still said, “Yep. Sounds A-okay to me!”
      Honestly. If a “conservative” ever tells you that they are against judicial activism. But they love THIS supreme court. You have my permission to punch them in the nose!

      • karenatasha


        Yes, I did actually know the story behind the case, which is incredibly depressing. Thereis also the nun who was strip-searched for “trespassing” during a protest.

        It just makes me sick. I do hope Jon and Stephen will take it on tomorrow. Too late for them today, I suspect.

        • CN Helper

          I was reading this on SCOTUSblog about the decision:

          “Some difference of emphasis among the five Justices in the majority made it appear that the decision might be more limited than at first glance.

          The ruling, it appeared, did not authorize jail officials to conduct a strip search unless the prisoner was to be placed among other prisoners at the facility. Two Justices wrote separately in an effort to stress that aspect of the ruling, and their votes were essential to the 5-4 result.”

          • Mr. Arkadin

            I hope that’s right, CN Helper. Did Goldstein write that? I’m rather biased against him because he seems such a toady, apologist for SCOTUS. His firm (according to Glenn Greenwald) does a lot of business in front of SCOTUS. So he tends to be a kiss a$$ to them and has praised and defended Alito, Roberts, Sotomayor, and Kagan equally.

            BTW thanks for doing another excellent job on BKAG again.

            • CN Helper

              No, it was written by an attorney on the blog. It does seem to be a very-SCOTUS insider blog, so your assertions about Goldstein’s firm are likely correct. I don’t get this Supreme Court, but I am glad I am aware of this blog to get some insight as to where they arrive at the conclusions they do.
              Thanks for the feedback, I am glad you think the BKAG is ok this week! It’s a tough post to write, all my compliments to karenatasha.

        • Mr. Arkadin


          Awesome! Something even better than cookies!

          • karenatasha

            And easier to make!

      • lockhart43

        Thanks for giving some more background on the case – I hadn’t known that it was strip searches upon arrest or booking at a jail. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this frustrates me. I can’t even.

        So happy Jon covered it tonight, and talked about it more with Goldstein. I have a feeling Stephen will mention it tonight as well.

        • Mr. Arkadin

          You’re welcome! I feel frustrate, sad, and incredible angry about this ruling. I’m even more angry now that I’ve just read that Obama’s DOJ argued on behalf of the prisons! They wanted the court to rule this way! Is this really change you can believe in?

          Glad to hear Jon covered it. Did he mention Obama’s DOJ?

          • karenatasha

            Jon did a great job with it. Stephen didn’t do anything with it, so I’m a bit disappointed, although sometimes if he’s going to do a Word, it takes a couple of days for that to show up.

            Kind of a softball interview with the SC governor, too. I mean, it was very sweet and funny, but didn’t deal with issues in any meaningful way and he did not mention her contraceptive comment. (He did have a super-adorable moment in there exchange, though.)

  • lockhart43

    I don’t know that I’m looking forward to Nikki Haley. I’m tentative, for sure. I am, however, looking forward to Wednesday’s interview with Robert Ballard! I was really into the history of the Titanic when I was younger, which had every reason to do with the fact that the movie had come out and Leonardo DiCaprio was in it. I don’t want to give James Cameron any more money, so I will not be seeing the film in 3D, but I’m still into the ship’s history (and still a fan of Leo), so it’ll be really neat to see a interview with the man that discovered it.

    • CN Helper

      Well, Stephen’s interview with former Gov. Mark Sanford was so funny. “You are boring,” he told him. And we all know all the turns and twists that happened on the Appalachian trail following thereafter. I think from now on Stephen must interview all sitting SC governors.

      In working on her bio, I discovered that the politics of SC are really fascinating; everyone in the state is seemingly Republican (maybe just to varying degrees.) All the major elected officials there are Republicans. State laws are approved by this 5 person commission, which is something that every SC Governor contends with but no one has changed. There is a great drive internally to change the old guard that is holding up reform, but the process is slow and reluctant.

      So it will be interesting to see how Stephen, as passionate as he is about promoting the state, greets her.

  • colbaby

    I could do without Johnson and Haley (and all politician interviews really), but I’m looking forward to Ballard and Rice. When I was in elementary school, there was this teacher obsessed with the history of the Titanic. Every year at the anniversary of its sinking, she’d take sidewalk chalk and draw a (probably not quite to scale) Titanic across the parking lot, complete with engine room, dining room, etc. so we could walk around “inside” it. That’s dedication!

    And of course I’m looking forward to Anthony Bourdain on TDS. Love him.

    • CN Helper

      What a cool teacher! That takes dedication to do that every year. I am looking forward to the latter part of the week’s guests too. And it’s funny, with Bourdain, it seems like he has been on TCR first, but not on TDS before. It’s usually the other way around. He is very funny though, so it should be a good visit.

    • Mr. Arkadin

      Your line about “probably not quite to scale” amused me to no end. Superb! Thanks.

      As far as doing without see any politician interviewed. I understand the sentiment. But, have you seen Jon’s interview with Nasheed? It might change your mind.

      • colbaby

        That was a fantastic interview! And he’s a really impressive guy. I shall amend my statement to: any American politician seeking to attain/retain office.

    • Karenatasha

      Okay, folks, fasten your seatbelts: it’s going to be a bumpy ride! is circulating a quote from Nikki Haley on “The View”: “Women don’t care about contraception.”

      Oh, this interview is getting to look more interesting by the minute!
      Stephen, a challenge has been issued, a idiocy has been voiced–now, go to it, man!

      • CN Helper

        Well, as I mentioned she is really trying hard to be an establishment Republican. She was standing literally arm-in-arm with Sarah Palin when she was campaigning for Governor, so you kind of get what kind of politician she is trying to emulate.
        There is buzz that she could be a potential running mate for Romney (although, that could be said for anybody at this point), and is spending a lot of time campaigning for him. I wonder if her constituents are starting to feel that she, like Palin, is ambitious and more concerned with her aspirations beyond the state than within the state.

        • karenatasha

          Wasn’t a bumpy ride at all, and Stephen didn’t mention the quote. Kind of disappointed, really.

          • karenatasha

            But OHHHHH–GREAT Santorum bit! Excellent!