Streams

Corporate Votes

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor for Slate.com, and Martin Gold, a lawyer for the Chamber of Commerce, discuss the April 1st [!] Supreme Court ruling following up on the Citizens United case. In a decision in the Chamber of Commerce V. Federal Election Commission case, the nation's top court has ruled 5 to 4 that corporations have a right to vote.

Guests:

Martin Gold and Dahlia Lithwick
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
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Comments [101]

Roseanne Mirabella from Bernardsville, NJ

The saddest thing of all is that so many of us thought it could actually be true.

I called my husband who was in Scotland at the time and he shared his dismay with the current court, so your "story" was spread across the pond.

Well done, splendid.

And thankfully it isn't true, at least for now.

Apr. 05 2010 11:50 AM
William Cerf from Brooklyn, NY

Geez, I'm really disappointed that this was just an April Fool's joke. I was all ready to start a bunch of corporations and move to Illinois and vote and vote often!!

Apr. 03 2010 07:06 AM
Robert Cloud


To program such a disturbing and humorless "joke" is doing a disservice to your listeners. I'll never be able to trust you or your guests again. And exasperated at the waste of time spent checking the New York Times website 3 times today.

Apr. 02 2010 02:27 AM
Carmen from West Village

See how much I trust you, Brian--The whole time I was listening to your guests (especially the crazy answers from "Martin Gold"), I was thinking that YOU were being had and being made a fool of! You sneak, you!

Apr. 02 2010 12:15 AM
Sheila from New Jersey

Hey, Jack from NJ, #94 -- lighten up a bit!

It was pretty obvious that it was a spoof by about minute 3. For one thing the SCOTUS only rules on cases that are brought before it; they NEVER initiate something, although they may swerve away from the actual point of the case being heard.

Besides, as soon as it started getting really absurd, I knew for sure what day it was...

Kudos to Brian, Dahlia and the others for being able to perform the item without breaking into hysterical laughter!

Apr. 01 2010 09:41 PM
Lindsey from London, England

NYC girl born and raised listening from my house in London thinking that I could never go home to the US again if such a thing were true! I remembered the date hours later, such a relief, I was going around chatting to my British friends about how ashamed I am to be American due to stupidity like this... best April Fools joke I've experienced in a long time.

Apr. 01 2010 08:47 PM
arthur from NY

The supreme Court just clarified its previous ruling - stating that only corporations that hire sexy women can vote!

Apr. 01 2010 07:46 PM
Jack A from NJ

I know you'll tell me to lighten up, but I don't think this was funny or appropriate. If I got out of the car 1 minute sooner, I wouldn't have known this was a joke and I'd have had a knot in my stomach for a week. I'd have checked Bloomberg and the WSJ and been incensed they didn't cover it. Should I have KNOWN this was a joke? Well, to see the stuff that has happened with the judiciary in the last few years, I don't think it's that obvious. There are probably a few people eating their guts out now because they missed the end and don't get the joke. Joke about something less disturbing next time.

Apr. 01 2010 07:18 PM
lee from los angeles

You always keep it so cool during these! My favorite is still, "step across the Hudson to smoke" but his was pretty close!

Apr. 01 2010 05:15 PM
Peter from Queens

Brian, this got me so bad that I was screaming out loud while walking down the sidewalk.

Amazing joke!!

Apr. 01 2010 04:44 PM
George from Flushing, NY

I loved listening in my car earlier but didn't hear the entire program. When I got out of the car I thought about it and realized that the Supreme Court has made some bone-headed rulings in the past but they can't be this stupid. I have a lot of faith in the USA that this too shal work out....... then I realized it is April 1st. This is the best April fools joke/prank I have ever heard.
Nice job!!

Apr. 01 2010 04:38 PM
Viviane from NYC, NY

I was driving when I hear about the Supreme Court ruling of April 1. I was so upset that I called my brother immediately. We were strategizing how we are going to protest the Supreme Court.

THen I had to visit my sickly mother. I decided to check my Iphone for what other newscasters were saying. When there was nothing on google, I realized I have been had.

I called my brother to tell him what happened. He said he will cancel his visa. He was raving and ranting with his customers what is this country coming to!!!!

The said thing is that wwith this court we can believe that they would take such outrageous position.

Apr. 01 2010 03:42 PM
Mary from West Palm Beach, FL

I ran into my house from my car (mowing over the kid and the dog en route to the computer) to make sure this was an April fool's day prank. Very well done!

Apr. 01 2010 03:21 PM
Sara Stern from Saugerties, NY

You really got me, driving north from NYC until I was out of range. Well done, just close enough to our worst fantasies...and it was a sweet moment, a relief for my heart, to realize it was all about April Fools.
One way to really appreciate War of the Worlds.

Apr. 01 2010 02:33 PM
Florence Dempsey from Yonkers, NY

Fooled me, Brian!! I was listening while driving and getting madder and madder and then about 2 minutes before the end I realized it was a joke!! Got me! The sad part is that I had already played my own jokes earlier so I should have been ready. See how much we TRUST you??!! Best to you, Florence

Apr. 01 2010 02:25 PM
Heather Kopsco from East Brunswick, NJ

SO happy that this is a joke. You really got me. I was screaming about this. Phew. Good job!

Apr. 01 2010 02:05 PM
Mikel from nyc

Brilliantly done. I suppose laughter is the best medicine.

Apr. 01 2010 01:50 PM
JohnInNJ from Rivervaale, NJ

Huh, wha...AN APRIL FOOL'S JOKE!!!! Who's gonna pay for these tickets to Canada I just bought?!?!

Apr. 01 2010 01:28 PM
Kathleen from Cold Spring, NY

Okay, the vein in my forehead was popping as I listened to this. You TOTALLY had me. I pulled of the road so I wouldn't do something foolish! I guess I just expect news like this now. . . Time to relax and remember to laugh about our state of affairs. . .how else to survive it?

Apr. 01 2010 12:45 PM
JC Hoyt from Morristown, NJ

Well, you got me, Brian. I was LIVID, and ready to call/write/email everyone I know,
asking them to protest!
You remind me that several years ago, NPR had me just as upset, because I believed that we were selling Arizona to Canada, "for an inland port"!

Apr. 01 2010 12:42 PM
frank soriano from morristown, nj

Tuned in to this segment near the end and in the car. Fooled me. Sadder for the Court than for me that their rightward list in past decisions made your spoof shocking but not surprising. Wonder why they are still called Justices?

Apr. 01 2010 12:32 PM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

My favorite "fool" was Giuliani banning talking on the subway. That one really got people. Thanks!

Apr. 01 2010 12:20 PM
Katherine Jackson from NYC

Sorry, Brian. I fell for it, briefly. Just shows you (as you did with your opening comments) how many news stories SHOULD be April Fool's Day jokes these days, but they're all too real. Maybe that's the point you were trying to make.

Apr. 01 2010 12:15 PM
Zahara from Union City

You truly had me confused like a dear in a head light

Apr. 01 2010 12:03 PM
Dave from Yonkers

Aren't you worried that the Tea Party folks aren't going to get the joke?

Apr. 01 2010 12:02 PM
michael from brooklyn

ha i've even noticed tweets going around with outraged people thinking this was real.

Apr. 01 2010 12:02 PM
John from Manhattan

Hah! Got me!!

Good job - but if this was true, I have to say WNYC for President.....

Apr. 01 2010 12:02 PM
jane

wow. i got 'got'.

Apr. 01 2010 12:01 PM
Kenneth H. from Brooklyn

*I meant "it's scary how you'll are able to pass a falsehood as fact"....LOL

Apr. 01 2010 12:01 PM
Aviva Rahmani from NYC

Had this been true, I would have suggested it's time to sue the court for malfaescance. Maybe it is anyway but then whom would preside??

Apr. 01 2010 12:00 PM
Scott from Cranford, NJ

Of course, the scariest part of this April Fool's prank is how believable it is.

Apr. 01 2010 12:00 PM
Ashton from Chelsea, Manhattan

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You got me!!!!!!!!!!

Apr. 01 2010 12:00 PM
Philip Rozario from Brooklyn

I love this, kudos Brian for pulling this off and making me go, WTF ... and getting me all riled up. I checked the other news sources on line but didn't see this as their breaking news, so I then figured it out ... so Happy April's fool day.

Apr. 01 2010 12:00 PM
John A. from Westchester

So well written it wasn't Almost cruel.
And the bizarre comments held back for almost 10 minutes. Very cruel.

Apr. 01 2010 12:00 PM
Elizabeth from New York, NY

You took years off my life, Brian!

Well played, I must admit.

Apr. 01 2010 11:59 AM
John from Astoria

Okay, that was a good one. Totally got me!

Apr. 01 2010 11:59 AM
Claire Gabriel from Manhattan

April Fools! this is funny but scary, because it is not so far from the truth...

Apr. 01 2010 11:59 AM
Saila from Manhattan

The got me! Damn! You know what's really sad though? It's kind of believable...

Apr. 01 2010 11:59 AM
Francisco from Los Angeles

You got me for sure!

Apr. 01 2010 11:59 AM
Katharine from Poughkeepsie

Holy f**k, it took me so long to figure out that this is an April Fools' joke - I was ready to rant about how America has become a corporate fascist state. I guess I would've thought that Orson Welles was reporting on an actual alien invasion.

Apr. 01 2010 11:58 AM
AC from NYC

Maybe corporations should be register for the draft, so that they have the potential obligation to die in foriegn wars for minimal compensation.

Apr. 01 2010 11:58 AM
John from Astoria

Since corporations can be foreign owned, does this now mean that foreigners are voting in our elections?

Apr. 01 2010 11:58 AM
Kenneth H. from Brooklyn

LMAO....Brian...you old dog...I was really like believing this and was like WTF?!?!?...you'll scare me with how well you are able to pass of the truth as fact. But a Happy April's Fool Day to you too!!! LMAO

Apr. 01 2010 11:58 AM
Susannah from Brooklyn

I wish this weren't so close to reality. I love the Berk-Hathaway formula.

Apr. 01 2010 11:58 AM
Stephen from NYC

This is the most highbrow April Fools joke I've ever heard.

Apr. 01 2010 11:58 AM
Jon from Astoria

HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I am rolling around in my seat-

Signed- hopeful corporate citizen

Happy Apr 1st!

Apr. 01 2010 11:57 AM
Henry from Katonah

Can dummy corporations vote too?
This will definitely up Delaware's electoral count.

Apr. 01 2010 11:57 AM
griffin from brooklyn

fabulous.

Apr. 01 2010 11:57 AM
Michael Hunt from Totowa NJ

Let's draft them too! Send AIG and Goldman Sachs to Afganistan! Good job Dahlia...you lie like a lawyer.

Apr. 01 2010 11:57 AM
Billy Neumann from Rutherford

I think this is a wonderful way to experntialize my political leverage. I'm going down to the county court house with a fist full of filing fees and setting up 20 new LLCs. Buy the way can these things be sold in open or closed markets. Can you bundle these together into Dark Pools and derivitives? I smell revenue streams!!!!

Apr. 01 2010 11:57 AM
Eric K from Brooklyn

They had me til the employer called about the caucuses.

I nearly flipped my lid. Then I remembered the date. Very good Brian. Giving listeners heart attacks.

Apr. 01 2010 11:57 AM
James Hellmens from New York

they have civil unions for same sex corporations

Apr. 01 2010 11:56 AM
Andrew from Brooklyn

How will the formula for calculating how many votes my company gets factor in my illegal employees? Do they count?

Apr. 01 2010 11:56 AM
robert from park slope

ooops... I fell for it

Apr. 01 2010 11:56 AM
ba from UWS

Brilliant!

Apr. 01 2010 11:56 AM
Julia from NYC

Ok,
I've been screaming at the radio for about ten minutes...is this a joke?

Please, please say it's a joke.

Apr. 01 2010 11:56 AM
Olivia from Manhattan

April Fool's! Love it!

Apr. 01 2010 11:56 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

Brian, if you are joking, you better say so right away!! I'm so angry I might cry right now...

Apr. 01 2010 11:55 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

Let corporations vote. One man, one vote! So the half million corporations would have a have a half million votes, and no more. As for running for office, only one human can occupy that seat, so if Microsoft wins the election, only Bill gates or the CEO could actually occupy the position. Otherwise, an entire corporation consisting of 100,000 workers would only have a single vote.

Apr. 01 2010 11:55 AM
sara from nyc

You had me for one full minute! Best gag since the one about the release of wolves in Central Park!

Apr. 01 2010 11:55 AM
Caitlin Moore from New York City

Ok - this has to be a joke.

Apr. 01 2010 11:55 AM
Dale from Brooklyn

Yeah, I hope this is an April Fools joke.

Apr. 01 2010 11:54 AM
Edward from NJ

Do corporations need to be eightteen years old to vote?

Apr. 01 2010 11:54 AM
Leah from Manhattan

This is an April Fool's joke, no?

Apr. 01 2010 11:54 AM
Bryan from Prospect Heights

wow. I was fooled for a while.

Apr. 01 2010 11:54 AM
tom from uws

And yes, I do recognize Marty's voice.

Apr. 01 2010 11:53 AM
Mark

They totally got me

Apr. 01 2010 11:53 AM
rosemary from upper west side, inc.

okay, april fool.

but just in case - what's everybody getting all worked up about? as we know, a vote is not worth much. See Bush v. Gore.

Apr. 01 2010 11:53 AM
Milton from Sunnyside

I almost ran my car off the road when I heard this. Thanks alot...

Apr. 01 2010 11:53 AM
tom from uws

I REALLY hate these April 1 time-wasters.

Apr. 01 2010 11:53 AM
Caitlin Moore from New York City

Regarding the Supreme Court ruling that companies can get the right to vote: PLEASE tell me this is an April Fool's joke. I heard the Murray Hill piece you did the other morning and I thought it was a just a critique, similar in spirit to The Onion. This is a dark day for our country. I am ashamed.

Apr. 01 2010 11:53 AM
robert from park slope

While it may seem that a corporation's right to vote will be of no actual consequence in terms of counting votes, we should recall that a typical large corporation is actually a collection of hundreds -- even thousands -- of incorporated subsidiaries and affiliates. Will each one of these smaller units have voting rights? Will corporations be able to create scores of newly incorporated entities in anticipation of a close vote in a particular district?

Apr. 01 2010 11:52 AM
Gabby from Manhattan

I thought this morning that I'll keep my eyes open today so I could witness one of those more elaborate pranks. Ears, it turned out.

Apr. 01 2010 11:52 AM
PJBeee from Somewhere in the ether

I can't wait for the first prosecution of sexual infidelity (with the spouse of a member of the opposite party, no less) by a corporation. How about corporations participating in ice dancing in the Olympics?

Apr. 01 2010 11:52 AM
Saila from Manhattan

Is this really a joke? Please tell me it's really a joke.

Apr. 01 2010 11:51 AM
Allison from Gowanus Brooklyn

HA! Phew I was scared there for a second...wouldn't put it past the court though.

Joke yes? I hate April Fool's Day.

Apr. 01 2010 11:51 AM
Phil from Park Slope

Wow! This is awesome! I own a company, so I get 2 votes!! I'm going to keep incorporating companies and getting more and more votes!

Maybe I'll run several of them for office!

Apr. 01 2010 11:51 AM
Sarah Plain from Ridgewood

Ugh this is frighteningly real!

I think Murry Hill ink can likely merge with an older company and still run.

Apr. 01 2010 11:51 AM
Katherine Jackson from NYC

Brian: What did you mean by "blah blah blah, all that negativity'?? Did I miss some irony or were you making fun of a appalled, passionate dissenting reply to an appalling decision?

Apr. 01 2010 11:51 AM
ed askew from washington heights NY

read this in the Onion..must be true!

Apr. 01 2010 11:51 AM
michael from brooklyn

ha i was googling all over the web to find something on this. i was about to run out in the streets and start a riot.

Apr. 01 2010 11:51 AM
erik frampton from North Bergen NJ

I was slow!!! But loved it. Happy April Fools!

Apr. 01 2010 11:51 AM
jane

What about moving Corporations to *swing states*? How does this affect where companies set up shop?

Apr. 01 2010 11:50 AM
Eric from brooklyn

Yup, you had me for a minute!

Apr. 01 2010 11:50 AM
Michael Hunt from Totowa NJ

This must be a joke. Let's draft GM. Personally I would like to send AIG and Goldman Sachs to Afghanistan.

Apr. 01 2010 11:50 AM
Marques from Bloomfield

April Fool's everyone!!

If this were real it would be all over the MSM. I think it's highly unlikely WYNC scooped everyone on this one.

Think about it, and listen to the commentary.

Apr. 01 2010 11:50 AM
CBrown

Ha! You really had me for a minute!

Apr. 01 2010 11:50 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Ha! Ha! Very good! You had me for a minute or so. And still very well done. Dalia is nice touch of verismo!

Apr. 01 2010 11:49 AM
Bisi from NJ-

You had me going for a few minutes, great joke! I love it!

Apr. 01 2010 11:49 AM
Gustav Rech from manhattan

Nice try guys! Funny and well done though!

Apr. 01 2010 11:48 AM
Alistair from Midtown

Corporate America votes Easter Bunny!
Happy April Fool's...

Apr. 01 2010 11:48 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

What day is it? HA!

You must be following the Murray Hill Inc. campaign to run for Congress.

"Murray Hill Incorporated is Running for Congress. Corporations are people too!"

Check this out: http://www.murrayhillincforcongress.com/

Apr. 01 2010 11:48 AM
James Hellmens from New York

Thank got the bankers are making money again

Thank you Obama

Apr. 01 2010 11:48 AM
Katie Kennedy from Huntington, NY

Boy, you're good! Almost had me.

Apr. 01 2010 11:47 AM
Saila from Manhattan

Are you effing kidding me?!?! This is absurd!!! I'm moving to Canada.

Apr. 01 2010 11:47 AM
Jay F. from manhattan

April Fools...

Apr. 01 2010 11:47 AM
Nico from Crown Heights

Got me for a sec. Happy April 1!

Apr. 01 2010 11:47 AM
Helen from East Harlem

Not on ny times...must be an april fools joke.

Apr. 01 2010 11:47 AM
bronx

please tell me this is an April Fool's joke

Apr. 01 2010 11:46 AM
Joanne from NJ

And April Fool to you, Brian, and crew. Good one!

Apr. 01 2010 11:46 AM
Celia from NYC

This must be an April Fool's joke....

Apr. 01 2010 11:46 AM

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