Lawrence Lessig on THE DAILY SHOW

This e-mail just in from Lawrence Lessig [see UPDATE at the end]:

Hello Rootstriker,

We need your help! (And we’re not asking for money):

As many of you saw, last night I was on THE DAILY SHOW with Jon Stewart. It was a great and fun interview (watch here). Stewart is brilliant and completely authentic. We had a great talk before the interview and he clearly had read his stuff.

But here’s the OUTRAGE: Midway through the interview, Jon Stewart made fun of our name!

Now I know, “rootstrikers” is a geeky what-does-that-mean kind of brand. I know it takes a few seconds of thought before people connect it to its source: (Thoreau—”For every thousand hacking at the branches of evil, there is one striking at the root.”)

But it is who we are and we can’t let Jon Stewart’s attack go unanswered! Even if he’s one of the two great media figures of our time (if), his slander can’t stand. We’re going to win this fight, and win it with a geeky brand, Jon Stewart notwithstanding.

So here’s what we need you to do:

Tell Jon Stewart you’re a rootstriker, and proud of it.


Send him an email:
Or post a video and send us the link
Or tweet it with hashtag #rootstrikers
Either way, we will collect the responses, and make sure he gets them.

And if there is a truly great response, I will donate the swag bag to its author.

Now, I know this might be too much to ask of some of you. You might be too afraid of the STEWART-COLBERT-INDUSTRIAL complex, too afraid that you’ll jinx your own chance to be on one of their very cool shows. If you’re one of these, more reasonable sorts, then you can do something else. Something much more substantive:

We’re organizing a push to get cities and towns across the nation to pledge to support ending the corrupting influence of money in politics. Please sign up to support that push. LA was the first. We need 1,000 others to follow. Rootstrikers can help get us to that 1,000.

So please do one or both.

And either way, stand strong Rootstikers. At first they ignore us. Then they laugh at us. And then we win. We’ve made it to stage two!

Thanks again for all you do, and Happy Holidays from all of us.

Lawrence Lessig
Founder, Rootstrikers

PS: If you’d like a signed copy of the book for the Holidays, please follow this link before Thursday at 5pm EST. Thanks again.

If you saw the show only on TV, you have the second part of the Lessig interview to look forward to.


Hey, Rootstrikers,

Sorry for the quick followup, but a mis-edit of the subject line in our last missive has led some to miss the *MOCK* in our *MOCK * outrage. We love Jon Stewart, and we love the Daily Show’s constant focus on our issue. (See my favorite clip with Stewart convincing O’Reilly that the underlying problem was “corruption”).

But in the spirit of play that the injunction *Happy* Holidays should evoke, and to inspire more conversation about this critical issue, we wanted to play back, in a way that celebrated and rallied our team. Thanks to everyone who read this as we meant it; apologies to all who were surprised we would be (seriously) complaining about such silliness.

So please play along, if you can. The Daily Show knows about the joke. And if you can’t, again, thanks for all you have done to help spread this message about this root.

Peace, and more Happiness.

About Hamilton Richards

He retired in 2006 as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. These days he volunteers technical support for Citizens' Climate Lobby (Austin chapter), Common Ground for Texans, (, Integrity Texas (, Austin Rowing Club, and several friends.
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