Colbert insults Bezos and proves you don't need Amazon

Calling Jeff Bezos "Lex Loser," Stephen Colbert organizes a campaign to sell one first-time author's book through a different retailer.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Colbert and "Lex Loser." The Colbert Report Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When Stephen Colbert makes a stand, he does it with a certain willful gusto.

Recently, he's begun to rail against Amazon in its dispute with publisher Hachette. With entirely irrelevant coincidence, Hachette happens to be Colbert's own publisher.

Last night, "The Colbert Report" decided to pinch harder in its derision of Jeff Bezos' behemoth.

Calling Bezos "Lex Loser," Colbert explained that he'd encouraged his cohorts to buy a book called "California" by first-time author Edan Lepucki.

Her novel couldn't be preordered, because she is also published by Hachette.

So Colbert asked the nation to go to his website and order it from independent retailer Powell's Books.

The result is that 6,400 copies have been ordered. It is now the No. 1 book on Powell's whole site.

Colbert's aim is to get it onto The New York Times bestsellers list. So he begged his nation to keep ordering, either from Powell's Books, or from other independent, non Lex Loser-owned bookstores.

He even allowed for you to actually walk into a physical store and "click on the clerk."

"More people are getting screwed than in 'Fifty Shades of Grey,'" said Colbert.

He wants you to join him in this screwing-prevention campaign.

In disputes like this, it's often the case that the details are more complicated than the impression. We've reached out to Amazon for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

However, when Colbert needs to impress his power on the corporate world, he wields quite the hatchet.

I fear, though, there is little chance of a Colbert column in The Washington Post anytime soon.