Behind The Stories

Colbert Tries Planet Money On For Size

Planet Money's Alex Blumberg and Stephen Colbert after a taping of The Colbert Report on December 10, 2013.

Planet Money's Alex Blumberg and Stephen Colbert after a taping of The Colbert Report on December 10, 2013. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kainaz Amaria/NPR

As the Planet Money t-shirts (all 25,000 of them) have fanned out across the country – going to people like Arjun and Heidi, who listen on long car rides; Nancy in Denver, whose mother sewed jeans to support their family in El Paso; and Corvell, a music maker and dreamer of dreams – so too has the multi-everything microsite. Word of the XXL-sized reporting project has cropped up in publications such as Fast Company, the Of A Kind newsletter, Glamour and Gizmodo.

Writing about the women who made our shirts, Doris in Columbia and Jasmine in Bangladesh, Jezebel remarked, "For us watching them at home, surrounded by the fabrics we purchased in a store, putting faces to the materials we use every day is an exercise in extreme humility."

Planet Money's Alex Blumberg with NPR's Kainaz Amaria at The Colbert Report on December 10, 2013.

Planet Money's Alex Blumberg with NPR's Kainaz Amaria at The Colbert Report on December 10, 2013. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Glamour noted the "fantastic step-by-step video series... Have you ever stopped to think about your $20 T-shirt's journey before it landed, neatly folded in your third dresser drawer?"

And last night, Stephen Colbert hosted Alex Blumberg, co-creator of Planet Money and lead reporter on the T-shirt project. Colbert declared his dislike for the reporting right up front.

"Not a fan of this project," Colbert told Blumberg. "The global marketplace is someplace where we export work to have happen in whatever conditions we want, and then the products come back to me cheap enough to throw about without thinking about it. ...Why do you want to make the hand of the market visible?"

Watch Blumberg set Colbert straight about reporting on this tee (which you can still get your hands on, until the end of the month):

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