Supreme Court v. American Idol

Working for the American Civil Liberties Union is serious business. We carry a heavy burden. Our slogan, after all, is “Because freedom can’t protect itself.” So it is understandable that in a time of Constitutional erosion, the ACLU is known for its furrowed brows and press releases that “Decry!” “Condemn!” and “Object!”

But there is a lighter side to the ACLU. We are happy people and we like to laugh — even at ourselves. I wanted others to see the well-rounded reality of the ACLU, which is why I made a video that highlights our sense of humor. Hopefully it shows us as more hip to pop culture, though it certainly doesn’t diminish the fact we are a serious and dedicated bunch when it comes to our issues.

My idea was to spoof Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” segment on NBC’s Tonight Show. There, Leno stops tourists at Universal Studios and asks them grade-school civics questions. The tourists, who represent typical Americans, give glaringly wrong answers and the results are sometimes hilarious. I often thought ACLU staffers would ruin Leno’s comedy bit. They’d know all the right answers. But what would happen if I did “Jaywalking” in reverse? Maybe it’s funny to see clueless tourists try to decipher politics and the Supreme Court, but what do ACLU types know about pop culture and American Idol? I had my theory when I set up a camera and lights at this year’s ACLU Membership Conference in Washington, D.C. But there were plenty of surprises.

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this is the most stupid video I ever seen, what is the point, you call this fun, I call this guy stupid.


Don't be hostile.


This is great!

Proud to be a Member

I love this video--I have the biggest smile on my face having watched it. . . Thank you!


Loved it at least we have our prioritys correct :)


Still waiting for those podcasts that should supposedly be here already.........


Good video. It is needful to show the lighter-side at times. Pretty funny, too, actually.


This video is rather problematic, in that it posits ACLU members are more knowledgeable and intelligent than the average American. I understand your intent in trying to humanize ACLU members. However, it comes off just seeming really elitist. You should seriously consider taking this video off your website.


For those that dislike the video, think it's stupid and so forth, I would have to say you missed the entire point of the video. It was meant as a joke, a parody, humor.

As for the comment of ACLU seeming "elitist", that is the most asinine thing I have ever heard. Once again, it was meant as humor. How are they elitist? Just because a few knew who David Cook was they are considered elitist? It's not like they one a million dollars on Jeopardy answering tons of questions. They answered "A" question about an American Idol person.


It just shows you how hard we active members of the ACLU must work to save typical Americans from themselves. How sorry is it that most Americans cannot name or pick the Supreme Court Justices ? A few months back I asked my coworkers to name are 2 New Jersey State Senators out of 12 people 1 knew the answer.


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