Colbert and the Clouds

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Stephen Colbert this week used word clouds — visual representations of word frequencies in selected blocks of text — to tell a story about his political action committee.

Colbert recently asked supporters to submit suggestions for the PAC’s mission, and he wanted to visualize their responses for his television audience.

This version shows the most popular words in all the responses: 

Then, Colbert (or presumably someone on his staff) weighted the cases to represent only responses by donors who gave at least $1. 

The second version represents the responses Colbert “heard,” I suppose making a point about the fact that corporate spending is now considered political speech.

Genius. Here’s the full sketch

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