To my friends Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart: it's been nice knowing you.
For the last year or so, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart have been two of my favourite shows, providing a valuable window on American politics. First, when they were on ABC2, then when they lost the rights, via the Comedy Central website.
Comedy Central has apparently signed an exclusive deal with Foxtel that blocks Australian viewers from watching the show online. Switching on yesterday to get my daily dose of Stewart, I was greeted everywhere with the message: "Sorry, this video is unavailable from your location."
So now Australian fans will only be able to watch these programs if they pay for it. Of course, they are not on free-to-air in the US either as I understand it, but Americans can still watch it online nonetheless.
So what the f***, Comedy Central?
There are several ironies here. Firstly, Stewart ran a story a couple of weeks ago complaining about how British broadcasting authorities had censored The Daily Show because of laws forbidding the use of parliamentary footage for satirical purposes. At least the British can still watch you, Jon.
But more ridiculous is that the company that Australians will have to pay money to in order to watch The Daily Show is Foxtel, owned by Rupert Murdoch. Part of the same global corporation responsible for Fox News, the right-wing propaganda station that Stewart rails against on a nightly basis.
I won't be forking out the monthly fee to Foxtel, because I have more important things to spend money on, such as putting food on the table, keeping a roof over my head, and paying my way through school.
So thanks for the memories Jon and Stephen, it's been fun.
So, I've sniffed around, and the internet being what it is, there are still ways to watch it. I'm not a technical computer-thingy-type-person, but you can watch it via a proxy IP address. Plus there are other ways. Search around.