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The Daily Show takes on Florida Tea Party group's fight over manatee rules

Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal reporting from Florida
Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal reporting from Florida
Published Feb. 20, 2013

As the Tampa Bay Times' Craig Pittman noted a couple of years ago, there's a branch of the Florida Tea Party that opposes rules against riding manatees as a step in the United Nation's plan to impose world government rules on America.

Recognizing a good joke when they see one, The Daily Show got a national Tea Party mouthpiece, Michael Coffman, to rail about the rules regarding manatee riding and the influence of the United Nations on turning America into a Third World nation and more.

"Today we can't ride a manatee, tomorrow we won't be able to open a business," Coffman complained. There weren't really any quotes aired where he talked about the details of the issue specific to Florida or Kings Bay.

Of course, the show's pre-taped interviews work best when they find someone whose genuine beliefs are so ludicrous, all you really need to do is point a camera at them, ask a couple of questions and watch the fireworks explode.

Craig pointed out in his story that several others local groups opposed extra rules protecting manatees in Kings Bay, one of the few areas in Florida where you can swim with and touch the animals, because they were afraid it would harm the local economy and erode property rights.

But the Daily Show found the one guy willing to go on camera and connect the United Nations to Manatee preservation.

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