Alabama Week - Using Fake News to Save the Environment

April 27, 2017 - Katy Tur 04/27/2017 Views: 5,826

Roy Wood Jr. returns to his native Alabama to find out how one man is channeling his search for Bigfoot into a cause big business and environmentalists can both get behind. (6:14)

Watch Full Episode

Tonight, we unfortunatelycome to the end

of The Daily Show's Alabama Week,

when we've been tryingto understand

why the deep southern stateis the place in America

that likes The Daily Show least,

which is a nice wayto say they hate us the most.

For our final nightof Alabama Week,

we turn to our born and raisedAlabama correspondent.

Roy Wood Jr., everybody.

(cheers and applause)

No. No.

I'm... No.

I'm not...I'm not dabbing you, man.

You spent the whole weekdissing my state, man.

Oh. Roy, I, uh...

haven't been dissing your state.

We haven't been dissingyour state.

We've also just been tryingto learn

and understand why Alabamiansdon't watch our show.

Trevor, it's a red state.

They wouldn't messwith a black president.

You think they want to (bleep)with an African host?

You know what,that's a fair point.

Look, it's easy to stereotype,

but Alabama's more complexthan you think,

which is why I wantedto go to Alabama

to show people a sidethey've never seen before

and also pick up some mailfrom my mama's house.

Here's my report.

WOOD: It's no secret I'm from Alabama,

so I've seen everything this state has to offer.

North Birmingham, west Birmingham,

even way down south Birmingham.

But to help me find another side of Alabama,

I connected with my old friend Ruben,

who's a fan of every Major League Baseball team,

and I think he's been on a TV show or two.

Yeah, he's kind of famous around these parts.

I do want to tell youhow big of a fan I am of yours.


WOOD:Daily Show Roy, not so much.

So, I'm down here, I'm tryingto find the heart of Alabama.

Okay. Number one, Roy:

the heart of Alabamais much bigger than Birmingham.

Well, you got to get outof the city.

Get you a little tasteof real Alabama.

Uh-uh. No.

Roy ain't going to the country.

Look at me, man.

You... You'll be finein the country.

-You got people in the country?-I got folk in the country.

I'll send you on upto Talladega National Forest.

Got a guy up there.

You got a dude in the forest?

He's an environmentalist.

-An Alabama environmentalist?-Mm-hmm.

This is one of the many people

here in Alabama that can debunk

some of the stereotypeswe have about the state.

Am I wrong for being nervous?

Am I wrong for being nervous

to be a black manin the country? Am I wrong?

-Just tell me that. -Have youever been to a party before

-where you didn't knownone of the people there? -Yeah.

-Okay. Same thing. -But you knowwho was at that party?

-You know who was at that party?-Who?

A cell phone signal.

WOOD: But Ruben was paying for the ribs,

so I guess I had to go.

Let me get that banana pudding.

I'm about to get shotin the woods.

I may as wellenjoy my last meal.

WOOD: When you get out of the city,

Alabama's all about the outdoors.

They've got beaches, rivers, lakes, forests.

It's wild as (bleep).

I headed to Talladega National Forest to spend a day

with environmental activist Jim Smith.

We're right now in an...

In an Alabama hardwood forest.

And I would just likefor my, uh, grandchildren

to be to where they could see

what a hardwood forestlook like.

WOOD: Paper companies

have decimated Alabama's forests,

and Jim has spent the past 46 years

trying to preserve them.

SMITH: I understand paper companies

have to make money cutting the forest

but limit, like, the, uh, acreage that's being cut.

So you're tryingto conserve Alabama's forests

because of nature and wildlife?

Well, actually,I'm just out here

because Bigfoot's out here.

Because this is his homeand his habitat.

I'm on a dirt road.


-In the middle of nowhere.-Mm-hmm.

Because you gonna lookfor Bigfoot?

Yep, mm-hmm.

Great. Let's-let's do it.


WOOD: So this champion of science

is doing it to protect Bigfoot.

But not just one Bigfoot.

I actually believe thatthere's about two, uh, species.

Uh, there's a white one, a...

-There's a white one?-Oh, yeah.

When did he start coming around?

Ah, back...

back around about Thanksgivingof last year.

Oh, after the election.

-Right after the the election.-Yeah, after the election.

Probably want to make the forestgreat again, don't he?

WOOD: Okay, I cansuspend disbelief for a minute.

I think Bigfoot is made up, but this time last year,

I thought Trump was a joke, too.

Everybody that's into Bigfoothave heard the, uh...

uh, rock tapping.

And I believe that he left these

for me to maybe tryto learn his, uh, code.

-Sometimes you will hear...-(makes hooting sound)'ll hear a tap back.

Panda. Panda.


Spent all day in this forest, didn't see a single thing,

even though I was using Bigfoot's favorite snacks.

I mean, I knowhe likes Jack Links

-'cause I seen the commercials.-Yeah. Oh, yeah.

-He likes Jack Links.-Yeah. Okay.

-Think he want one piece or two?-I'd go and give him two.

WOOD: It was getting cold.and I was running out of jerky,

so I wasn't sure how much longer

I could pretend to believe in Bigfoot.

But maybe I was missing the bigger picture.

Maybe this guy actuallyhad some ideas for how industry

and conservation could work together

without chopping down every tree.

Once you thin a forest,as this forest seems to be,

then the trees leftgrow actually, uh, larger,

and when you cut itthe second time,

you actually make moreoff of your timber

than what you would if youcut it while it's all small.

WOOD: That's actually more of a solution

than most environmentalists will give you.

And that's when I realized-- this dude is a genius,

using fake news to save the environment.

We could do this everywhere!

We could protect the waterways

to save the Loch Ness monster.

-Mm-hmm. -Or protecta woman's right to an abortion

because she's pregnantwith a bat boy.

-Could. Could do that.-Uh-huh.

I guess I did learn something out here

in the forests of Alabama.

Forest is beautiful, man,

and it deserves to be preserved,

and God bless youfor fighting for it.

-Well, thank you. -Even if it isfor something that

-probably don't even exist.-Yeah.

WOOD: Do you think Bigfoot'san Alabama or an Auburn fan?

SMITH:I hope he's an Alabama fan.

Could you imagine what typeof football team we'd have

if we had all Bigfoot on it?

-(cheers and applause)-Roy Wood, Jr., everybody.