personal reflections

Stephen Colbert rant on Discover America ‘Land of Dreams’ commercial

Last week January 15, Stephen Colbert had a piece on the Discover America Brand USA video promoting the USA as a foreign tourist destination. The centerpiece of his Colbert Report piece focused on the ‘Land of Dreams’ song written by Rosanne Cash and the video posted on the website. 

Stephen Colbert calls this a new video. I wrote about the ‘Land of Dreams’ video on April 25, 2012. Not so ‘new’ in 2014. The video started out in a few global markets like Germany and Japan and spread to other countries as the Brand USA marketing campaign for Discover America has grown.

Stephen Colbert gives a big ‘middle finger’ up to America’s government beg fest for foreign tourists. Stephen does not like an advertisement begging for the world’s approval.

And Stephen asks why America’s video has no display of baby pageants, guns or lap band surgery?

Colbert’s Discover America commercial tagline suggestion is:

America, come or don’t. We don’t give a shit.

– Stephen Colbert

‘Land of Dreams’ is a beautiful song and video that has over one million YouTube views since its release in 2012.

Check it out here.



In my travels to discover America the past few years, the most prevalent trend I have seen is the number of foreign tourists in our National Parks matches or exceeds the number of Americans in the parks of the western USA. Foreign tourists see many of the best parts of America many of the native folks miss.

This year I hope to discover more of my America while parahawking at Eagle Arm Canyon and whitewater rafting down jaguar-spooning rapids.

In all seriousness, check out the website where you can download ‘Land of Dreams’ and learn more about our government beg fest for international tourists.

America, the beautiful.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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  • Ric Garrido January 20, 2014

    Both of the videos played in the preview mode of this post. Then, after publishing, the Colbert video embed dropped out of the post and the Land of Dreams video is not playing on my computer.

    There have been a series of issues with the past few days preventing blog posts from appearing.

    The video links in this post may be affected?

  • Ed January 20, 2014

    Yes, America is beautiful Ric. We know this. Yes many Americans are either too poor or too self absorbed to appreciate it in any meaningful way. Do you believe this or do you deny it?This is what Colbert expresses. I feel that Ric missed the point of Colbert’s satire. Please don’t use the God Bless Ameica Card and talk about our purple mountains majesty above our fruited plains when someone makes a valid critique of American culture. Please do not crow about how Colbert was incorrect about the video being”new”! How does that matter? You saw it first so what? He incorrectly called it new…big deal. We need to improve the US situation with thoughtful discourse not knee jerk flag waving!. Stop insinuating that any critic of the US is UnAmerican the minute something unfavorable is said about our beloved country. Please understand that these critics are usually US Patriots of the highest order. One rarely criticizes when they do not care! If you really love America be honest and admit to what is wrong and work to solve it:)or just stay away. You are defending American Propaganda! I wish all your readers could enjoy America and the rest of the planet like you do! Stay away from politics at all costs…it makes you sound….DUMB…and UnAmerican and self absorbed…say hi to Kim and Kanye for me LOL! American Heroes! See I do care about you Ric!!!!Stick to getting us deals!Unless you are going to stand for something other than the current status quo.

  • yw82go January 20, 2014

    We were in the Florida Keys last week at the Hilton Key Largo Resort property. There were some Americans, but the number of foreign tourists was interesting. We met people from Germany, France, Spain, Scotland and England and heard some others whose language we couldn’t guess – that’s why we love travelling.
    We had no problem playing the Land of Dreams video.

  • Tomsk January 20, 2014

    Hey Ed, I think it’s time for your meds…

  • Jake January 20, 2014

    Ric – Have you watched Stephen Colbert before?

  • JustSaying January 20, 2014

    Let’s be accurate here…..Was his quote “We don’t give a shit” or was it your first time to watch him and are confused at his humor?

  • Ric Garrido January 21, 2014

    I have watched Colbert since the show started in 2005. One of my favorite shows that I rarely miss.

    I understand satire. I understand The Colbert Report.

    This post was an opportunity to share the Land of Dreams video again.

    I found the Colbert piece immensely funny. There were even funnier pieces later in the show.

    I have been an attendee of the U.S. Travel Association’s annual IPW conference the past three years. That is why I saw the Land of Dreams video at its Los Angeles debut in 2012 and I was present in Las Vegas last June when Rosanne Cash sang the song live for the IPW attendees.

    This is a piece about tourism and not politics.

    Brand USA and U.S. Travel Association are key components of the tourism industry for the USA.

    Obviously readers are inferring much more from this post than I ever expected considering my left coast viewpoints.

  • Charles Clarke January 22, 2014

    Ric, some of us politically conservative types read you for your good analysis of hotel programs and are amused by your left coast viewpoints, though part of that may be your time working for the government also. I appreciate left coasters who can discuss their views rationally instead of just going into a rant. It helps me flesh out my understanding of why I believe/think the way I do. And I don’t watch Colbert or any other political talking head, so I think you’re doing fine.

    Besides, since you don’t earn tons of money through affiliate links, you won’t lose out on income if you offend at least some of the folks – and it is almost impossible not to offend someone, so choose who you want to offend!

  • Ric Garrido January 23, 2014

    If working as a public school teacher is considered working for the government, then I have that connection to the government. Most of my school teacher career was working in rural towns with fewer than 2,000 residents in fishing villages of downeast Maine and the forests of Humboldt County, California. Small government to say the least.

    The only federal government jobs I had were in the late 1970s when I worked with the Forest Service for five months in Monterey County cutting firebreaks in the Santa Lucia range and at Fort Ord when I spent a few months working a landscaping contract and a few months stocking shelves and mopping floors at a Fort Ord post exchange.

    In the early 1990s I lobbied government congressional leaders in Washington D.C. to maintain and increase Pell Grants for college students and support other education related issues.

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