Student seeks retribution for Colbert ticket snub

For one Marquette student, a hassle-free way to win tickets to see the Colbert Report live became a case of stolen tweet. Sam Bufe, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, claims that his tweet was “stolen” by another Colbert viewer who was unjustly awarded the tickets.

The contest, called #ColbertTicketGrab, asked followers to tweet at Colbert about why they should win the tickets. The Colbert Report’s conditions for winning the tickets state “judging criteria will be based on creativity and originality.”

Bufe said he instantly knew what he would tweet about and furiously hacked out a tweet.

“‪@ColbertReport I feel weird chanting ‘STEPHEN! STEPHEN! STEPHEN!’ At my TV, and I would much rather do it in perosn (sic). ‪#ColbertTicketGrab,” his tweet read.

“After I tweeted that, I looked back to see if anyone had tweeted that,” Bufe said. “I did check that out, and no one had.”

The next day, Colbert announced that two other people had won the event. Curious as to what they tweeted, he read the first winner’s tweet, which was commenting on Colbert’s irrational fear of bears.

But the second winner’s tweet was eerily similar to Bufe’s. In fact, it seemed almost like a direct copy.

“Because shouting “Stephen..Stephen..Stephen” from my living room just makes me sound crazy. ‪#ColbertTicketGrab,” was winner Renee Schlechta’s tweet.

“The other winner was about word for word what I tweeted, and I did a little investigation and I saw she tweeted that an hour after me,” Bufe said. “So TwitterGate was on.”

TwitterGate is a campaign that Bufe created to try to get Colbert’s attention about the situation. His friends and family used the hashtag to try to get it trending. After the initial few hours of tweeting, the campaign has slowed down. But Bufe said he wants it to come back.

“We start getting the wheels turning – who knows,” Bufe said. “It’s got to start somewhere. We’re off the ground, we’re hovering. Now we’re just waiting to blast off.”

Bufe attempted to bring The Colbert Report and Comedy Central’s attention to the situation but saw no response. Bufe has acknowledged that while the campaign may be futile, it does not hurt to try.

“Nothing will come of it if I don’t do anything,” Bufe said. “The others and I are just trying to get out there and see what we can do.”

As for Schlechta, she tweeted at Bufe saying she never meant to steal his tweet but that it was just a quick tweet and then she signed off.

“@SamBufe ‪@ColbertReport For the last time…NEVER saw your post. Spent <2 mins on twitter to enter, didn’t scroll through pages of tweets,” she wrote.

“I probably can’t prove (she stole my tweet),” Bufe said. “So I kind of feel bad for her … I believe her. She probably didn’t steal it, so I don’t think they should take anything away from her.”

At press time, Bufe had not received the tickets he requested. But for Bufe, it’s not about getting the tickets but the recognition that he was the first to tweet the winning tweet.

“Do what’s right,” Bufe said. “That’s what I’m saying, that’s what the TwitterGaters are saying. Do what’s right.”