A Canadian Business magazine reporter acted as an informant as a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s comedy show slogged through the sticky world of Canadian maple syrup crime.
In the episode of The Daily Show that aired on Feb. 28, reporter Tim Shufelt told Americans about the secret world of maple syrup cartels or, as Stewart called it, “a terrifying new front from an unexpected source.”
In the five-minute segment, The Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones begins by interviewing Shufelt, who sits in a darkened room to “protect his identity.”
“This is a big deal in Canada. Globally, the industry is worth about $400 million a year and the cartel accounts for about three-quarters of all that production,” says Shufelt.
When Jones realizes that Shufelt is talking about maple syrup and not cocaine or heroin, he asks an off-screen producer: “can we put the [expletive] lights on?”
Then Shufelt’s identify is revealed, at least until he says maple syrup is worth more per barrel than oil. With that comment, Jones tells the producer to turn the lights down again.
The cartel in question is Federation des producteurs acericoles du Quebec, or The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which Jones also visits to speak with top boss “the dreaded” Simon Trepanier about the maple syrup heist that made international headlines in 2012.
Trepanier forces Jones to tests out the syrup and then Jones meets with Canucks who are chowing down on pancakes and waffles before, eventually (spoiler alert) getting hooked on the stuff. As any Canadian could have told Jones, it’s pretty good stuff.