Stephen Colbert turns Katie Eastman, a 22-year-old “intrepid cub reporter” in Iowa, into a national celebrity

Mike Krumboltz

Katie Eastman, a 22-year-old TV reporter from Des Moines, Iowa, has become a national celebrity thanks to Stephen Colbert.

Eastman's employer, WOI-ABC 5, refused to air an advertisement from Colbert's political action committee. The ad urged Iowa voters to cast their ballots for "Rick Parry," deliberately misspelled. Colbert, or at least his televised persona, then mocked the TV station and its "intrepid cub reporter" Katie Eastman, whose stories include dog-park openings and garage sales.

Colbert said he thought Eastman would be the ideal candidate to investigate why the station did not air his ad. "Katie blew the lid off Garage-Sale-Gate!" he said. "Clearly, Katie, you're the only one I can trust. Call me."

In an interview with NPR, Eastman said she woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago to a flood of voicemail, text messages and tweets. She found the video clip online from Colbert's Comedy Central show. "I started screaming, and just, like, pacing the kitchen floor," Eastman said. "Like, 'That just did not just happen! No! That was my face!'"

Web searches for Eastman surged over 200% after Colbert mentioned her on his show. On Eastman's Facebook page, a fan urged her to run as vice president on the "Rick Parry" ticket.

Another Facebook user gave her a pep-talk: "We all know you cover more than puppies, this is good for your career I am sure. Keep it up Katie, maybe I'll see you on a national news program someday. Reporting, not being reported about."

You can watch more of Colbert's Eastman pitch in the videos below, but beware a little  saucy language.