Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich gave his take on the current controversy surrounding CBS late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert’s crude President Trump joke, stating that he saw The Late Show host has being just another example of Hollywood’s extreme displeasure with Donald Trump and his presidency.
“The problem you have with humor in America today is that Hollywood is so enraged at Donald Trump that they can’t be funny,” Newt Gingrich told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “All they’ve got is pure anger. And that’s what’s coming out in this stuff.”
As Fox News Insider reported, Gingrich was part of a roundtable on the Fox News Channel staple, where he and his fellow panelists lambasted Stephen Colbert for what Wallace referred to as an “astonishing crude attack” by the comedian. Colbert, during a monologue that aired on May 1 that he has since unapologetically insisted he does not regret and would do again (perhaps a bit less cruder, he said), went on a rant of one-liners that were both edgy, and to some, a bit distasteful.
Colbert’s rant stemmed from the comedian taking exception with President Donald Trump’s off-hand dismissal of CBS correspondent John Dickerson after the journalist questioned him about his Twitter posts and unsubstantiated accusations of wiretapping that he had made against his predecessor, President Barack Obama, in March. Trump had simply walked away, ending the interview.
Colbert prefaced his rant by describing Dickerson as “a fair-minded journalist and one of the most competent people who will ever walk into your office.” He then issued his blistering roast of the president.
“Mr. President, I love your presidency, I call it ‘Disgrace That Nation,'” he said, poking fun at Trump’s “fake news” renaming of the long-running Sunday CBS News show Face The Nation. “You’re not the POTUS, you’re the gloat-us,” he went on.
He then called President Trump a “pr**ktator,” before saying, “Sir, you attract more skin heads than free Rogaine. You have more people marching against you than cancer.”
And then he delivered the line that made headlines: “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c**kholster.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the government agency that oversees the various forms of broadcast media, announced that it would investigate the matter after receiving numerous complaints about Colbert’s monologue. In situations such as this, where late night television is concerned, video and dialogue rules are less strict than during prime time hours, but, as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told Fox Business Network, as reported by The Hill, the final adjudication would center around whether or not Stephen Colbert — and CBS, by airing the segment — had violated the commission’s definition of “obscene” material.
Newt Gingrich, who has been a Trump supporter since halfway through the businessman’s campaign for the presidency, was one of those who found Colbert’s lines wanting in their comedic capacity, saying that Colbert and those of like mind “think it must be funny because they’re called comedians. So they exhibit their anger as almost a pathology on late-night television and you’re supposed to laugh because, after all, they’re comedians.”
But the former speaker did not find anything to laugh about in Colbert’s Trump joke.
“They ain’t funny because they’re too angry to be funny.”
Former Fox News Channel anchor and contributing analyst Brit Hume, who also sat in on the roundtable, said he found Colbert’s Trump joke “disgusting” and if “he or any other comedian had said something like that with regard to Barack Obama, you can bet the guy would be – or the woman would be on the unemployment chain.”
There have been those who have called for just that outcome. The hashtag #FireColbert directly advocated for the comedian’s ouster.
Hume acknowledged that Colbert had the right to say what he wants, that he should not be fired for his comments and that the FCC should not get involved.
As for the call for Stephen Colbert to lose his job as host of CBS’ The Late Show, the network would have the final say on the matter. Given its complicity with airing the monologue, which is taped hours before the show is actually broadcast on television, it is unlikely that Colbert will suffer more than an FCC fine (if they rule against his Trump joke). But, with The Late Show‘s ratings having increased in the past week to its highest level since Colbert’s premiere as David Letterman’s replacement, it would appear that Newt Gingrich and other detractors might want to follow Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity’s advice and just “change the channel.”
[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]