Last Monday, The Late Show host Stephen Colbert decided to tell America what he really thinks of Donald Trump. And, as it turns out, what Colbert thinks of POTUS No. 45 is not much. In a scathing opening monologue, spurned by months of living under a Trump presidency, not to mention Donald’s treatment of fellow CBS employee and host of Face The Nation, John Dickerson.
Dickerson interviewed Donald Trump to commemorate the POTUS’ first 100 days in office, and during that sit-down, Trump was arguably rude and disrespectful. The POTUS accused Dickerson of dealing in “fake news” (one of Trump’s favorite phrases since his swearing in), called his program “Deface the Nation” while claiming to “love it,” and even walked away and ignored Dickerson when he dared to ask tough questions about Trump’s unsubstantiated Obama wiretapping claims.
Check out the interaction between Trump and Stephen Colbert’s colleague that got The Late Show’s host so hot under the collar.
In response to Trump’s treatment of Dickerson, as well as a lengthy list of additional grievances, Stephen Colbert devoted last Monday’s opening bit to trashing the POTUS with every fiber of his being – and every word that came out of his mouth during his six-plus minute monologue. It wasn’t until he got to the end, however, that Colbert really pulled all of his punches and let Trump have it with the full force of his liberal comedic genius.
First, Stephen Colbert took on Trump’s blatant disrespect of John Dickerson’s show.
“Mr. Trump, your presidency, I love your presidency. I call it ‘Disgrace the Nation.'”
Then he mocked the level of white supremacist support that Trump has garnered since he entered the political fray.
“Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine.”
Colbert also let it be known that he doesn’t think much of Trump’s intelligence. Or his ability to speak.
“You talk like a sign language gorilla who got hit in the head.”
But not before pointing out the unprecedented resistance that the Trump presidency has spawned among Americans.
“You have more people marching against you than cancer.”
However, it was Stephen Colbert’s final jab at Trump that many conservatives believe crossed a line. Targeting Donald Trump’s long-rumored “bromance” with Vladimir Putin, as well as touching on the Russia talk that just won’t go away, Colbert suggested that Trump’s mouth is good for only one thing.
“In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c*** holster.”
Check out Stephen Colbert’s epic Monday monologue and historic Trump rant in its entirety below.
Not surprisingly, it took mere moments for viewers to turn to Twitter, many outraged over what Colbert had the gall to say on late night TV. Almost immediately, people began calling for Stephen Colbert’s head on a platter. Or, at the very least, his job. The hashtag #FireColbert was born, with Trump fans and viewers demanding that CBS get rid of the incredibly popular (and ratings dominating) late-night host. So far, CBS seems to be disinclined to terminate their business arrangement with Colbert, but that hasn’t stopped the new website FireColbert.com from popping up, or from those critical of his “vulgar” Trump vote to demand that Colbert’s advertisers be boycotted until he’s fired.
For days, Stephen kept quiet about the outrage swirling around him, not addressing people’s rage or the public demands that he be fired. However, as The Washington Post reports, on May 3, Stephen Colbert addressed his haters, once again at the beginning of his show. And he certainly didn’t apologize. In fact, he seemed to enjoy mocking his critics as he addressed their anger over his anti-Trump joke just days before.
“Welcome to ‘The Late Show,’ I’m your host Stephen Colbert. Still? Am I still the host?”
With a thrust of his arms into the air, Colbert confirmed that he was still employed with CBS.
“I’m still the host!”
Colbert went on to directly address his haters and to tell them that he doesn’t regret his words. Oh, and that Donald Trump is a big boy who should be able to both handle a joke and take care of himself.
“Now folks, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset with Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine. So, at the end of that monologue, I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don’t regret that.”
“I believe he can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it’s a fair fight.”
And finally, Colbert ended his Wednesday acknowledgment of the Trump/Putin joke drama on a hopeful note while assuring fans and critics that his words weren’t intended to be homophobic, as some had alleged.
“While I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be. I’m not going to repeat the phrase. But I just want to say, for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love in their own way, is to me an American hero. I think we can all agree on that…I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that.”
While not everyone was happy with Colbert’s handling of the situation, it appears that it may be as close to an apology as people are going to get from the unapologetically liberal entertainer (and long-time Trump critic).
Even though it looks like Colbert will never apologize for his words against Trump (which were pre-recorded, which means pre-approved by his superiors as well as strategically bleeped out) and it appears that he will keep his cushy job at CBS, as Fortune reports, he’s still facing an FCC investigation after numerous complaints were filed in the wake of last Monday’s monologue.
While some #FireColbert diehards are clinging to the FCC investigation as some kind of victory, in truth it probably won’t amount to much. According to the FCC, its investigation into the Stephen Colbert debacle is “standard procedure” when complaints are filed. What’s more, an investigation doesn’t mean that the complaint that spawned it had any merit to begin with.
“We review all consumer complaints as a matter of standard practice and rely on the law to determine whether action is warranted. The fact that a complaint is reviewed doesn’t speak one way or another as to whether it has any merit.”
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs at 11:30 p.m. EST, which means that Colbert’s edited-for-TV words would have to be determined to be “obscene,” not just indecent, a much higher standard. What’s more, according to FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, if Colbert is deemed to have violated FCC obscenity standards, the consequences for doing so aren’t particularly grievous and involve a fine, not criminal charges or even censorship.
“Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be. A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do.”
What do you think? Should Colbert be fired for last Monday’s Trump joke? Were Stephen Colbert’s anti-Trump comments protected free speech? Do you think he should apologize to those he offended? What about potential FCC consequences? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]