The Daily Show Correspondents reunion on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert comes hot on the heels of Colbert’s coming under fire for inappropriate, specifically insensitive language. Colbert’s blistering Late Show monolog aimed towards President Trump was widely perceived to be homophobic. Fallout already includes a possible FCC investigation and a #FireColbert hashtag campaign. FCC action would be most likely a fine at the most. Colbert appeared on the show literally flanked by former Daily Show alumni, all of whom, like Late Show host Colbert, have graduated from fake news correspondents at the Daily Show to their own programs.
“I’m not comfortable,” Jon Stewart said during his turn on the hot seat with Colbert. “I’ll tell you why. I’ve been reading about you, I’ve been seeing you in the news. You have a potty mouth.” It seems like the tiniest bit of deflection here considering the issue most people had, and the reason an FCC investigation may be launched was due to the homophobic nature of the comments at the climax of the monologue.
“Why do we hold comedians to a standard we won’t hold our leaders to?”
The official YouTube channel of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert refers to this in the video title as “ribbing” on the part of the former Daily Show host. “Stephen’s former boss comes by to catch up on current events, and says he’s pretty sure comedians and Presidents shouldn’t be held to the same standards of conduct.”
It’s notable that the Daily Show’s supposed commitment to progressive ideals was brought up multiple times by the former correspondents and even multiple specific mentions of homophobia as a target of Daily Show humor but no direct mention of the sort of “potty mouth” that earned Colbert so much ire as of late.
This is not the first time Colbert has gotten nearly broiled for insensitive or politically incorrect statements, 2014 saw the #CancelColbert hashtag trend, in regard to supposedly culturally insensitive statements.
And although Slate’s Andrew Kahn take is that he doesn’t believe he should be fired:
“Nor does anyone, really. The outrage is thoroughly ironic and originated among embittered conservatives who felt that it was ‘about damn time the right started claiming pelts’ for improper speech.”
Obviously, there is some faction of the #FireColbert crew that seem to be motivated by a beef based on the long-running Bill O’Reilly vs. Stewart/Colbert media feud. UK Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who, incidentally happens to be gay, is neither a conservative troll nor amused by Colbert’s “ironic” attempt at trashing Trump, however:
Homophobia for the right cause, with the right targets, is good homophobia, apparently. https://t.co/4rLd1wfTfA
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 2, 2017
Germar Lopez of Vox, is also not laughing at Colbert’s mean-spirited monolog. Germar accuses Colbert of fat-shaming before he points out an odd trend amongst so-called anti-Trump progressives.
“This is a kind of insult that has been used against Trump again and again. From murals of Trump and Putin making out to late night show gags, it’s now pretty popular among progressives to paint the US and Russian presidents as being gay for each other. But the only way this works as a joke is by demeaning gay people. The underlying implication here is that gay relationships are somehow extra funny — that Trump engaging in sexual acts with Putin is hilarious because it’s gay.”
As far back as 2013, Colbert had been singled out for anti-trans comments by Proud Queer Monthly. In PQ’s article on trans-misogyny on Colbert’s show, the author fires hard on Colbert: “Both seem to think there’s something wrong with being a transgender woman. I can almost sympathize, since I think there’s something wrong with being a transmisogynist, cis-supremecist bigot.”
Harsh humor aimed towards Trump are considered the primary reason for ratings resurgence since regularly roasting the president. The last 13 weeks were the first time The Late Show has been number one since David Letterman’s retirement.
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]