Late Night Hosts Show Trump How Easy It Is to Rebuke Charlottesville Nazis and Terrorism
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What else were they going to talk about? Last night, all the late night talk show hosts tackled the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. Yes, even Jimmy Fallon. The main topic was the egregious fact that it took Trump two entire days to renounce the racist violence that occurred despite the fact that there should only ever be one side when we’re talking about Nazis.
On The Late Late Show, James Corden gives us a handy list of things that Trump denounced more quickly than racism. Yes, it is very long. Yes, it includes Meryl Streep, Nordstrom, and Hamilton. No, I don’t remember what a secure and happy existence feels like either. Corden also emphasizes that while Trump’s silence is incredibly deafening on this topic, it shouldn’t overshadow the horror and anger we feel at the white nationalists who have always existed, but now feel comfortable coming out of their racist shadows.
How easy should it be to condemn nazis? On The Late Show, Colbert recalls the events and says, “It is difficult to express how heartbreaking it is to see something like this happening in our country. But here’s something that’s not difficult to express: Nazis are bad. The KKK, I’m not a fan. That wasn’t hard. That was easy. I enjoyed saying it.” When he replays the “many sides” clip, Colbert says, “Mr. President this is terrorism, not your order at KFC.”
Colbert similarly goes into the many things Trump, a known tantrum-thrower, has more strongly rebuked than Nazis and the ensuing support he received from white nationalist and white supremacist groups. What kind of leader are you when tiki torches take a stronger stance than you?
We can definitely look forward to an amazing Full Frontal with Samantha Bee takedown tomorrow, but their Youtube channel uploaded a clip yesterday to promote Late After Hate, “the only organization dedicated to bringing people out of the white supremacist movement.” In some telling actions, the Trump administration “cut the $400,000 grant Life After Hate was to receive from the Department of Homeland Security.”
Late Night with Seth Meyers began with a solemn statement from the host that perfectly illustrates how Trump created the political climate that allowed this to happen, and then a closer look at Trump’s response.
Meyers goes through a lot of the same points as the other hosts, tiki torches, David Duke, etc. with great insight and humor, but I really appreciated that he also addressed the reason for the rally—the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. “Symbols of the confederacy are symbols of slavery and white supremacy. Confederate leaders said as much at that time,” he says, “to ignore that or sanitize it is historical revisionism of the worst kind and yet mainstream GOP politicians have repeatedly done just that.” The host also criticizes the white nationalists Trump has surrounded himself with, and even takes some time to savor Scaramucci hearing his bleeped-out comments back at him.
Jimmy Kimmel’s reaction is relatively short, but it does have this great nugget: “He sounds like a kid whose parents made him apologize for egging their neighbor’s house. If there’s any silver lining to this—and there isn’t—it’s that whatever vacation he was hoping to have is now ruined.”
Finally, there’s Jimmy Fallon whose show has been relatively non-political in comparison to others hosts—something that’s earned him a lot of criticism, with most citing his playful tousling of Trump’s hair. He acknowledges this in his opening saying, “Even thought the Tonight Show isn’t a political show, it’s my responsibility to stand up to intolerance and extremism as a human being. What happened over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia was disgusting…I was sick to my stomach.”
Fallon doesn’t crack any jokes about the event, instead talking about the world he wants to build for his daughters and the “shameful” behavior Trump displayed. He makes a plea, specifically to white people, and says that “ignoring it is just as bad as supporting it.” It’s a definite tone shift from what we expect from the Tonight Show. He ends, “We all need to stand against what is wrong, racism exists and stand up for what is right and civil and kind…we can’t go backward.”
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