May 4, 2017
So, it has come to this. In the past few days, Stephen Colbert, continuing in his long line of ‘attack Trump at any cost’ rhetoric, made a crude comment regarding the President’s relationship with Vladimir Putin. Remember Putin? He’s the leader of the country that Colbert’s hero, President Obama, called labeling as a threat 1980s foreign policy just four years before he argued they stole the election from his successor. Well, Colbert referred to Trump’s mouth as Putin’s cock-holster. The comments spurred #FireColbert, because all political discourse in this country is now handled through Twitter, and has forced me to choose between the intellectual dishonesty I despise and defending a host that I despise. In the interest of fairness, I have to say that as much as I dislike Colbert and the rest of the Jon Stewart sycophants, I don’t think his comments about the President and Putin were anything more than a crude turn of phrase, unworthy of controversy and certainly unworthy of termination. In fact, I would offer the same analysis of the relationship between Colbert (and many others in the media) and President Obama.
Let’s start with the loudest and most hypocritical voices calling for Colbert’s ouster: conservatives. For conservatives, this is nothing more than opportunistic outrage. This has nothing to do with supposed homophobia or respect for the presidency. It’s all about destroying a political enemy. How many conservatives have used a similar expression at some point without batting an eye? Where were these voices when conservative commentators were less than respectful toward President Obama? Conservative outrage over Colbert’s comments isn’t genuine; it’s a strategic attempt to seize an opportunity to achieve an objective they’ve wanted for a long time. Colbert could have spent the show paying tribute to his mother and conservatives would have complained if they thought it would get Colbert out.
To call this an actual case of homophobia is also a stretch, at best. I know we’ve become a nation of over-sensitive pussies (apologies for the potentially problematic, sexist language), but come on, people. At some point, we have to be able to say something and maybe actually debate the substance of what’s being said without poring over every word in search of something by which to be offended. I know that self-aggrandizing sensitivity, where people search out things to be offended by to prove their enlightenment, is all the rage these days, but we have to be able to actually express an opinion. Colbert’s rant was crude, self-indulgent, and disrespectful to the President, but none of these things are new to our politics.
I have a great many problems with Stephen Colbert. He is nothing more than a lackey of Jon Stewart and a left-wing propogandist who’s contributed to and profited from the division and polarization of our nation. He has dumbed down political discourse by portraying Republicans as nothing more than imbeciles who have no usefulness other than to amuse the enlightened liberals with their buffoonery, despite the fact that Republicans make up about half the country. Late night talk shows have become nothing more than an extended version of the two minutes hate directed at conservatives, a liberal version of the Rush Limbaugh show that they proclaim to hate. There are a lot of reasons to condemn Colbert. His latest rant simply isn’t one of them.