Stephen Colbert made comedic mincemeat of Tucker Carlson’s dishonest attempt to claim that some Late Show producers “committed insurrection.”
As I wrote yesterday, Tucker Carlson’s claim that the D.C. arrest of Colbert’s production staff in a Congressional office building was just like the January 6th insurrection was not just a ridiculous lie but a blatant effort to diminish the seriousness of the actual event. It was also an excuse for Carlson to pretend that the real victims of January 6 were the insurrectionists.
Fortunately, Colbert was on to Carlson’s gambit and smashed it to comic smithereens. Unfortunately, Colbert did not mention Carlson’s name. But we knew and, more importantly, the very thin-skinned Carlson probably knew exactly who was being skewered.
First, Colbert explained that a group of Colbert staffers, including Robert Smigel, the voice behind the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog puppet, went to Washington, D.C. to interview Democratic and Republican congresspeople about the Jan. 6 hearings. They shot all day Wednesday and Thursday and, Colbert stressed, were invited into the offices of those they interviewed.
Thursday evening, the group was “doing some last-minute puppetry and jokey make-em-ups in a hallway when they were approached and detained by the Capitol Police,” Colbert said.
Colbert never hinted at any criticism of the police whom he said were “just doing their job” in a “very professional” manner. But that’s when he started in – albeit obliquely – on Fox:
COLBERT: The Capitol Police are much more cautious than they were, say, 18 months ago — and for a very good reason. If you don’t know what that reason is, I know what news network you watch.
It was a “fairly simple story,” Colbert continued, “until the next night when a couple of the TV people” started claiming his staff had “committed insurrection.” That was a direct quote from Carlson.
Colbert went on to debunk the claim, saying he was “shocked” that he had to explain the difference between January 6 insurrectionists “howling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power” and “first-degree puppetry.”
He also pointed out that it was predictable “the TV talkers” want to talk about “something other than January 6 hearings on the actual seditionist insurrection that led to the deaths of multiple people the injury of over 140 police officers.” He also noted something I overlooked in my post: that the Late Show crew wasn’t even in the Capitol but in an office building.
Next, Colbert called out the shameful effort:
COLBERT: Drawing any equivalence between rioters storming our Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral ballots and a cigar-chomping toy dog is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died and it obscenely trivializes the service and the courage the Capitol Police showed on that terrible day.
Colbert went on to note that the night the crew was arrested was also the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in. “Are we supposed to believe that was a coincidence?” Then, after the audience laughed and applauded, Colbert took off his glasses, looked in the camera, and said, “Yes.”
Then Colbert stuck in the knife and twisted it.
COLBERT: And, sad to say, so much has changed in Washington that the Capitol Police do have to stay at high alert all the time because of the attack on January 6. And, as the hearings prove more clearly every day, the blame for that actual insurrection all lies with Putin’s puppet.
He also came up with a better, funnier scheme for Donald Trump to have prevented Joe Biden from taking office.
You can watch it all in the clip below, from the June 20, 2022 The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.