“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert’s 12-minute, Monday-night, obscenity-filled put-down of President Donald Trump has sparked a Twitter campaign asking CBS to fire him.
The hashtag, #FireColbert, was trending Wednesday as Colbert’s raunchy joke about Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin was still being criticized as meeting the FCC’s legal definition of obscenity and for being “homophobic.”
Colbert kicked off his Wednesday night monologue by addressing the controversy.
“Now, folks, if you saw my monologue on Monday, you know that I was a little upset with Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine, so, at the end of my monologue, I had a few choice insults for the president in return,” Colbert said. “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.”
“While I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” Colbert added. “I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero.”
As WND reported, Colbert’s 12-minute tirade was relentless in its scathing criticism of Trump. But it was his use of blatant obscenity on the public airwaves that caused shock and condemnation, landing the CBS star at the top of the Drudge Report.
The comedian ripped the president with several one-liners, then came the line that caused even Colbert’s fans in the studio audience to gasp.
“In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c— holster.”
Even the left-leaning Vox slammed the comedian’s crudeness: “Colbert lined up what he surely thought was a great, hilarious diss. Instead, he blurted out some homophobia.”
From the right, former senior Bush adviser Karl Rove, appearing on “The Fox News Specialists,” called Colbert’s jokes “lewd,” “obscene” and “inappropriate.”
“They wrote this. This was not a rant that he came up with on the top of this head. They wrote this,” Rove said, adding later: “I’m going to continue to do what I do with anything Colbert. I’m going to refuse to watch the SOB.”
“It’s time to #FireColbert!” read the new Twitter account’s first tweet. “It’s time he be removed from CBS. Let your voice be heard! #Boycott all of Stephen Colbert’s advertisers.”
There was no shortage of Twitter users joining the campaign:
Sean Steele @seansteele01 – If @CBS doesn’t #FireColbert they will have no credibility and will forfeit the right to complain about any derogatory speech in the future
Michele Larson @larsondmj1 – #firecolbert. Not funny disgusting human, get rid of him now! Don’t care who the president is, you do not speak about them that way.
Matt Couch @RealMattCouch – @BretBaier It’s time to boycott his advertisers and hit @cbs and @colbertlateshowin the Wallet. Where it hurts most! #FireColbert
But many used the same hashtag to speak out in support of Colbert:
S.H. Smith @terrapharma – Stephen Colbert’s best monologue ever! Would have missed it without #FireColbert nonsense.
Keila? @NovaSunshine – For every one person threatening to boycott @CBS for @StephenAtHome’s awesome rant, there are 12 applauding it. Don’t #FireColbert. #fire45
Alicia M. @shopgirl012974 – Just say it was “locker room talk.” Republicans find that an acceptable excuse for the worst kind of statements and behavior. #Firecolbert
A successful boycott could derail the recent success of “The Late Show,” which, after remaining stalled in second place since Colbert took over host duties, has held the No. 1 late-night talk-show spot for the past 13 weeks. It remains to be seen if show sponsors, who’ve benefited from Colbert’s previous nightly hits on the president, are willing to stay on board for below-the-belt attacks.
Some big-name sponsors and advertisers on CBS’ “The Late Show” include:
- Bank of America
- University of Phoenix
- Amazon Echo
- Anheuser Busch
- Sabra hummus
Among those rejecting the call to dump Colbert is Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“I will NOT support #FireColbert,” Hannity tweeted. “I am vs ALL BOYCOTTS. He is a horrible human being, but if u don’t like him change the channel.”
Saying there would be “consequences” if Colbert’s comments were judged to be legally obscene, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told Newsmax TV the sexual joke was likely protected by the First Amendment.
“People are willing and able to say just about anything these days,” he said.
Colbert was targeted on social media in 2014 with a #CancelColbert hashtag after one of his jokes was posted without its context.
“I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” he had said in a sketch spoofing Washington Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder’s pro-Native American charity.