The #FireColbert, as in CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert, has been getting a lot of attention the last several days. I’m pretty much coming in on the tail end of things, but I wanted to write a few words about it anyway. In case you’ve been living under a rock, or, you know, concerning yourself with things of greater importance than the latest internet-driven drama, here’s the background.
Earlier this week, Colbert told a bunch of very mean jokes at the expense of Donald Trump. They were delivered in rapid-fire fashion and according to Colbert, were a response to Trump mocking the host of CBS’s Face the Nation, John Dickerson, to his face in a nationally televised interview this past Sunday. The Donald mused about how he called Face the Nation by another name: Deface the Nation.
I thought it was pretty funny, to be honest, but it wasn’t exactly polite.
The joke that Colbert has gotten the most attention over, is this one…
“The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock-holster.”
The led t the hashtag that I mentioned in the lede paragraph, #FireColbert.
I certainly understand the inclination to make the other side play by the rules they themselves setup. This is outlined by Saul Alinsky in his book, Rules for Radicals (which is a great book to read whether you like Alinsky or think he’s the devil)…
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
Like I said, it makes sense to go after Colbert on these grounds, if you want to. Personally, I don’t want to. For one, I don’t remember Colbert going at someone over a crude joke and asking for them to be fired. If he has, then I’ve just missed it. Another problem I have with this tactic (which I usually love) being used here is that we’re talking about comedy. Unless he decided to target Barron Trump, like the SNL writer did, or went completely beyond the pale in another way, then I don’t feel like calling for him to be fired is something I would ever want to do.
Maybe it’s also because I love comedy, especially the rude and risqué kind. I consider myself an amateur student of the game, so taking offense to a cocksucking joke in such a pearl-clutching manner doesn’t really work for me. Sean Hannity has it right on this one. If you’re that upset about it, make sure you never watch Colbert’s content. Tell your friends not to. But boycotts and calls for dismissal, in this instance, are not something I can support.
Still, I won’t hold it against friends and associates who feel differently. We all have to choose our own ways to fight the good fight.