Late Night Tackles 2016
This one's gonna leave marks. On Monday's Full Frontal, Samantha Bee pointedly criticized the news media for giving Donald Trump hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free publicity, taking special aim at NBC. At the Emmys on Sunday, Jimmy Kimmel blamed NBC's The Apprentice and its producer for launching Trump's candidacy, and Bee agreed that by keeping Trump's reality show while Trump was peddling his "birther" conspiracy, "NBC tacitly condoned a race-baiting demagogue." But then she took the unusual step of singling out her peers in late-night comedy, namely Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show.
"To their credit, NBC did sever ties with Trump after he called Mexicans 'rapists' — if by severing ties you mean inviting him on their flagship comedy programs to show millions of Americans what a fun guy he is," Bee said. She showed a clip of Trump on SNL, asking why he was hosting the show, and she responded for him: "I don't know. I guess because ratings matter more than brown people? Sure, he's making life palpably dangerous for Muslims and immigrants, but hey, he's good entertainment!"
"You know, here's a thought," Bee added: "When Holocaust survivors are telling you, 'Hey, this guy gives me déjà vu,' maybe don't invite him up into your house to play with your adorable children." That was a slam on Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, and Bee went for the kneecaps: "I notice there were no cutaway shots to The Roots. I wonder why." Then she got serious, noting that network executives "can ignore how very dangerous Trump is because to them, he isn't." They are mostly white and male, and won't be targeted by President Trump. "They're not racist, they just don't mind if other people are, which is just as bad," she said. Watch below to see Bee get furious over Trump's "birther" announcement and his duping of the media, and her silver lining in Trump's "resurgence in the polls." Peter Weber