Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Sexual Misconduct

Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah light into Al Franken, America's latest 'high-profile sexual harasser'

"Every day it seems like we find out about another high-profile sexual harasser," Stephen Colbert sighed on Thursday's Late Show, running through the day's allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). "Come on, Franken! I guess there are no good people left, so let's just get it over with: Just tell us whatever you did, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Malala. As a fellow comedian, I've long admired Al Franken, but I've got to say, this doesn't bode well for Louis C.K.'s Senate hopes."

During a 2006 USO tour, Leeann Tweeden says, Franken wrote a kiss with her into a skit, insisted they rehearse it, then forcibly kissed her. "Now for those of you not in showbiz, actors call that technique sexual harassment," Colbert said. He was similarly unimpressed with the posed photo of Franken reaching to grab Tweeden's breasts while she's asleep, and Franken's initial response: "'Intended to be funny but wasn't'? No, your movie Stuart Saves His Family was intended to be funny but wasn't."

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah was similarly disappointed. "Al Franken, #YouToo?" He pointed to Franken's second, much more contrite statement, but said "this story is another example of how at all levels, at all levels, we men have been complicit in perpetuating the culture that devalues women. ... Because you forget, it's not just Al Franken in the picture, it's the guy who's taking the picture, his Billy Bush."

He turned to Roy Moore, "the man most wanted by mall cops," and compared Franken's apology to the Alabama GOP Senate nominee's strategy of attacking the women and Mitch McConnell. "Al Franken's going with the whole 'I'm sorry, I'm going to look at myself, I understand it's disgusting' — that's so boring," Noah said. "This guy is like, 'You know who needs to step down for what I did? Someone else!'" Hey, he added, it worked for President Trump. Peter Weber