Saturday, May 27, 2017

Late-night TV takes on Trump's 'toxic culture of hostility towards the press'

Comics, including Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, speak about the assault on a Guardian reporter and the problems with the Republican healthcare plan
 ‘The GOP healthcare plan is so bad, Republicans would rather body-slam reporters than answer a question about it’ … Seth Meyers. Photograph: YouTube
Friday 26 May 2017
Late-night hosts discussed the recent attack on the Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs after he asked Greg Gianforte, a Republican running for Congress in Montana, a question about the GOP healthcare plan.
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert spoke about the CBO analysis of the proposal, which has, again, uncovered deep-rooted problems. “They were so excited about providing the affordable healthcare to everyone that they didn’t wait to find out if they were providing affordable healthcare to anyone,” he said.
The report found that 23 million people would be without healthcare if the plan goes ahead. “To put that into perspective, if you laid 23 million people end to end, they would reach a country where you can get healthcare,” Colbert said.
He then joked: “I think the GOP repealed and replaced your grandpa.”
He then brought up Gianforte, who “body-slammed” Jacobs after he asked him about the problems attached to the CBO assessment. “I just don’t know how anyone could vote for a candidate who body-slams people,” Colbert said, before playing a clip of Donald Trump taking down Vince McMahon at WrestleMania some years ago.
“I forgot, nothing matters,” the host then said.
Colbert then played the campaign ads of Gianforte and his Democratic rival Rob Quist, both of which featured them using guns. “Guys, please stop shooting things,” he said. “Just cut out the metaphorical middle-man and have a penis sword fight.”
On Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host spoke about Trump’s strange array of handshakes, most recently deployed on his foreign trip. “He grabbed it like he was going to keep it,” he said. “If you get a body part close enough to Trump, he thinks it’s a gift.”
He continued: “Let’s face it. Trump is so happy that someone will finally hold his hand.”
Meyers then discussed the clip of Trump pushing the Montengrin prime minister, Duško Marković, out of the way to get to the front of a group of Nato leaders. “Trump’s idea of presidential is trying to get to the conference room before the free pizza is gone,” he said.
The House speaker, Paul Ryan, has been on the defensive this week, trying to reassure people that everything is going well within the Republican party. “It’s not good when you have to tell people, unprompted, that the government is not in chaos,” he said. “That’s like getting an all-caps text from an ex at 3am that says I’M DOING FINE!”
He then moved onto the Gianforte assault. “The GOP healthcare plan is so bad, Republicans would rather body-slam reporters than answer a question about it,” he said.
Gianforte’s initial statement criticized Jacobs for asking him questions in the first place. Meyers said: 
“You can’t become a veterinarian and then go, ‘You’re not going to believe this: some guy just walked in my office and brought in a sick cat!’”
Meyers felt that the support for Jacobs from a Fox News reporter, who corroborated his account, had been a surprise. “Well, here’s a sentence I never thought I’d say: thank you, Fox News, for telling us the truth,” he said.
Meyers then spoke about Trump’s “toxic culture of hostility towards the free press” and used examples of other Republicans acting aggressively towards journalists.
Finally, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the host spoke about Trump’s difficulty with giving speeches, using the example of his many simplistic attempts on his foreign tour.
“When Trump gives these speeches, he reads from a script, which is a good idea,” he said. “He’s done that a lot on this trip, but I’ve noticed, though: it sounds a lot like a fourth-grade book report. He speaks very slowly and simply, not too bigly.”
Kimmel then used actual fourth-graders to recite his speeches.