Colbert defends vile comments as a ‘fair fight,’ but does this ratings stunt signal damage control?

Amid the backlash over vile, disgusting remarks directed at President Donald Trump, late night talk show host Stephen Colbert stood by his actions while taking a victory lap on Wednesday’s show.

…well, minus an offensive, homophobic slur or two.

“So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” Colbert said.

“The Late Show” host was facing calls for him to be fired and to boycott his show after hurling a gay sex remark at Trump while defending the honor of CBS News host John Dickerson — the hashtag #FireColbert was trending online.

Colbert’s response was to mock those offended by his lewd insult.

“Welcome to ‘The Late Show.’ I’m your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I’m still the host!” he said in the opening monologue of Wednesday’s show.

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And make no mistake about it, Colbert was not apologizing.

“Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine,” he continued. “So at the end of that monologue, I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don’t regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes, he has the launch codes. So, it’s a fair fight.”

Not only does Colbert plan to continue his war of words directed at President Trump, he is bringing in reinforcements with a “Daily Show” reunion of sorts, according to the New York Post.

While it’s not clear if this was scheduled before Monday’s vile attack on Trump, Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Ed Helms and Rob Corddry are set to make guest appearances on the show next Tuesday.

The star-studded reunion comes amid a tight ratings battle with “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” but the timing is suspicious… and may suggest Colbert is in damage-control mode.

The reaction on social media to Colbert’s chutzpah was a renewed call for CBS to fire him, as unlikely as that is.

Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:

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