Rep. Steve Cohen’s chicken theatrics mocking Attorney General William Barr earned nothing but ridicule on the late-night television circuit.
From Jimmy Kimmel to Trevor Noah, late-night hosts slammed the stunt by Cohen who arrived at Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing bearing a ceramic chicken and a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which he proceeded to eat before his snickering colleagues.
The Tennessee Democrat attempted to spin Barr’s no-show Thursday as an indication that he was afraid to testify before the House Committee.
House Dem attempts to goad Barr, brings chicken props to mock no-show and starts chowing down https://t.co/qQ4v2YTIQu
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 2, 2019
“Wow, what a sick burn that is,” Kimmel sarcastically joked during his opening monologue on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Thursday. “Trump’s gonna win again with stuff like that, isn’t he?”
(Video: YouTube/Jimmy Kimmel Live)
Cohen’s finger-licking props and mockery of Barr followed House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler’s attack on the attorney general for being “terrified” to show up. Barr refused to appear on Thursday after Nadler indicated that Judiciary Committee staff, not members of Congress, would conduct the inquiry.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, laughs with Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., after Cohen arrived with a bucked of fried chicken and a plastic chicken as Attorney General William Barr will not appear before a House Judiciary Committee hearing. @ap pic.twitter.com/fLdpuWB13X
— Andrew Harnik (@andyharnik) May 2, 2019
“He is terrified of having to face a skilled attorney,” the New York Democrat said, ignoring the fact that Barr spent hours facing questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday over his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) May 2, 2019
On Thursday’s “The Daily Show,” Noah warned that stunts like Cohen’s would only motivate President Donald Trump to come to the hearing.
“Look, this was clearly a stunt, because a bucket of fried chicken isn’t going to get Bill Barr to come and testify. But it will get Donald Trump to come and see Congress,” Noah said.
Over at NBC, “Late Night” host Seth Meyers thought the KFC stunt was not a great idea.
“Dude, if you want to order KFC, just order KFC, it’s fine — you don’t need to tie it into the hearing,”
(Video: YouTube/Late Night with Seth Meyers)
Cohen’s dig at Barr was purely political theater but it seems many were not even interested in the show. Even at CNN, the stunt was criticized as just “dumb.”
CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza called the move a “pure political performance” which showed “how deeply dysfunctional and broken our political system in Washington actually is.”
“A fake hearing? With chicken props? This is how our elected officials are spending their time? This is who we are sending to represent us?” he asked in a piece for CNN Thursday. “What happened Thursday morning is simply a confirmation of what lots and lots of people already think about political Washington.”
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