Stephen Colbert claims he was victimized by ‘weirdness’ of Trump presidency: ‘It felt personally assaultive’

Late-night TV host Stephen Colbert made some bizarre claims on-air about former President Donald Trump’s term in office, claiming that the “weirdness” of it all was “personally assaultive.”

The CBS personality made his comments in an interview for what is known in journalism as a puff piece written by Cynthia Littleton for Variety magazine that was posted online this week titled, “How Stephen Colbert Survived the Pandemic, Trump and the Loss of Laughter.”

Littleton notes in a section dedicated to Colbert’s response to Trump and his policies that the late-night host — who had the soon-to-be 45th president on his show to discuss policies in September 2015 — felt as though Trump gaslit the country in order to advance his agenda, a tactic that conservatives similarly accuse leftists of using.

“The firehose of misinformation or disinformation and the attempts to make all of us feel crazy by thinking that this was crazy gave us a very interesting place to stand,” Colbert told Littleton.

“We finally came to the realization that we knew exactly where we wanted to stand — on dry land. Because the rising tide of the administration’s mendacity made it very clear that the only thing left for us to do was to say, ‘No, no, no. That’s not true. No, we’re not crazy. They’re crazy for saying that,'” he added.

Littleton wrote that Colbert would take “a few long pauses” when discussing Trump and that it was the “only time his face hardens into a grimace.”

“Like everybody else in America we were being so swamped by all the strangeness and the weirdness — it’s almost like a spell was being cast over people,” Colbert said. “It felt personally offensive and personally assaultive to me. It was a common feeling in the [‘Late Show’] building, and we trusted that it was a common feeling out there in the world. And we backed the right horse.”

Littleton went on to say that “notable aspects of Colbert’s strength” in the late-night genre “comes as the nation is bitterly divided along partisan and cultural lines,” going on to suggest that the host will continue to use his “pulpit” to push leftism.

“One of the notable aspects of Colbert’s strength in late night is that it comes as the nation is bitterly divided along partisan and cultural lines. The host has only started to understand what it meant to have his own late-night pulpit at the time,” she wrote.

“They played a very complex game of psychology on the American people that damn near worked,” Colbert said. “Every so often it would come up in the writers’ room.

“We would need to metaphorically pull the car over and everybody get out to go throw up in a ditch and get our breath back and realize how insane today was,” he added. “Because you’d become inured to it. And part of the job was to not develop a callus? That was a big part of it.”

Colbert’s show tops the late-night scene with about 1.9 million viewers on average, but he is getting stiff competition from a newbie to the genre: Greg Gutfeld.

His Fox News offering “Gutfeld!” has been averaging about 1.5 million viewers and was second to Colbert May 13 with 1.8 million viewers and averaging more per night than “The Tonight Show” hosted by Jimmy Fallon.


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Jon Dougherty


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