Stephen Colbert: Covid is like Mel Gibson, ‘we’re stuck with some form of him forever’

Late-night hosts discuss the pandemic, racism at the trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and Trump tell-all books

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert checked in on the pandemic on Tuesday’s Late Show, as cases spiked among the unvaccinated in states such as New Hampshire and Vermont. “So Covid won’t go away, but the pandemic might,” he said, as the global goal is now to reach what experts call Covid endemicity – the point where Covid becomes just another disease, like the flu, that people control with medications and vaccines.

“So it looks like we’re never really getting rid of Covid,” said Colbert. “It’s like Mel Gibson – he ebbs and flows and because of a few idiots out there, we’re stuck with some form of him forever.”

The host also touched on yet another damning revelation from the latest Trump tell-all book, this one by ABC News’s Jonathan Karl. In Betrayal, Karl details how the ex-president “was interested in staging a classic coup”, Colbert summarized, as his allies pressed the defense department to overturn the election.

“Some of these efforts were what military historians call coup-coup-banana-cakes,” he added, such as the one put forth by Trump lawyer and Big Lie conspiracist Sidney Powell. After the election, Powell contacted a Pentagon official to promote the lie that the then-CIA director had been taken into custody in Germany while on a secret mission to destroy evidence of voter fraud – “information” from a false conspiracy that had gained steam among QAnon followers. “Oh yeah, that theory is definitely steaming,” said Colbert.

Furthermore, former Trump official and convicted criminal Michael Flynn urged a defense official to use the military to stop Biden from taking office by seizing ballots and taking “extraordinary measures” to stop Democrats.

“Remember, this was a former general! Making a call to the military demanding that they support a fascist coup!” said Colbert. “What is wrong with him? It’s 2021 – just text!”

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel also sifted through the information offered in Betrayal, in which Karl claimed that in the wake of the Capitol attack on 6 January, Trump cabinet members Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin explored invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office.

“You know things are going south when even Mike Pompeo considers doing the right thing,” said Kimmel.

“He reportedly asked for an analysis of the 25th amendment and how it would work,” he continued. “Very careful about it, went to the White House legal department like ‘hey I have this friend … you don’t know him, anyway he was thinking about invoking the 25th amendment? And he was wondering, like, how that all works? And would his name be on it?’”

Kimmel then added Betrayal to a tower of the Trump tell-all books, which promptly toppled over.

Trevor Noah

We’re not saying the lawyer trying to keep Black pastors out of the Ahmaud Arbery courtroom is racist, but he’s not not racist…

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) November 17, 2021

And on the Daily Show, Trevor Noah checked in on two lightning rod trials for white vigilantes. Arguments wrapped on Monday at the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two racial justice protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020. “Now the jury has to decide whether he will go to prison, or become Trump’s running mate in 2024,” Noah quipped.

And in Georgia, the murder trial began for the three men charged with chasing down and killing Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020.

Kevin Gough, defense attorney for William Bryan, immediately stoked outrage by trying to limit the number of black pastors in the courtroom, including the Reverend Jesse Jackson. “Which pastor is next? Is the Reverend Raphael Warnock going to be the next person appearing this afternoon?” Gough said, referring to the Senator from Georgia. “We don’t know … with all due respect your honor, the seats in the public gallery of a courtroom are not like court-side seats at a Lakers game.”

“First of all, of course this trial is not like a Lakers game,” said Noah. “The jury has 11 white people and one black guy, that’s basically the opposite of any basketball team.”

“And secondly,” he continued, “I’m not saying that this guy is racist, but when you’re representing a guy who killed a black man just for jogging in the wrong neighborhood, it’s not a great look to be pointing into the gallery and going, ‘hey, this black guy doesn’t belong here, we should do something about that!’”


Adrian Horton

The GuardianTramp

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