Americans who expected any sort of real humility from the late night hosts in the wake of the Mueller report clearing Donald Trump were in for disappointment on Monday. Instead, the liberal comedians lashed out in disappointment and anger. Late Show host Stephen Colbert spat, “This weekend, we got some troubling news. Our president is not a Russian asset. It just feels strange to say. Now, I say ‘troubling news’ because if Trump isn't working with the Russians, then what the hell is wrong with him?”
An unhappy Colbert whined, “I don’t understand! I don’t understand! Why couldn't this have been like the ending of Seinfeld? Still disappointing, but at least they're all in jail.” Colbert then offered a mock apology for repeatedly insisting Trump was a Russian agent:
A lot of people want Trump's critics to apologize. I will start. I've said one or two things about Donald Trump, like how he's a terrible president. So I'm just gonna bite the bullet and say, Mr. President, if you're watching, and I know you are, “I'm sorry that you're a terrible president.”
He opened the show with footage from a faux western movie (meant to evoke the 1953 film Shane). A young boy, desperately sad, begs Robert Mueller not to ride away into the sunset. The boy wails, “There’s so many more investigations that have to be done!... Don’t leave us alone with him. He’s crazy! Mueller come back!”
Over on the Daily Show, host Trevor Noah offered another mock apology: “Mr. President, we’re sorry we called you a Russian-pee-loving-pumpkin-headed-colludasaurus. Portions of that name were not accurate.”
Like Colbert, he was very disappointed in Mueller: “It’s a little bit like coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. You were hoping for a brand-new BMX, but instead you find Santa’s dead body, burnt because your parents forgot to turn off the fire.”
Over on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel complained, “There will be no new charges. Now, the process of tearing our country even further apart can finally begin.” Perhaps speaking for the left, the Jimmy Kimmel Live host observed, “Half of America is upset that our president didn't collude with Russia. It seems like we should probably be happy about that, shouldn't we?”
Good advice. Perhaps the hosts of late night should consider it.
A partial transcript of the Colbert monologue is below:
Late Show With Stephen Colbert
STEPHEN COLBERT: I had a pretty good weekend. Not as good as Donald Trump’s weekend, but still pretty good. In case you don’t know, in case you're coming to us from under your rock -- I hope you're all sitting down, and you all are, good. Out there, too. Because this weekend, we got some troubling news -- our president is "not" a Russian asset. Now, it just feels strange to say. Now, I say "troubling news" because if Trump isn't working with the Russians, then what the hell is wrong with him?
If they don’t have anything on him, why does he keep saying nice things about Vladimir Putin? It's like, if at the end of The Manchurian candidate" when they show him the queen of diamonds, the guy's like, "Put away the card. Don't need it. Queen of clubs, jack of diamonds, Subway sandwich punch card, whatever, I'm on board." Here's where we are -- after almost two years, in which we all aged ten, on Friday, Robert Mueller turned in his report to Attorney General and white-collar Fred Flintstone, William Barr. What was in it? Friday around 5:00, something like that. What was in it? Nobody knew. Until yesterday, when Barr released a four-page letter summarizing it. It was like the Cliff Notes or more like "I want to jump off a cliff" notes.
Because the biggest bombshell, according to Barr, is that "Mueller's report concluded the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Which brings us to our new, ongoing segment "Oh... Alright Then..." "Day one." This is, shall we say, anti-climactic. It's like saying, "Guess what, kids! Santa came! And he brought...mostly nothing! In fact, Santa took his sack of presents and handed it over to a guy named Bill, and Bill's like, "I'll give you a summary of the gifts." Oh, and by the way this bill guy got this job by writing a 19 page memo about how Christmas is illegal. We've been following this Mueller investigation for two years. I think we even mentioned it on the show a couple of times. And this is the finale. This is worse than the ending of Lost. I mean, what about the smoke monster? Was it real or not? And if not, why have so many members of Trump’s campaign pled guilty to lying about meeting with the smoke monster?
I don’t understand. I don’t understand. Why couldn't this have been like the ending of Seinfeld? Still disappointing, but at least they're all in jail. Now. Oh my. Oh, my. So now that Barr says that Mueller says there's no proof of collusion, a lot of people want Trump's critics to apologize. I will start. I've said one or two things about Donald Trump, like how he's a terrible president. So I'm just gonna bite the bullet and say, Mr. President, if you're watching, and I know you are, “I'm sorry that you're a terrible president.”