Jimmy Fallon is still paying for those softballs he slung at Donald Trump last week. The Tonight Show host has received lots of criticism for his light-hearted interview with Trump, complete with a hair tousle. As to be expected, the internet had lots to say, to which Fallon responded, “Have you seen my show? I’m never too hard on anyone.”
When fellow late-night host Samantha Bee became involved on her show, Full Frontal, on Monday night, she widened the target and took on the Tonight Show‘s network, NBC. Trump’s presence on Fallon’s show was just the latest example in NBC’s seemingly willful disregard for the “dangerous” presidential candidate, which also includes Trump’s run on The Apprentice and his appearance on Saturday Night Live this year. Bee explains in her monologue:
Network execs, and a lot of their audience, can ignore how very dangerous Trump is because to them, he isn’t. They’re not going to be deported. They’re not going to live under a president who thinks of them as a collection of sex toys. They’re not racist. They just don’t mind if other people are, which is just as bad.
On Tuesday, Jo Miller, an executive producer of Full Frontal, doubled-down on Bee’s NBC criticism, as detailed in an interview in The New York Times. She explains that since Fallon is an amiable public figure that, “If he thinks that a race-baiting demagogue is O.K., that gives permission to millions of Americans to also think that.” She continues by emphasizing the severity of the political situation:
“[T]his is not a race between Democrat and Republican — this is a race between Democrat and demagogue. You don’t normalize someone who’s inciting violence.”
Miller goes onto say that, while NBC can be culpable for continually giving Trump access to their network, she recognizes that late night hosts are not typically ones for hard-hitting interviews. “It’s not their job to be political satirists and to shake people by their shoulders and say, ‘Look at this thing — do you think it’s O.K.?’ That’s our job.”
(Via The New York Times)