Brow Beat

Colbert Defended “Thoughts and Prayers” in an Impassioned Segment on the San Bernardino Attack

On Monday’s Late Show, Colbert dropped the irony—“I’m not exactly sure how to do this tonal shift right now,” he candidly said—and took a moment to discuss gun control in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, which killed 14 people, in an impassioned segment called “So What Do We Do?” Colbert defended the value of “thoughts and prayers” (“as someone who occasionally thinks and prays”) after a tragedy: “The reason you keep people in your thoughts and prayers is admittedly not to fix the problem, but to try to find some small way to share the burden of grief.”

He also railed against the way Washington’s response to attacks relies so heavily on whether or not that attack has been deemed “terrorism.” “When we decide it’s an act of terrorism, we do something about it—sometimes too much about it,” Colbert said. “But when it’s not a terrorist attack, we do nothing. Why can’t there be anything in between?”