Stephen Colbert couldn’t help but sympathize with Greg Gianforte, the billionaire Republican who just won a special congressional election in Montana. After avoiding talk on the American Health Care Act, Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs asked him for comment following the release of a very damaging Congressional Budget Office score. In response, goes the tale, Gianforte allegedly body-slammed him and broke his glasses. But for Colbert, attacking a member of the free press for asking a totally valid political question is, well, just what happens sometimes. “I do feel a little bit for Gianforte here,” he explained. “It seems crazy to body-slam a reporter, but as a famous person, when you’re in the public eye, I understand people keep badgering you for questions. It can happen to the best of us.” Colbert then shared a shameful body-slamming anecdote of his own—a lesson to fans out there not to ask if he and Jon Stewart are “really” friends.
Colbert taped his show before Gianforte’s win and got serious for a moment as he weighed whether voters could actually endorse such an act of violence. (The race was considered close but with Gianforte having a clear edge.) “I just don’t know how anyone could vote for a candidate who body-slams people,” the Late Show host mused, before remembering we elected a president who—among many other things—has done exactly that: “I forgot: Nothing matters.”