Seth Meyers returned from his holiday vacation to what has become the one of the longest government shutdowns in history. For his first Closer Look segment of 2019, the Late Night host took a look at the real life consequences of the shutdown and slammed television networks for giving the president airtime to “repeat his lies” about building a wall on the border between Mexico and the U.S.
While Meyers did riff on Donald Trump as a stoner pizzeria employee, overall the Late Night host took a slightly more serious approach than usual to the topic, reminding viewers of the realities of the shutdown for many Americans. “We’re in a self-inflicted crisis over a shutdown because the president is incompetent and unhinged,” he pointed out. “He’s virtually incapable of uttering a truthful or coherent thought about almost anything.”
That left the majority of the comedy to, of all people, President Trump himself, who made some of those very rambling, incoherent remarks last week while discussing a meeting with generals at the Pentagon. “They were better looking than Tom Cruise and stronger,” he noted, adding that the room was the greatest he’d ever seen and that he saw “more computer boards than I think they make today.” A few Late Night audience members couldn’t contain their laughter.
“Why does he always sound like a coworker telling you about a dream he had?” wondered Meyers.
Meyers then went on to call out major networks for giving the president a platform for his primetime address. “First of all, just because Trump wants to address the nation doesn’t mean networks should air it,” Meyers said. “Otherwise, they’re just passing on his lies unfiltered. They should either reject him outright, or if he insists on speaking in primetime, make him do it as a contestant on The Masked Singer.”
If major networks were to refuse to pause their regularly scheduled programming for Trump’s primetime address, it would not be unprecedented. In November 2014, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox chose not to air President Obama’s immigration address, instead sticking with their regularly scheduled episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, The Biggest Loser: Glory Days, and Bones, respectively. But all of the major networks are expected to air Tuesday’s address live.
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