Trump Rants About “Unfunny” Late Night Hosts Treating Him Unfairly – Vanity Fair
America’s thin-skinned president is not happy with all the negative coverage of his administration, especially from the hosts of late-night TV, who have recently eschewed their usual comedic monologues for searing and serious talks about health care and gun control. Some, like the Late Show’s Stephen Colbert, have always worn their progressive politics on their sleeve. But lately, other network mainstays have also been taking a harder line on the president, with Jimmy Kimmel delivering a scorching denunciation of Senate Republican’s bill to repeal Obamacare, saying it “screwed” people with pre-existing conditions. When a gunman massacred dozens of people in Las Vegas last weekend, he said Republicans “should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.”
Trump, who has recently launched his own culture war on the entertainment industry, exploded on Twitter early Saturday morning, criticizing late-night hosts as “one-sided” and “unfunny” and calling for Republicans to get “Equal Time” on TV.
The president’s complaint is a bit ironic. Trump appeared to be talking about the FCC’s equal time rule, which requires broadcast television and radio stations not to prioritize one candidate over another in giving candidates air time on programs, though it does not have anything to do with a late night host’s monologue, and only applies to legally qualified candidates for public office. He may also have been referring to the so-called Fairness Doctrine, a FCC policy that required broadcasters to report on issues related to the public interest and to present both sides fairly and equally. President Ronald Reagan scrapped the rule in 1987, arguably clearing the way for Fox News and right-wing talk radio.
As is often the case, Trump appears to have been watching a Fox News report, hosted by Dean Cain, about left-leaning late night hosts, before taking to Twitter to vent.
In response, Late Night host Seth Meyers tweeted that he’d love to have Trump appear on his show, provided he can find their offices.