“There’s a lot you could say about Donald Trump’s inner circle and the leadership of the modern Republican party,” said Seth Meyers on Thursday’s Late Night. “But when you boil it down, it’s basically just a collection of gigantic weirdos. They’re the people who collect ceramic pigs and sit by their windows writing down license plate numbers for no reason.”
Meyers pointed to Senate hearings this week with the nation’s top tech executives, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Despite the justice department’s landmark anti-trust suit against Google filed this month, several Republican senators spent their time berating executives and claiming Trump was “censored”.
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, for example, asked Pichai if a Google employee who had criticized her still had a job, since he “had very unkind things to say about me and I was just wondering if you all had still kept him working there”.
“Man, Fox News is right, cancel culture is out of control,” Meyers joked. “She sounds like she’s asking to speak to the manager about a sales assistant at Costco: ‘Is Madison still working here? She had very unkind things to say about me when I tried to sample the pizza rolls in the frozen aisle. Very hurtful things.’”
“This is the fundamental reality of the GOP: they’re all Donald Trump,” Meyers concluded. “He complains about social media, so they complain about social media, even though most of them don’t have the tech savvy to handle the laundry room bulletin board.”
The GOP have “failed at everything else, so they’re reduced to whining about mean tweets and trying to get people fired,” Meyers added. “And in their warped minds, they think this is more important than the deadly pandemic that’s killed 227,000 Americans.”
On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert addressed distressing developments in the pandemic’s third wave, which has surged hospitalization rates in 38 states this week. The White House’s coronavirus taskforce warned of “unrelenting, broad community spread” in several states – an ominous phrase which doubles as “the theme of Trump’s campaign rallies”, Colbert quipped.
“As the campaign draws to a close, Trump and Biden are pushing opposing pandemic strategies,” the host added. “Biden is pushing viral containment, while Trump is pushing your grandma into traffic.” At one of his several in-person rallies this week, Trump dismissed media attention on the pandemic and longed for “normal days … like we had seven months ago”.
“Yeah, I miss those pre-pandemic days of waking up to find out what country Trump had blackmailed, which porn star he had paid off, and which hurricane he was threatening to nuke,” Colbert deadpanned. “You know, normal.”
The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, warned this week that America might not return to normal until 2022, “so hang on to your hydroxy if you still have it”, said Jimmy Kimmel. “Remember when we were kids and we all thought we’d have flying cars by 2022? Now it’s like, maybe in the future we’ll be able to go to a movie without killing our grandma.”
The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has “unleashed” the “spokesmonsters” to deliver the president’s final election pitch: reality isn’t happening. “The American people have a very clear choice when it comes to Covid,” said the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, on Fox News. If you vote for Joe Biden, “it will be a lockdown, versus President Trump, where we are safely reopening this country”.
“We’re safely reopening the country? President Trump got the virus himself!” Kimmel scoffed. “And so did you, by the way – you can’t safely open the door to your office, let alone the country.”
And on the Daily Show, Trevor Noah asked his guest, vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, about Republicans deliberately mispronouncing her name for audience applause. “Why does it seem like it becomes harder to pronounce your name the more conservative a person is?” Noah wondered. “Because I notice there are some people you’ve worked with in the Senate who don’t seem to know your name.” Republican Senator David Perdue, of Georgia, repeatedly mispronounced Harris’s name earlier this month in a warm-up to a Trump rally.
“Is this strange for you?” Noah asked, “or does this like just remind you of growing up – any immigrant has this story, any child of immigrants has this story.”
“That’s an interesting way to ask the question,” Harris replied, because she thought of “people who have had the experience of having been given a name from their family, which is one of the greatest gifts that a family can give you. It is the first gift that a child, usually, when they enter the Earth receives from their family.” Naming is rooted in tradition, Harris continued, and is “part of their identity”.
The California senator then addressed “anyone who wants to play childish games” with pronunciation and how some of “the highest elected leaders … conduct themselves as though they’re children on the playground. Well, it speaks poorly of their appreciation and responsibility for the role that they have. And I think it’s a reflection of their values and maturity.”