Stephen Colbert may have gone a step too far with a recent spot on his favorite punching bag, Donald Trump.
Along with the likes of Samantha Bee and John Oliver, Colbert has helped reasonable Americans find common ground in the Trump-era with frequent take-downs of the incompetent and flailing Trump. While countless news anchors have treated the more absurd actions and claims of the Trump Administration as serious topics and news bits, late night hosts have been aggressively honest, refusing to give a second thought to calling many of Trump’s claims exactly what they are: lies.
In a way, the emergence of late night resistance to the Trump Administration gave Colbert the bite he needed to reclaim his political stature following the end of the Colbert Report. But a recent episode of the Late Show featured an expletive-ridden rant that included a number of crass insults, perhaps the most outrageous of which invokes the oft-used yet entirely homophobic joke that Trump and Putin are romantically involved.
“The only thing your mouth is good for,” Colbert addresses Trump, “is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”
This remark implies that – just as Trump’s alleged connections to Russian authorities is condemnable and worthy of scrutiny – homosexual acts are equally fringe and worthy of ridicule. Just as closeness between a US political and an intervening foreign power is bad, so too is sexual closeness between two men.
These "jokes" both draw on and reinforce homophobia. https://t.co/0QzvxpOXYD
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 10, 2017
This tired trope has appeared on murals around the world, depicted Putin and Trump interlocked in a kiss. It’s easy to ridicule the know-nothing occupying the White House with utilizing bigoted imagery. Doing so is lazy, counter-productive, and antithetical to progressive principles.