UPDATED THROUGHOUT: CBS just announced that Stephen Colbert will pay a visit to the guy he’s replacing on Late Show With David Letterman a week from today, Tuesday, April 22. No word in re whether the two men will address the “covert assault on traditional American values” that CBS’ succession plans for its late-night franchise represents. That’s how Rush Limbaugh described it when CBS announced last week. Today, however, Limbaugh homed in on the “symbolic symbolism cover” that is Colbert’s Catholicism. “All these leftists, they fall back on their devout Catholicism, but it doesn’t mean anything,” he said, referencing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dick Durbin – and Comedy Central comic Colbert. Limbaugh said he wanted to address the situation “before this gets out of hand — and maybe it already is.”
“If Colbert’s a devout Catholic and has five kids, I suppose that he must believe in traditional marriage, right?” Limbaugh said. “And if he does, then he’s a hateful bigot, according to the current definitions of the left.” (Colbert has three children, at last report.)
Meanwhile, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly last night called CBS’ choice of Colbert to replace Dave an “interesting” one. “Traditionally late-night has been light and breezy, with a minimum of political posturing,” he said, noting the tone was set by Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, while ignoring the tone set by Comedy Central, from whence Colbert comes.
Colbert, O’Reilly said, like he meant it to sting, “has built an entire career on pleasing the left, and if you don’t believe me, check out the reportage on his ascension — the far-left websites and writers are thrilled.” But Colbert will have to compete with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, who O’Reilly described as “basically high-energy guys who want to have a good time on their shows.” O’Reilly said, “It would be hard to imagine that 40% of Americans who describe themselves as conservative will watch Colbert – and that’s a lot of folks to lose from the jump. But Colbert will have good writers and surely he knows his challenge. Place your bets now.”
This is much tamer stuff than O’Reilly had served up on Colbert last week, in which he branded Colbert a “deceiver ” and “one of the biggest mouthpieces for the progressive movement.” Those comments, made before CBS had announced it had hired Colbert to replace Letterman, followed a Colbert Report bit poking fun at O’Reilly for saying President Obama‘s focus on “equality” was an “opium-laced dream.”
Watch O’Reilly’s latest comments on Colbert here: