UPDATED with video: Stephen Colbert talked about Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly for the first time since he stopped playing his own version of a conservative gasbag on The Colbert Report.
“There is one thing I haven’t done on this show, and that’s talk about Bill O’Reilly,” Colbert told his Late Show studio audience. “Bill comes on the show, we have a good time here, we have nice conversations. I talked about him for, like, 10 years. And I think that’s enough.”
“But I do talk about Donald Trump. And, today, the two worlds collided when Donald Trump stuck his, let’s say ‘finger’, into O’Reilly’s stick situation.”
On Saturday, NYT reported O’Reilly and Fox News spent more than $13M to settle sexual harassment and verbal abuse complaints against O’Reilly. O’Reilly has said the allegations are without merit.
“The $13M might just be the tip of the iceberg – though the tip is the most sensitive part of the iceberg – because more than 30 companies have withdrawn their advertisements from The O’Reilly Factor,” Colbert said. Wild approval expressed by his audience. The list actually had grown to 52 by the time Colbert’s show aired on the East Coast.
“O’Reilly is in a pickle. But, today, Donald Trump got his back,” Colbert noted. Trump told the New York Times, O’Reilly is “a good person,” adding, “I think he shouldn’t have settled” because “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
“Mr. President, I want to remind you that you just declared April Sexual Assault Awareness Month and there are two accusations of sexual assault I’m aware of: Bill O’Reilly’s and yours,” Colbert said, addressing the camera. “So, maybe you are not the perfect person to weigh in on this one.”
Trump’s daughter Ivanka, Colbert suggested, might be better suited to weigh in on the subject. Colbert was speaking hours after CBS News Wednesday morning aired its interview with Ivanka, in which Gayle King asked “We hear the phrase ‘complicit’ – that Jared and Ivanka are complicit in what is happening to the White House. Can you weigh in on how you feel about that?”
Responded Ivanka: “If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and make a positive impact, then I’m complicit.”
Responded Colbert: “Nope that’s not what ‘complicit’ means.” He pulled out a dictionary: “Complicit: involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing.”
“Oh wait,” the late-night comic continued. “It does have: ‘Being a force for good and making a positive impact’ under ‘Complicit, total opposite of.’”
“You can’t just reverse the definition to make yourself sound better!” Colbert raved. “That’s like saying, ‘If being a Nazi means fighting for civil rights, then, yeah, I’m a huge Nazi.”