In his first Late Show since a gunman slaughtered 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando using a semi-automatic rifle early Sunday morning, Stephen Colbert and his guest Bill O’Reilly went toe-to-toe on CBS’s The Late Show over the reaction to same by the two presumptive presidential candidates. Colbert especially wanted to know what the Fox News Channel primetime star thought of his pal Trump’s Sunday morning tweet on the subject. The two men didn’t actually bite each other in the exchange, but when you’d said that, you’d said about all you could of the conversation:
Colbert: What do you think of Trump’s response?
O’Reilly: It’s a political response.
Colbert: It seems fairly self-congratulatory.
O’Reilly: Yes it is. He is a politician. It should not shock you.
Colbert: There are other politicians who wouldn’t say ‘I appreciate the congrats. I called it!’ That’s not political behavior. That’s grandstanding.
O’Reilly: He wants to be president. He’s using the terrorism issue to bolster his popularity.
Colbert: So he’s making a political tool out of a terror attack.
O’Reilly: That’s what he is doing.
FYI this is the tweet Colbert referenced:
Anyway, according to video sent to media, the exchange appeared to get more contentious from there, which we wouldn’t have thought possible, until we saw it.
Colbert, like other-late night hosts tonight, veered from his usual show opening in light of Sunday’s shooting, which marked this country’s highest fatality count in an attack since 9/11. Stephen opened with his comments on the deadly shooting and how routine this has become:
“Naturally we each ask ourselves what can we say in the face of this horror. But then sadly, you realize, you know what to say because it’s been said too many times before. You have a pretty good idea of what most people are going to say. You know what a president, whoever it is, will probably say. You know what both sides of a political aisle will say. You know what gun manufacturers will say. Even me, with a silly show like this, you have some idea of what I will say. Because even I have talked about this when it has happened before. It’ as if there’s a national script that we have learned. and I think by acceptin the script we tacitly accept that the script will end the same way every time with nothing changing. Except for the loved ones and the families of the victims for whom nothing will ever be the same.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.