Stephen Colbert didn’t do his job on Wednesday — and he felt “great about it.”
The Late Show host confessed to his audience at the top of the broadcast that he refused to watch Night 3 of the 2020 Republican National Convention.
“Now, full disclosure: I did not watch much of the convention today,” he said. “And fullest disclosure: I did not watch any of it, because right now in America, we are facing a global pandemic that has killed 180,000 Americans, heavily armed Rambo wannabes are murdering people in our streets, [and] the strongest hurricane in the history of the Gulf Coast is making landfall as I speak. And the RNC’s message is, ‘Who’s up for four more years?’
“Why should we pay attention to what they’re saying if none of what they’re saying tonight is about what’s happening in America right now?” Colbert asked. “Why should we watch their reality show if it doesn’t reflect our reality? Why subject ourselves to the lies that stick your soul like hot tar? Lies like, ‘Donald Trump cares if you live or die.'”
Colbert summed up the RNC as a “terribly produced” reality show that “revealed the monster on the first night — and it’s them: a multi-headed, spineless creature that lives on your fear.” He maintained that the Republicans are “desperate to turn out the fearful” in November, and “stoking fear is a dangerous game,” especially after the shooting of Jacob Blake and the ongoing demonstrations in Kenosha, Wis., where two people were killed and one was injured after 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse fired multiple rounds into a crowd of protesters.
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The host then asked that “everyone out there who thinks that… fundamentally restructuring the police is not necessary” turn their attention to the Kenosha Police Dept., which offered a local militia refreshments rather than turn them away, then suggested that protesters wouldn’t have been shot by Rittenhouse if they weren’t “illegally out past curfew.”
“That is insane,” Colbert responded. “Justifying murder because it’s past curfew has a name: It’s called The Purge. But it looks like crime will not be ignored in the courts… or at least on them,” after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play Game 5 of the NBA Playoff Series to protest what has happened in Kenosha and all around the United States. “Someone had to show leadership, and the Bucks stop here,” Colbert said.
In addition to applauding Inside the NBA‘s Kenny Smith, who walked off set on Wednesday in solidarity with the players — “I think Kenny Smith just took a knee while making a slam dunk,” Colbert said — the host turned his viewers’ attention to poignant commentary by Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who got emotional while talking about Blake being shot by police. (“We keep loving this country, and this country doesn’t love us back,” Rivers said.)
“That is why voting in November is so important,” Colbert argued, “because Donald Trump does not care if you live or die of COVID, or of racism, as long as he wins. And until we, the people, change this administration, we will continue to get more leadership from the NBA than the RNC.”
Press PLAY on the video above to watch Colbert’s solemn monologue in full, then hit the comments with your reactions.