I won’t get into the particulars of Stephen Colbert’s all but exhausted tirades against Donald Trump at last night’s Emmy Awards. There’s no need. Plenty of websites have already documented every insult down to the smallest detail, so if outrage is what you demand there’s already plenty of supply.
What I will say, however, is that in trotting out Colbert’s left wing flimflammery for yet another awards show, Hollywood–which, like the news business, never seems to miss the opportunity to tell its customers that they’re always wrong–is determined to show Middle America the middle finger, a rather novel spin for people who are supposed to be in the entertainment biz. On Broadway, the old joke with critics was that nobody likes the show but the public. These days, the denizens of La La Land just say, “Screw the show and screw the public. They don’t deserve us anyway.”
All because they can’t forgive the country for giving Donald Trump the presidency.
Never mind that television viewers were on to the game even before the first Jimmy Choo hit the red carpet, delivering even lower ratings than last year’s Jimmy Kimmel snoozefest. And never mind that Hollywood is fresh off one of the worst summers in ten years, with one high-profile flop after another. Rather than take a step back and think hard on why it is that America is largely rejecting their product, Hollywood instead decides that the Emmys would be a perfect time to remind audiences of how much it hates them.
And for that, there could be no better vehicle than Stephen Colbert.
He wasn’t there to entertain. Sure, he paid some lip-service to Hollywood’s narcissism and other foilables–but rest assured, everyone knew Colbert was playing to his people. Not the dwindling number of souls who still care about this stuff watching the spectacle from home, but rather his fellow travelers in the auditorium: the self-coronated Tinseltown royalty, whose monolithic politics are exceeded only by their monolithic preening. Colbert worked them all like a Heidi Fleiss call girl working Charlie Sheen, telling them all what they wanted to hear and stroking them in all the right places. More than that, he actually had them believing everything he said, because it made them feel moral and justified.
That’s quite a feat, considering they were basically banging a metaphorical hooker. But then that’s Stephen Colbert for you. It’s not for nothing that he once said that Trump was Vladimir Putin’s c*ck holster. With what he did to Hollywood last night, the man knows all about the job from experience.