Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Late-night makes up for media silence on the latest Trump sexual assault accusation

Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah
Screenshot: The Daily Show

Donald Trump once claimed he could publicly shoot someone and his supporters wouldn’t care. Apart from that sounding like dialogue from a supervillain cult leader running for mayor of Gotham City, the sentiment that the MAGA crowd is so on board with Trump’s agenda of racism, sexism, homophobia, plutocratic thievery, white victimhood, and America first/only boorishness that they’ll back their boy right up to and including live homicide isn’t exactly news at this point in our country’s history. Not so for the press (excluding those bellowing propagandists at Fox News), whose efforts at simply stating the facts behind each verifiable Trump lie and misdeed have seen them labeled—again, with supervillainous glee—enemies of the people. And yet, late-night hosts spent segments on their Tuesday shows vainly attempting to pick up the journalistic slack concerning the [checks notes] 22nd credible accusation of sexual misconduct—up to and including rape—against a sitting president.


On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah spent his segment admonishing Trump for his defense against this latest accusation that he raped writer E. Jean Carroll in a department store dressing room in the mid-90s. That would be the defense where Trump responded by saying that Carroll “wasn’t his type.” Yeah. As Noah pointed out, “If your denial leaves people thinking there is a type of woman you would rape, that’s not a good denial.” Noting that “I don’t understand how we are still struggling with this as a society,” Noah reiterated for the slowest among his viewers (and Donald Trump) that “a woman’s attractiveness has nothing to do with whether or not they were raped.”

Seth Meyers picked up that theme, addressing noted hate-watcher Trump directly in his segment “Hey!” As in, “Hey, asshole. If someone asks you, ‘Did you rape that woman?,’ and you say, ‘No, she’s not my type.,” that’s not a defense, that’s a confession.” Comparing Trump’s denial to Hannibal Lecter denying he’d eaten a particular guy because he “looked a little bony,” Meyers also brought up the proveable lie Trump told when he said he’s never met Carroll. You know, since the article containing Carroll’s accusation includes a photograph of Trump and Carroll together at a party. (Alongside Trump’s then-wife Ivana, who, it should be noted, is another of the 22 women who says Trump raped her.) Oh, and because, in that infamous Access Hollywood recording, Trump is on record as saying that sexual assault is his go-to move when dealing with women, and that his wealth and fame will shield him from any consequences. Meyers concluded his to-camera skepticism by asking who we are meant to believe this time, “all 22 women who have nothing to gain by lying and are showing incredible courage in the face of these kinds of attacks, or the known liar who called climate change a Chinese hoax, claimed 3 million people voted illegally in the last election, and once told Eric Trump, ‘I enjoy spending time with you’?”

Stephen Colbert echoed his colleagues disgusted mockery of Trump’s “not my type” caveman bullshit, before moving on to condemn New York’s leading newspapers for their (non-) coverage of an account of the president of the United States being a rapist. Noting that the New York Times initially chose to file Carroll’s account in its Books section, Colbert ironically praised the paper’s wisdom, since that’s “the one place the president would never look.” He then moved on to the New York Post, who actually had a story about Trump’s alleged attack ready to go until an editor/Trump pal at the Murdoch-owned tabloid spiked it. Aping the Post’s hyperbolic style, Colbert then presented a mockup cover reading, “PROPAGAN-DON! Post plays defense for sex crime!”

Oh, and Jimmy Fallon joked about Meghan Markle’s engagement ring.

Somewhere Samantha Bee is grinding her molars and waiting for Wednesday’s Full Frontal to start.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.