In a move that we have to assume will only amp his recently resurgent ratings even higher, the FCC has announced that it’s going after Stephen Colbert. Colbert came under fire this week from a variety of directions—some less apparently disingenuous than others—for a series of jokes he made about President Donald Trump on the Late Show on Monday night, culminating in him referring to the president’s mouth as Vladimir Putin’s “cock holster.” Now, FCC chairman Ajit Pai has promised that he’ll take the “appropriate action” to address Colbert’s comments.
“We are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts,” Pai told a talk radio station yesterday about his reaction to the gag. The commission’s decision will presumably come down to whether Colbert’s joke passes the Court’s standards for “obscene” behavior (and also, presumably, on how mad those particular jokes made people in the Trump administration, who you’d think would be used to it by now). If the FCC determines that the comments were obscene, Colbert and his team will probably face a fine.
Opposition to the host’s joke largely came from two places: LGBTQ advocates who found the connection between cock-sucking and degradation homophobic, and conservatives who don’t like Colbert making fun of their guy. Colbert addressed both camps earlier this week, telling the former that, in a perfect world, he’d rephrase the joke to remove some of its more unfortunate overtones, and the latter that he’s never going to stop making fun of Donald Trump.