In yet another story that divided the nation last week, much has been said of talkshow host Stephen Colbert’s anti-Trump monologue. Some believe they were just humorous remarks, while others have been calling for Colbert to be fired. The story has gathered so much steam that now the FCC has decided to step in.
On the episode of The Late Show that aired on Monday of last week, Colbert unleashed a tirade aimed at the President that drew the FCC’s attention when, among other things, he gave a direct message to Donald Trump by saying, “The only thing your mouth is good at is being [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s c—k holster.” According to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the agency received “A number” of complaints over the hours and days that followed.
Pai claimed that the FCC will take appropriate action following a thorough investigation. “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 and we’ll take the appropriate action,” he told Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Thursday. “Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be,” he continued. “A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do.”
The problem lies in the fact that Colbert’s comments might not have broken any of the FCC’s rules that also need to meet a three-teir Supreme Court test that is in place in order to be labeled “obscene.” Pai told Fox Business Network that the FCC flags speech it considers “indecent” before 10 p.m. and looks for “obscene” content after that point. Colbert’s “The Late Show” airs at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.
As outlined on the FCC website, Colbert’s remarks about President Trump “must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a ‘patently offensive’ way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” But what does Stephen Colbert himself think about the comments he made? “I don’t regret that,” he said. “[Trump], I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it’s a fair fight.” Only time will tell who will win this round.