“Welcome to Full Frontal, I’m basic cable John Oliver,” Samantha Bee said at the top of her TBS show Wednesday night. And like her former Daily Show colleague, she went deep on President Donald Trump’s war against the free press.
After playing a montage of journalists getting attacked by police during recent protests, Bee declared, “This is not normal. Journalists shouldn’t have to deal with being threatened by the police.”
“Fortunately, the president saw these injustices and responded quickly to defend the First Amendment,” she joked before reading one of Trump’s most recent Twitter attacks on the “FAKE NEWS” media. “Look, I know it’s not exactly a revelation that the president is always trying to undermine the media, but that’s the problem. We’re all so used to it that we act like it’s normal, and the more we ignore anti-press sentiment in America, the more it will spread.”
“The problem with Trump is that he’s an emotional weakling whose entire self-worth is based on how successful he looks to others,” Bee added. “Parents, this is why you have to hug your children and tell them that you love them, especially the unlovable loser ones like Donald clearly was.”
She went on to call the president a “bottomless pit of neediness who demands constant validation from the media,” explaining, “That’s why even the suck-ups at Fox News are only as good as their latest up-sucking.”
For Bee, the saddest part of all is that “the poor bastard truly thought the press would fall in love with him” once he was president “the way that Katherine Heigl eventually fell for James Marsden in 27 Dresses. But “since the media refused to love him back, Trump has chosen to do the mature thing and use his presidential power to destroy them.”
“The scariest part about Trump’s war on the press is that he’s winning,” the host said later. “No one’s been able to stop his attacks, so we just go about our lives while they run constantly in the background like white noise, which, of course, is Trump’s preferred color of noise.”
“When Trump undermines the free press, he’s not just attacking journalists’ right to do their jobs,” Bee said. “He’s attacking your right to know what’s going on in the world. We need to resist the complacency that normalizes Trump’s media-bashing and stand up for the people who bring us the news so we can look forward to the day they bring us news worth celebrating.”
With that she imagined a future headline in The New York Times: “Non-Asshole Elected President.”
For more, listen to Samantha Bee on The Last Laugh podcast.