Unlike Stephen Colbert, Late Night’s Seth Meyers waited until Wednesday night to weigh in on President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress. That gave him the chance to focus not on the substance of the speech, but instead the way the media “salivated over the possibility of a more presidential Trump.”
This was Trump’s chance to “reset the narrative” after a chaotic first month in office, Meyers said, something the president was evidently aware of as cameras caught him practicing his speech in the car on the way to the House chamber. “They’re talking like they’re watching a gorilla at the zoo,” Meyers said of the MSNBC pundits who marveled at Trump’s ability to read aloud.
“As we know, Trump has spent the past year and a half lowering the bar when it comes to public speaking,” the host continued. “So the fact that Trump managed to sustain a muted tone, that, for any other politician would be considered unremarkable and even a little boring, was itself seen as a huge victory last night.”
Meyers mocked the media for “obsessing” over Trump’s “tone.” In response to pundits like Van Jones and Chris Wallace, who both said Trump “became the president of the United States” last night, Meyers said, “I bet there are some Muslims and undocumented immigrants that would tell you he became president back in fucking January.”
“Seriously, do you have amnesia?” he asked. “Did you forget all the other times you’ve said the exact same thing?” he wondered, flashing back to last April when members of the press were saying very similar things about one of his primary victory speeches. “And maybe Lucy really will let me kick the football this time,” Meyers joked.
“Despite all their tangles with the Trump administration, and the relentless abuse they’ve gotten from Trump himself,” Meyers added, “there are still many in the media who are desperate to treat him like any other president.”
Instead of following suit and praising Trump for sounding somewhat “normal,” Meyers said the speech was “heavy on empty promises and light on substance.” To the media, he warned, “Let’s not get fooled again. We’ve been here with Trump before.”