The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is first and foremost a comedy program—but it’s also political. Each night, Colbert kicks things off with a blistering monologue aimed at President Trump, addressing the fumbling, xenophobic, blatantly racist ex-reality star’s latest controversy. That has often included the 22 claims of sexual harassment and/or assault against the current commander-in-chief.
“Yes, presidential harassment—it’s like sexual harassment, only Republicans take it seriously,” Colbert quipped in early February. When writer E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of rape, the comedian exclaimed that her being the 22nd woman to accuse him of sexual harassment or assault should “raise alarms.”
But on Monday night, the late-night host welcomed former NBC newsman Tom Brokaw onto his program—a man who, last year, was accused of sexual harassment by three women. At no point did Colbert even attempt to ask Brokaw about the allegations; rather, he lobbed softball questions about his recent book, and probed him about covering the Nixon impeachment process and how it related to the current predicament vis-à-vis Trump.
If late-night hosts like Colbert are going to regularly assume the role of moral arbiter, especially when it comes to sexual harassment, then they must also criticize those on the so-called “left” who are accused of similar offenses—otherwise, they’re just hypocrites.
The fact that Colbert declined to ask Brokaw a single question about the sexual-harassment allegations against him is a farce, and should strip him of the privilege of criticizing anyone—including Trump—of misconduct. You can’t selectively target people when it comes to #MeToo along political lines, especially if you’re a late-night comedy host with access to any and everyone.
If you’re going to hit Trump, you need to hit Brokaw too. Because no accused sexual predator should be off-limits.