A scarily sophisticated suicide bombing that killed more than 40 people at Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport did not warrant the same type of somber reflection by late-night talk show hosts that came after the mass shooting in Orlando or even the terror attacks in Paris.
In fact, Stephen Colbert was the only host to mention the incident as of Wednesday night. And while his comments were brief, they were startlingly direct and harsh. The Late Show host had a message to the media: Just because there is video footage of a terror attack does not mean you have to air it on repeat.
“All of our thoughts and prayers and our good wishes go to the people who are suffering everywhere in the world at the hands of terrorism,” Colbert said from his desk. “This time, it’s Istanbul. And it is heartbreaking to see this happen over and over again.”
“And just an aside,” he continued. “I would like to say something to all the news organizations out there. Is it really necessary to show us photographs or rolling video of a terrorist exploding?”
“That really seems like advertising for someone’s cause in a way that they may like,” Colbert said, accusing networks like CNN and MSNBC of essentially doing ISIS’s bidding. “I don’t think we need to see that.”