Late Nights Hosts Defend Beto, Blame GOP, SCOTUS For Shootings

For the late night hosts, the school shooting in Uvalde provided them the opportunity to use their Wednesday shows to blame “the gun lobby,” Republicans, and the Supreme Court and to praise Beto O’Rourke’s stunt in the push for gun control.

The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert used his CBS show to declare that it is obvious that gun control is the answer, “If there’s less of something that is built to kill people, fewer people will be killed with that thing. That’s why these days, you see so few mass catapult attacks.”

As for legislation, he declared that, “The only thing more popular than background checks is Dolly Parton riding a giant corgi bringing you free ice cream. And birthday sex with free ice cream.”

Colbert then shifted to defending O’Rourke. After playing a clip of the incident, Colbert declared, “That’s not true, Beto. They’re not doing nothing. They’re yelling at you for pointing out that they’re doing nothing. Now, some people– you, maybe, you might call this a stunt. But all he’s doing is calling bull(bleep) on their lie, the lie that they’ll do anything that might upset the gun lobby that lines their pockets.”

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At the same time, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel declared that not only are Republicans to blame, Republicans know they are to blame, “they don’t want to speak about it. Because they know what they’ve done. And they know what they haven’t done. And they know it’s indefensible. So they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”

Kimmel then accused Senate Republicans of not “listening to us” and “listening to the NRA” instead, “They’re listening to those people who write them checks, who keep them in power. Because that’s the way politics work. That’s the idea we settle on, so we tell ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not for this.”

Over at NBC’s Late Night, host Seth Meyers blamed the Supreme Court, while repeating the false “military” weapons idea, “Entrenched, powerful forces have perpetrated a monumental, decades-long fraud in convincing large numbers of people that it is their constitutional right to own arsenals of military-grade weaponry and they have invested large sums in convincing people that that made-up right, a right five Republican justices essentially invented out of whole cloth not that long ago.”

To give credence to his claim, Meyers played a clip of “conservative” former Chief Justice Warren Burger misquoting the Second Amendment during a 1991 PBS interview, ‘“A well-regulated militia being necessary for the defense of the state, people’s rights to bear arms.’ This has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud. I repeat the word, ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”  

Before Meyers aired, Jimmy Fallon interviewed recently departed White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during The Tonight Show. Fallon was much less personal, but still pushed gun control, “And—and– do you think this is going to do something finally? Are people going to — is it change, is change coming, what can people do besides vote, I mean, and—and— volunteer? I mean, what do you think? What, this is awful. I mean— “

For her part, Psaki urged viewers to be hopeful and get involved in “gun reform” organizations and after calling America “backwards” on Tuesday, CBS’s James Corden did not talk about guns on his Wednesday program.

Stephen Colbert was sponsored by Old Navy, Jimmy Kimmel was sponsored by Walmart, Seth Meyers was sponsored by Dove, and Jimmy Fallon was sponsored by Liberty Mutual.

Here are transcripts for the May 25 and 26 shows:

CBS The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

5/25/2022

11:36 PM ET

STEPHEN COLBERT: That’s not complicated. If there’s less of something that is built to kill people, fewer people will be killed with that thing. That’s why these days, you see so few mass catapult attacks. Now, there are things Congress could do right now. Congress just refuses to do them. For instance, the Senate could pass HR-8, a bill that was passed by the House over a year ago, which would close loopholes in the background checks law. It’s being held up by Senate Republicans, possibly, because background checks are supported by only 90% of voters. 90%! The only thing more popular than background checks is Dolly Parton riding a giant corgi bringing you free ice cream. And birthday sex with free ice cream. One man’s frustration erupted on camera earlier today. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and his lieutenant governor held a press conference to discuss the shooting. About 15 minutes in, they were interrupted by Abbott’s gubernatorial rival, Beto O’Rourke.

COLBERT: That’s not true, Beto. They’re not doing nothing. They’re yelling at you for pointing out that they’re doing nothing. Now, some people– you, maybe, you might call this a stunt. But all he’s doing is calling bull(bleep) on their lie, the lie that they’ll do anything that might upset the gun lobby that lines their pockets. 

*****************************************************

ABC Jimmy Kimmel Live!

5/25/2022

11:36 PM ET

JIMMY KIMMEL: While our leaders on the right, the Americans at Congress and at Fox News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this. They immediately criticize our president for even speaking about doing something to stop it. Because they don’t want to speak about it. Because they know what they’ve done. And they know what they haven’t done. And they know it’s indefensible. So they’d rather sweep this under the rug. And, you know, most Americans support keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and children. The majority of us do, Democrats and Republicans. And the reason they call them ”commonsense gun laws” is because that’s what they are. Common sense. 89% of Americans want background checks before a gun can be purchased, which is just the very least we can do. A bipartisan bill passed in the House, it’s been stalled in the Senate for over a year now. They won’t pass it. Because our cowardly leaders just aren’t listening to us. They’re listening to the NRA. 

They’re listening to those people who write them checks, who keep them in power. Because that’s the way politics work. That’s the idea we settle on, so we tell ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not for this. You know, you can tell things are out of whack when the coach of the Golden State Warriors shows more leadership and passion than almost every Republican in Congress.

*****************************************************

NBC Late Night with Seth Meyers

5/26/2022

12:40 AM ET

SETH MEYERS: Entrenched, powerful forces have perpetrated a monumental, decades-long fraud in convincing large numbers of people that it is their constitutional right to own arsenals of military-grade weaponry and they have invested large sums in convincing people that that made-up right, a right five Republican justices essentially invented out of whole cloth not that long ago, is constantly under threat and to be clear, that’s not just my opinion, I’m not a constitutional scholar. 

I think that’s clear, Constitutional scholars do not have tiny figurines of Andy Samberg on their desks that say “My doink fell off ” I’m not saying they don’t have them I’m just saying, if they do, they are kept safely in a drawer.

So, I didn’t just come up with the take that the unregulated right to own military-grade weaponry is a fraud on my own. It was the opinion of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative, who said this in 1991.

WARREN BURGER: If I were writing the Bill of Rights now, there wouldn’t be any such thing as the Second Amendment 

CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Which says? 

BURGER: “A well-regulated militia being necessary for the defense of the state, people’s rights to bear arms.” This has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud. I repeat the word, “fraud,” on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.  Now, just look at those words. 

There are only three lines to that amendment ”A well-regulated militia.” If the militia, which was going to be the state army, was going to be well-regulated, why shouldn’t 16 and 17 and 18 or any other age persons be regulated in the use of arms the way an automobile is regulated.

MEYERS: First of all, it’s a shock just to see a conservative justice say something in public without sneering like the villain from every ’80s teen comedy. Second, he’s right the words “well-regulated” are right there in the amendment there’s no mystery it’s not Wordle or the New York Times spelling bee. We don’t have to guess which, by the way, it’s what I do, guys after I get the easy ones, I just start typing in fake words and hoping they’re real. Moaxy? 

*****************************************************

NBC The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

5/26/2022

12:19 AM ET

JIMMY FALLON: And—and– do you think this is going to do something finally? Are people going to — is it change, is change coming, what can people do besides vote, I mean, and—and— volunteer? I mean, what do you think? What, this is awful. I mean – 

JEN PSAKI:  Yeah. This is a common question that I — people ask me and I think the most important thing for people to know is nobody’s powerless in this moment, everybody has a voice. Everybody can use that voice in many ways. Yes, you can vote. You can also get involved in a lot of organizations, there are amazing organizations fighting for gun reform out there. 

And that’s another way to get involved and nobody’s powerless, but I would also say that I learned from working in the White House and working in government is that you have to always have hope, you have to always think that change is possible and that maybe it’s not going to happen next month or next year. I don’t know, but what happens when you have tragedies like the one in Texas is it jerks people awake in a lot of ways. I mean, guns are the biggest – they kill more kids every year than anything else, that’s a fact. There are more guns in this country than there are people in this country. And those type of details jerk people awake and that’s sometimes when change happens. 

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