Seth Meyers Talks Fallon, Trump, and Politics vs. Escapism in Late Night

It’s been a week since the Tonight Show clip of Jimmy Fallon tussling Donald Trump’s hair took over the internet, and today Late Night host Seth Meyers spoke with CNN’s Brian Stelter about why Fallon doesn’t deserve all the blowback he’s been getting for the interview. “I think it’s important to remember that some people want to turn on late night shows and they want to see hard takes on politics and they want to be reminded of everything that’s going on in the world, and other people use it for escapism,” Meyers says. “And I think it’s important that those shows still exist for people who want to tune out politics for a night, and I think Jimmy does that better than anybody.”

Following up Samantha Bee’s Monday night segment calling out Fallon and SNL for its treatment of Trump, Full Frontal executive producer Jo Miller was a little less forgiving in an interview with reporters earlier this week, saying that while the Full Frontal staff loves Jimmy, his softball Trump interview felt like “a punch in the gut”:

But, she said, Mr. Fallon’s ingratiating treatment of Mr. Trump is “a problem because we love him.”

“If he thinks that a race-baiting demagogue is O.K., that gives permission to millions of Americans to also think that,” she continued.

Ms. Miller, who came with Ms. Bee from Comedy Central’s news satire The Daily Show, said she has no problem “showing candidates and public servants as human beings, and I think there needs to be more of that.”

“That said,” Ms. Miller added, “this is not a race between Democrat and Republican — this is a race between Democrat and demagogue. You don’t normalize someone who’s inciting violence.”

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