People Aren't Laughing About Fallon Laughing With Trump
He did his part to normalize 'Trump's bigotry, xenophobia, and lies'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2016 1:55 PM CDT
Jimmy Fallon is being criticized over his "softball" handling of Donald Trump during a Thursday appearance on "The Tonight Show."   (Andrew Lipovsky/NBC via AP)

(Newser) – Donald Trump stopped by the Tonight Show on Thursday, and Jimmy Fallon woke up Friday to find himself facing wave after wave of criticism for conducting what the Huffington Post calls a "softball interview even by softball standards." Here's what the media is saying about Fallon's performance:

  • The Daily Dot says Fallon fell victim to the new expectation we have of our late-night hosts—thanks to Stewart, Letterman, and Colbert—that they be journalists as well as comedians.
  • Just because Fallon is a comedian "doesn't mean he [should] be let off the hook for humanizing a well-documented xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic serial liar," the Huffington Post argues.
  • Newsweek wonders why we expected any better of Fallon—"perhaps the only bigger clown in America than Trump"—when Matt Lauer essentially couldn't do any better during an actual political event.
  • As a "powerful white man on TV," Fallon can afford to treat Trump as a joke because to him "the idea of Trump in the White House is as harmless as your face on a pint of Ben and Jerry's," the Guardian argues.
  • Slate states that Trump is so far removed from a typical candidate from either party that to treat him as one through non-partisan joking "misses both the moral and the mortal threat of this year's election" while "normalizing Trump's bigotry, xenophobia, and lies."
  • Jezebel agrees: "If there was a time to pander to Trump or treat him like an ordinary candidate, it passed several hundred comments about banning Muslims and Mexicans ago."
  • The Atlantic observes that Fallon seems to have conducted the entire interview simply to get to the would-be viral moment of him touching Trump's hair. "Fallon had the opportunity to do something—anything—that could challenge the candidate ... He decided to mess up his hair."

 

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