Not many thought they’d see the day when Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon would be targeted by anti-Trump liberals on social media, but thanks to the 2016 election, that day has come.
After interviewing Donald Trump this Thursday, many saw Fallon’s segment as a boost to the GOP nominee’s campaign, inching him one step closer to the White House with a softball interview that did nothing to put his reprehensible rhetoric on display.
The criticism isn’t without merit, considering that the toughest question Fallon posed to Trump was if he could have permission to mess up his hair.
Granted, Fallon isn’t a political pundit, but if you’re going to invite on a political figure who has a history of retweeting white supremacists, some would expect a little pushback with a dash of irony to be in order.
Maxwell Strachan of the Huffington Post called the interview “an extended on-air puff piece” and slammed Fallon for playing nice with someone who many agree is a racist and conspiracy theorist.
“At their best, late-night hosts have been able to toe a difficult line between comedy and responsibility. No one did this better than David Letterman, who repeatedly exposed truth while still on the air,” Strachan added.
People are pissed at Jimmy Fallon for going too easy on Trump https://t.co/HWJl7pzSM8
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 16, 2016
“Fallon is not Letterman, and he will never will be, nor does he seem to want to be. But that doesn’t mean he be let off the hook for humanizing a well-documented xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic serial liar, which is exactly what he did on Thursday.”
Across the Twittersphere, outrage is growing over the interview. It’s hard to say where the former SNL alum’s public image will end up when this simmers down, but right now it’s not a good look for Fallon.
Below is a sampling:
I can't make any jokes about Jimmy Fallon. The way he showcased Trump like a lovable old grandpa was sickening.
— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) September 16, 2016
Fallon and Trump are 2 sides of the same coin: mediocrity and evil go together.
— eddie pepitone (@eddiepepitone) September 16, 2016
Next up: Fallon and Trump slow jam MEIN KAMPF. Hilarious!
— Harold Itzkowitz (@HaroldItz) September 16, 2016
— Kevin Jeselnik (@KevinJeselnik) September 16, 2016
TRUMP: We're gonna deport everyone
FALLON: (cracking up)
TRUMP: Anyone against me will pay
FALLON: (bursts out laughing) Ya got me!
— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) September 16, 2016
If you want to see the normalization of racism, it’s the host of the Tonight Show interviewing a racist demagogue without bringing it up.
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) September 16, 2016
I know! Have David Duke on and mess up his hood! #fun!
— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) September 16, 2016
In his defense, Jimmy Fallon just pulled in a 35 share among white supremacists 18-49.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) September 16, 2016
So far, NBC hasn’t responded to the controversy.