After the violent riots that took. in the U.S. Capitol, several late-night TV hosts began their shows by reflecting on the “dark day in history” and expressed their frustration and sadness. On January 6, 2020, a large gathering of Trump supporters breached Capitol Security and entered the building.
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They forced lawmakers to hide while the joint session of Congress to ratify Joe Biden’s election win was temporarily suspended. Late Night Hosts Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, and Jimmy Kimmel later address the shocking events in their opening monologues.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Each of them called out President Donald Trump for inciting the violence in the first place and condemning the actions of Pro-Trump rioters. 53-year-old Jimmy Kimmel shared as he began his monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live! stating, “This was one of those days that I always assumed was behind us. This was not the sort of thing I ever imagined would happen in this country, in my lifetime.” He went on to call President Donald Trump insecure and incompetent, noting he didn’t know how to deal with the fact that he lost an election that was no different than any other presidential election before. He noted how he turned a heavily angry mob against members of Congress and Mike Pence.
He continued, “It was a terrible day in the history of this country. Our president and the scumbags who kept this stolen election charade going … either intentionally or wildly irresponsibly lit these fires to start a war just to distract us from the fact that Donald Trump lost the election.” Referring to other Republican Senators and Trump, he continued, “These people are not Americans. There is no ‘We the people,’ there is ‘Me the people’ and that’s it. The wildest part is these MAGA marchers think Donald Trump cares about them. He doesn’t care about you … He cares about himself. And only about himself.”
“The Late Late Show With James Corden”
42-year-old James Corden began the Late Late Show by noting that it was a crazy and sad day, saying it will go down as a dark one in the long history of America. He stated, “Then, under the pretense of trying to calm the situation, their hero — the president — released a message this afternoon to tell those supporters that ‘You’re special and we love you.’ I wouldn’t even want to imagine his treatment or response to those people if they had been wearing Black Lives Matter hats instead of red MAGA ones.”
As a United Kingdom native, The Late Night show host explained that he used to look to the United States as a “beacon of light” possibility. He continued “But I truly believe — and make no mistake — that they know that the America that they admire still exists. They know that the America that so many aspire to will be back. It’s just been hijacked by a lunatic and his crazy army for the last four years. But that’s about to end. In two weeks, on those same steps where that mob fought and pushed past police, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the president of the United States.”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”
46-year-old Jimmy Fallon opened NBC’s The Tonight Show by noting that we are in difficult times, which is why we need each other the most. He went on to condemn the day’s events, calling the selfish acts”terrorism” and not “patriotism.” He reassured the audience and members at home that they were going to be okay stating that this is not what our country is about.
He noted, “In times like these, I think to myself, ‘How is this happening? How can this be happening?’ But I’m also thinking, ‘How can I help?’ And being here tonight and talking to you at home and reassuring you that we are going to be okay and that this is not what our country is about, is how I can help.” He continued, “Today was a disgrace. Today was disappointing. But, sadly, today was not a surprise. But it’s important to remember that this is not who we are. I assure you there are more good people than there are bad, and good will prevail.”
“Late Night with Seth Meyers”
Meyers kicked off The Late Night Show by sharing that he would be discussing the events as clearly-eyed and plain-spoken as he could. He told the viewers, “What we saw today was a violent insurgency, an attempt to overthrow the legitimately elected government of the United States and it was incited, directed, and encouraged by the present, Donald Trump and more than a few members of the Republican Party and right-wing media.”
He also went on to address President Donald Trump’s message to protesters noting how the president told the rioters `we love you and you’re very special.” He continued, “He knows how they feel because he’s spent four years telling them in great and odious detail how they should feel. So we can be shocked but we can’t be surprised. The president wanted this. He directed it, supported it, he incited it, and encouraged it.” The 47-year-old also called for the removal of President Trump from office, as well as those who are not willing to protect and accept “pluralistic democracy.”
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Stephen Colbert opened the CBS late show sharing that he was upset at the situation. He also called out the Republican Senators who continue to support Trump asking if they had enough yet. He noted, “After five years of coddling this president’s fascist rhetoric, guess whose followers want to burn down the Reichstag. Because today, the U.S. Capitol was overrun for the first time since 1814, and a woman died … It is the most shocking, most tragic, least-surprising thing I’ve ever seen.”
He went on to question Republican Senators who run away from the capital noting, “[I have] a question for the Republican senators who helped foment this insurrection: Why did you run away? I mean, these are your peeps. They love you. You can run all you want for the rest of your lives but you can never escape the responsibility of what you brought upon American democracy today.” The Late Show Host compared the Capitol riots to Charlottesville expressing that the attack was not a sort of peaceful protest.
Pro-Trump Mob Storms US Capitol
The rioters, who are motivated by President Donald Trump, stormed the capital on Wednesday night, where they were scaling walls, breaking Windows, evangelizing, roaming through the halls, and looting in Congressional Chambers in Lawmaker offices. Rioters also decided to rip off an American flag on a flagpole outside the Capitol building and attempted to replace it with a Trump flag. The National Guard was called in after the riot escalated, and Washington DC mayor Murial Bowser issued a curfew that started at 6 p.m.
The riots resulted in the fatal shooting of a woman who was identified as Ashli Babbit, and three other deaths that weren’t homicide. Throughout the day several lawmakers (Democrats and Republicans) condemned the Trump supporters’ violence as president-elect Joe Biden called out for an end to the violence and for Trump to call them off. Other former presidents that spoke out included George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama.