FCC to Investigate Stephen Colbert Over Controversial Donald Trump Joke

Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Courtesy of CBS

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that his agency will be looking into complaints made against Stephen Colbert for what some labeled a homophobic joke about President Donald Trump.

“I have had a chance to see the clip now and so, as we get complaints — and we’ve gotten a number of them — we are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action,” Pai told Philadelphia’s Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.

“Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be,” he continued. “A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do.” Pai was appointed to the FCC in 2012 by President Barack Obama. He was elevated to the chairmanship of the commission by Trump in January.

Pai’s comments on Colbert are surprising as “The Late Show” airs outside the FCC’s long-established “safe harbor” time frame of 6 am to 10 pm in which the commission has the authority to police allegations of indecent and obscene material on the airwaves. They would also seem to clash with Pai’s vow to maintain a lighter regulatory environment for media overall.

Colbert faced backlash following the Monday night airing of “The Late Show,” during which he made numerous jokes about Trump during his opening monologue. Among them, he said, “The only thing [Trump’s] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c–k holster.” Colbert’s mouth was blurred and the term was bleepded out for the broadcast, however.

Viewers took to social media to declare Colbert’s joke homophobic.The hashtag #FireColbert began spreading around Twitter, along with calls for people to boycott sponsors of the late-night show.

Related

Stephen Colbert Defends Controversial Trump Jokes: ‘I Don’t Regret That’

Colbert responded to the controversy during his opening monologue on Wednesday, saying he regretted his choice of words but stopped short of an apology.

“So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” he said. “I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that.”

Also during Wednesday’s show, “Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons, who is himself gay, joked with Colbert about the controversy. “You taught me new terms,” Parsons said. “As a gay man, I didn’t know certain things — that’s titillating. I wouldn’t call it homophobic. That’s just my take on your good form.”

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  1. Bob Dole says:

    SO political figures are now OK for all sorts of vulgarity, like Michelle Obama’s mouth is now Trump’s cock-holster. Hillary is now Anthony Weiner’s cock-holster.

    Is that where Steve Colbert has led us ? Is that where we want to be as a nation?

  2. Ingrid Kern says:

    Hooray for Stephen Colbert and his fellow late night comedians.
    In “The Land of the Free”, the Ministry of Trump-Truth needs to be attacked every day, to remind the population that they’re a hair’s breadth away from 1984, and The Hand-Maid’s Tale, coming true in their life-time.
    Keep up the crude humour, Stephen, at least it makes the lethargic populace pay attention !

    • Ingrid Kern says:

      Delois Hello
      If I were Stephen’s Mom, I would be immensely proud of his humour, crude or not, to remind people of the dangerous developments in Trump’s America..

  3. Sam says:

    Everyone has the right to voice their opinions it’s funny how those who voted for the jerk want to change the Constitutional free speech but when they use hate speech they think they have every right….grow up!

  4. Frank says:

    Wga is useless.

  5. Ernest DeLaura Jr. says:

    Steven Colbert is not as offensive as Commie trump’s nationally video showing how foul mouth Commie trump is. Quote: “You can grab um by their pussy!”
    Who’s more offensive?

  6. Rob says:

    The Republicans have enough trouble trying excuse Pres. Trumps actions. He lies to the American People without regret, he lies to the world and is a disgrace to the office of the President of the United States. Oh yes I haven’t even mentioned he’s in bed with the Russians.

  7. Delois says:

    Colbert was absolutely out of line, There was no call for him to talk like that be it to President Trump or who ever. Totally uncalled for. He needs fired!! This is not something funny or something to laugh about. How would he like being talked to like that. Boy would his mom be proud of him.

  8. B. Murphy says:

    I think Colbert was totally out of line. If a republican made a vulgar comment like that they would be fired! I am not n not a fan of anyone who ran for pre but come on that was over the top and out of line!

    • P Neves says:

      I agree it was crude, but if Trump can brag about grabbing women by the pussy I think it makes him fair game. If he can dish it out he should be able to take it.

  9. MPF says:

    You might mention that FCC is required to examine any complaints it gets, so saying they’ve launched an “investigation” is way, way over the top. All Pai said is that they’ll do what they’re legally required to do, but you make it sound as if they’d already concluded that there was something serious to investigate.

  10. allforstephen says:

    Can’t be offended by Stephen’s comments if you voted for a pu$$y grabber.

  11. Rachelle Lund says:

    It’s really a shame that Colbert doesn’t use his keen wit and intelligent comedy on this hate campaign o Trump.

  12. Carlo Riley says:

    Colbert should read Romans 13:1-2. Not only is he disrespectful and vulgar, he’s also an unfunny and untalented comedian. He simply can’t build sustained success constantly bashing President Trump.
    That mantra will be drab once the shelf life is over.

    • Pamela says:

      If you believe in 13: 1-2 your an idiot! Don’t waste your time in believing in something that we know as a fact is not real! #Religion

      • Carlo Riley says:

        Where’s the factual proof of your assertion? You stated “for a fact.” Based on what?

    • Steve says:

      Being that Colbert is a Sunday school teacher, I think he may know more about the Bible than you.

      • Carlo Riley says:

        An interesting take. However neither Mr. Colbert nor I wrote the passage from Romans. Like all scripture, it speaks for itself. Btw, I taught Sunday School for 15 years before turning to Worship & Praise to fulfill Deacon duty. Gb, tc.

  13. Not a new term but still just as vulgar.Colbert is a joke himself.

  14. Paul says:

    Colbert is a bully he does everything a bully does he is a bad example to our youth and he needs to be stopped and taken off the air. He’s not funny and we need to see it for what he does. He says mean and evil things I cannot beleive CBS is supporting such a man what he says is not funny but cruel and vulgar it’s time to shut a person down just like the rest of the bullies.

    • vicki says:

      Now that is humorous, calling Colbert a bully when that’s all trump does. Everyone should support Colbert. He told the truth. Did you support trump after all his vulgar comments and lies? Why do you give trump a pass?

    • Steve says:

      Bullies (like Trump) punch down at people who are less powerful. Colbert punches up, at MORE powerful people. Colbert is not a bully. Trump is a bully.

      • Mike says:

        Sam you are clueless. Comparing hate speech by Hitler to Trump’s comments about Trump is asinine. Hate speech is directed towards an ethnic or religious group. Clearly comments about one person don’t fit that definition. Trump’s comments about Mexicans being rapists? Now that is hate speech.

      • Sam says:

        Colbert speaks hate night after night it’s the same show hate speech about the same person. That’s persecution and targeting. Like hitler persecuting the Jews and speaking hate about the Jews. The Jews were legal citizens if Germany. And hitler persecuted them with hate speech.
        Just like colberts hate speech and persecution about the same person night after night. He’s angry because he lost. And made a fool of himself on election night. He was warned to be fair to both parties.

  15. Katarina Koster says:

    Come on, people, Colbert is a comedian and he is ACTING in his late-night satirical show! He’s an entertainer, not a journalist or TV news anchor. If you don’t like his sense of humor, don’t watch his show–same as you wouldn’t watch “The Walking Dead” if that’s not your thing! The FCC has no business investigating this at all, ridiculous! Now if it were “60 Minutes” reporters saying this, that’s another matter. Get a grip, guys!

  16. miratopch@yahoo.ceom says:

    He disgusts me!! The hate against Trump makes them just sound angry not funny!!! Unbelievable if this goes through without any consequences for Colbert! Disgusting dishonest and plain vicious behavior!

  17. Kee Emosabe says:

    Is this any way to treat the leader of the Christian world?

    • Liv Pomasan says:

      We all have a sense of humor I hope that’s what I believe make us all human, but there is funny, humorous, ironic, sardonic and witty this was none, this was inappropriate and meanspirted and should not be condoned by anyone !

      • Kee Emosabe says:

        Now tell me about “Go F*** Themselves!” on prime time on all the channels and with children in the live audience…..the tell me about Megan Kelly and “blood coming from her wherever. ” During prime-time debates with students assigned to learn about our election process. Seems Trump and his Trumpettes love to dish it out… but certainly cannot take it…or even take it back…always playing their phony virtuous victim card.

  18. Kee Emosabe says:

    Should not make fun of the leader of the Christian world. NO FAIR!

  19. loco73 says:

    Cockholster! Quick create a safe space for all those people getting triggered right this moment!

  20. Karen Long says:

    I love, love, love the Stephan Colbert Show! Come on folks, this is a late night comedy show! Why don’t you listen again to some of Trumps remarks during the campaign……such as go F–k yourselves!!

    • Terri Pate says:

      Freedom of speech, freedom of Press, I saw that show he did nothing wrong……..Come on people get interested in how Trump needs to be fired. Just an opinion but I wonder who is going to get nuked first,
      Colbert or us.. I knew it was only a matter of time that Trump would tell the FCC to get rid of Colbert, If you do not like Colbert change the channel or why are you watching it at all?

      A Colbert fan

      • Sam says:

        You and colbert make sure everybody knows why you lost. He seems to forget everyday and has to remind himself in front of an audience every night.

    • drea says:

      You are as bad as colbert

      • Steve says:

        Did you know that Colbert is a happily married family man, observant Catholic, and a Sunday school teacher? Or that he gives generously to charities, including those that support our military?

        Yeah. Sounds like a real louse. LOL.

      • I sure as heck hope so! I aspire to be more like Colbert everyday. Standing up to bullies and calling people out on their hypocrisy is a good thing :-)

    • David says:

      But Trump isn’t a paid comedian trying to be funny. If you, as a woman, find Colberts vomment acceptable, I think you and I are from very different social classes.

  21. BillyBatson says:

    Hee hee. Hilarious to see all the Trump snowflakes trying to project their own shortcoming onto liberals. Trump has been hurling vulgar insults at people for years. Trump bragged about grabbing women by their – you know the word he used – and you hypocrites went and voted for him anyway. He talked about Megyn Kelly bleeding from her “whatever” and you decided he was fine Presidential material.

    But a comedian says something vulgar about Trump and you snowflakes just come apart at the seams. Russia stealing a U.S. election and possibly having operatives in the White House and you don’t think that needs looking into, but a joke by a late night comedian needs a federal investigation? You do know the rest of the world is laughing at us, right?

    • Mooshe1 says:

      Can you please spread this comment around????? Are Trump supporters CRAZY?!?! He says WHATEVER comes to his crazy mind and there’s an excuse, let him get it given back to him and he and his supporters want to cry….boooooo

    • David says:

      I think you are confusing comments made during interviews or in private, with comments made on a person’s own TV show, governed by the FCC. And I myself grab women by the p, as do most straight men. And I make many crude comments myself, as do most people. And I would not call us “snowflakes”…. it’s the Liberals who are snowflakes.

      • drea says:

        Hey BILLY BOB you need to know who the snowflakes are.

      • David says:

        Most snowflakes are on the Left. Most of us on the right are military, veterans, or law enforcement. In other words, not snowflakes.

      • Steve says:

        Be honest. There are snowflakes on both sides. And the FCC will, at most, fine CBS.

  22. Martha Green says:

    He should be be given the opportunity to sincerely apologize to his audience for not only obscenity but for speaking in such a disrespectful way about the President. After a sincere apolology he should be stiffly fined. If he is unwilling to do this, he should be fined and fired.

    • Steve says:

      Are you saying that the government should punish him for his speech? Because, well, that’s scary.

      • Steve says:

        Read the legal definition of obscenity. What he said was not obscene by that definition. It was arguably “indecent”, but that is allowed after 10 pm. And besides, what a lot of folks here don’t seem to know that he was bleeped!

      • David says:

        So, you’re not aware of obscenity and other laws governing speech? I can give you plenty of examples of occasions on which I took people to jail for what they said, when I was a policeman.

  23. His show is no longer a late night talk show. I think we all know what it is now.

  24. Ray Moore says:

    Colbert should be fired. 40 yrs ago the dub would have put him behind bars

  25. Joseph K Ptak says:

    POLITICAL CORRECTNESS is supposedly language geared to not offending anyone, yet the hypocrites think it is just comedy for Stephen Colbert to say that the only good thing President Trump’s mouth is good for is as “c-ck holster for Putin”. Sick.

    As I have been saying for years…”political correctness is a scourge in our country, a cancer on our language, and the political weapon of choice for those who aim to turn our country into something that it is not.”

    • Actually, many people wish it wasn’t all it was good for. Our current President has and continues to say and do horrendous things every day. Trump and his defenders need to be able to take what they dish out. Remember Trump is the person who talked about grabbing women by the pussy, admires dictators like Putin, denigrates handicapped reporters, attacks the news and media outlets daily. He’s begging be be hit back. And he will be.

    • hen nig says:

      How about putting trump behind bars for calling for Hillary’s death via his NRA friends on national TV at dinner time?

  26. HML says:

    Meh, he’s just mad because he was so utterly wrong about Trump getting elected president, now he’s distracting.

  27. it’s funny the Colbert is saying Trump is a “cock holster” for Putin when Colbert and the rest of the left have been fighting to see who can be the best “cock holster” for Obysmal since 2008

  28. waynetheseine says:

    You know society is completely down the toilet when something so vile and filthy gets protested, not because of vileness or filth, but because of “homophobia.” Really? And btw….homo-whatever…is the new “racism.” After all, the racism card no longer has a “spade” left on it….it was worn off long ago.

  29. Sco says:

    I sincerely do not see where the joke could be considered homophobic. Honestly, can someone explain why saying “Trump’s mouth is a cock holster” is homophobic?

  30. Greg says:

    Colbert disgraced CBS FAR more than the presidency… Simply disgusting.

  31. Jargo Splevins says:

    It was disgusting, hate of any kind isn’t funny…..but the left will do backflips to defend him, even justify it, because Colbert is their guy, one of them…..just like the right will take up for Trump, no matter what dumb thing he says. It’s the same ‘ol, same ‘ol….left versus right…you’re dumb, we’re smart….you’re a nut, you’re a creep…..and on and on the merry go round goes, both sides spinning their pap….I think a lot of Americans are ready to get off. So, the truth is, it wasn’t funny, wasn’t a joke, was shockingly lewd, and apparently inoffensive to the left. And, yes, Trump says dumb stuff.

    • Liberal snowflakes melt says:

      Everyone says dumb stuff but most of us aren’t under a microscope 24/7 so we can get away with it!

  32. Lee says:

    Colbert crossed the line; however, the Trumpster crosses the line almost every day.

    • Liberal snowflakes melt says:

      Uh, oh, SOMEONE needs a hug and a puppy! Don’t you Lee…….

      • Steve says:

        No.

      • Liberal snowflakes melt says:

        Uh, oh, little Steve disagrees! What’s the weather like on our planet, Steve? Do the women there look like ColeBERT? Come on be honest you lust after him, don’t you?

      • Steve says:

        I doubt that s/he does. On this issue, and many others, it’s the righties who are the snowflakes.

      • Stevie says:

        Glad to say I helped on the fcc complaint. Personally I really dislike ColeBert and Bill Marr and jon Stewart with the smart a$$ humor that I think I unamerican. Poking fun is one thing but ‘co.k holster? I didn’t even think this was against gays but rather a shot against America. ColeBerts even getting on late night tv is a travisty. He should be a shock jock on some obscure radio show. David Letterman was a lefty but his show was more based on entertainment not leftist political commentary with vile words throughout. Craig Ferguson should have gotten the show. He is funny. ColeBert is just a vile un-American smart a$$…..

  33. Kellie says:

    Trump needs to grow thicker skin and he needs to stay off of twitter. He has badmouthed far more people and said far worse things than Colbert has yet that seems to be ok, right? smh

  34. Steve says:

    Here’s what I don’t get. If the folks here think that we “coastal elites” look down on them, well, why do they give a damn what (they believe) we think? Why don’t they live in the way that makes them comfortable and happy, and stop resenting us so much? Remember, resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy dies. Just live and let live.

    • Because you have a forum that enables you to enter hundreds of millions of homes. Your vulgar dialog is being heard and absorbed by teens and early 20’s as funny and ‘cool’ so they want to do it, too. There is no reason for the vulgar dialog we hear these days. We have dictionaries filled with words that work just as well but aren’t vulgar. It’s not funny. It’s cheap and tawdry and to me it shows a lack of respect for your listeners.

      • Carol Dillin says:

        The movement to #fireColbert is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If anyone made the slightest disrespectful comment of King Obama, they would have been fired. So this vulgar twit needs to go.

  35. F. Douglas says:

    The FCC needs to investigate trump. trump has criticized just about everyone and anyone and lied yet nothing has happened to him. It’s like a dictatorship. Colbert is practicing free speech as guaranteed under the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. Indecency is taking medical care away from citizens.

  36. Tom Taylor says:

    Because naming someone specifically and saying you “moved on her like a bitch”, and then bragging about grabbing p ssy and sexual assault and how you do it at will is ok for a president to say, but how dare colbert say trumps mouth is like a holster for putins c oc k. lol, its still funny.

  37. Rurh Rurh says:

    Hilarious. The worst the FCC can do to Colbert is impose a $383,038 fine. Which he’d pay with pocket change (or a lifetime’s earnings for a trumptard). And what he said about Fatty Frump would STILL be true. Keep whining, suckers.

  38. June Gildersleeve says:

    i emailed CBS and so far not a peep from them. Silence! I am thankful that the FCC will be investigating. No network needs the likes of Stephen Co Bert.

    • Tom Taylor says:

      Oh they didn’t get right back to you? lmfao…. where do you people come from? Get a life.,

      • Liberal snowflakes melt says:

        Oh, an oblamer got “right back to you”, did he? Did you get an auto-penned autographed pair of presidential knee pads from him?

  39. Mike McClara says:

    The “Enmity Party” Gen 3:15, shock the unlearned but make the learned more bored.

  40. Heywood.Jablome says:

    It takes a fool to believe that the tolerance of immorality is without consequence.

  41. jngalt52 says:

    The only reality I know is this. If Tim Allen made exactly the same comment about a Democratic President… he would be fired and his show yanked off the air.

  42. Kay Schaffer says:

    Colbert is a disgrace to civil society. He has no credibility, and is nothing but a hateful, spiteful human being. I, too, will boycott his sponsors.

    • Kellie says:

      Awww I’m sure Colbert will be hurt by your boycott. Trump is far more hateful and spiteful than anyone who has made anti-Trump comments. You better buckle up sweetheart, first the healthcare debacle and next your taxes will be going up. You idiots thought Trump was for the middle class and the poor, hardly. He only cares about the higher echelon of society and making the rich richer. You Trumpazoids were just stepping stones to get where he needed.

  43. Paul S Hooson says:

    The Supreme Court has previously ruled that political and other satire has wider free speech protections than some other sorts of expressed speech. The Jerry Falwell Vs. Hustler Magazine case outhouse parody ad was the deciding case for this legal landmark. Stephen Colbert’s joke was in response to the public impression that his administration has way too close of a relationship with Russian strongman, Vladimir Putin. Colbert’s joke was no worse than any of the numerous jokes made about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky’s sex scandal, all of which are constitutionally protected political satire. Some supporters of Mr. Trump are really reaching for nothing concrete here, if they are hoping to silence political satire with groundless cases against political humorists like Stephen Colbert.

    • Kevin Butterfield says:

      Not even close. Liberals are foul, disgusting, evil vermin.

    • Steve says:

      Thank you for your sensible and informed post.

    • Sam says:

      Satire is not the same as persecution, targeting, slander, and defamation.
      One joke in months would be satire.
      Night after night after night for 6 months nothing but persecution and targeting and defamation the same person.
      That is actionable, personally and
      corporate, as well as regulators.
      One joke about a black person being n word. Satire???? No!!!!!!!!

      • Steve says:

        No, Mr. Hooson is exactly right. In no legal sense is what Colbert said defamation. Satire is satire, no matter how often one does it. And satire is protected speech. Full stop.

  44. He is drowning in his own self-importance. These so-called comedians just do not get that they are talking to the choir i.e. the Hollywood crowd and the liberal media, which most people have already written off. He makes me think of a pathetic little boy that wants to be popular kids and hang with the “cool kids”.

  45. Pcj70 says:

    Those who live by the politically correct, die by the politically correct.

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