Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher Respond to Paris Terror Attacks

Paris Attacks: Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Late-Night Hosts Respond
Courtesy of CBS

Many of the late-night hosts were off last night, but those who were on duty weighed on with their thoughts on the terrorists attacks in Paris.

“The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert got emotional at the end of his show, when he used his final segment to address the day’s events.

“Folks, we end tonight’s show with a heavy heart because we taped all of tonight’s show, and then we found out about the horrific attacks in Paris today,” said a visibly shaken Colbert.

“I know that not much is known right now, but we do know that there have been many deaths, the crisis is still ongoing. President Hollande has declared a state of emergency, and President Obama has promised the United States will do whatever it takes to bring the terrorists to justice.”

“We add our thoughts and prayers to everyone in Paris, and now we’ll see you on Monday. Good night.”

Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” didn’t address the Paris terror attacks. Many shows do not air new episodes on Fridays, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”

Bill Maher, whose HBO series “Real Time” goes live at 10 p.m., opened his show by saying, “Before we get to the hilarity … I just want to say one thing to the people of Paris…” He then sang a bar from “La Marseillaise,” the French national anthem, before adding that it was his way of saying, “We’re with you.”

Maher’s first guest was Asra Nomani, the author of “Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam.” She has been outspoken on Muslim reform and women’s rights, and Maher devoted a great deal of the interview to repeat what he has said before, that liberals are too timid to criticize radical Islam, in particular Sharia law, for fear of appearing intolerant. That was the topic of a fierce debate last year on the show between Maher and Ben Affleck.

“Maybe it is a small percentage who carry out terrorist acts, but is not a small percentage who believe in some of the illiberal ideas that support terrorists,” he said.

The attacks were discussed further with a panel that included Jay Leno, Dylan Ratigan and Michael Steele. Maher’s question was, “Why do they hate us?”

One of the issues discussed was why more Middle Eastern countries have not stepped up to fight ISIS.

“This is a different dynamic,” Steele said. “This is a different war. This a different level of engagement as we have seen in Paris tonight, as we have seen in Boston for example. It’s a home-grown thing that is very difficult.”

“But bombing them over there is what is causing the Paris thing to happen,” Maher said. “That connection needs to be made. We don’t need to be bombing them there.”

“We don’t need to be bombing them,” Ratigan said. “It doesn’t have to be us.”