Why Aren’t the Colbert Insurrectionists in Solitary?

22 Jun 2022

CLAY: I think this story deserves way more attention than it’s getting. Stephen Colbert had a bunch of producers on his show that were caught trespassing in the Capitol office buildings. Now, of course, this is the same sort of thing on January 6th that everybody’s obsessed with and that there are still people — and I can’t believe this is still going on. There are still people in solitary confinement that were arrested for violations of the law on January 6th. Solitary confinement.

I donated, by the way, money to help those people get lawyers so that they can get out of that solitary confinement. We have covered that story because almost no one else is covering it. But when all these Stephen Colbert producers got arrested, Colbert didn’t apologize. He didn’t say “our bad.” He didn’t say we did something wrong. He actually went on his show — which, let’s remember, he is on in the place where David Letterman used to be on.

He’s a late-night comedic talk show host who has effectively turned his show into Democrat propaganda, and he lectured everyone out there who would draw any equivalence or similarity between the behavior of his staff and January 6th. Even though a lot of people who were arrested on January 6th were in there taking selfies and weren’t “existential threats to democracy” as Democrats have been arguing for a long time. Listen to Stephen Colbert, who’s supposed to be funny, lecture all of you for daring to hold his staff accountable.

CLAY: The only person who died on January 6th was Ashli Babbitt, and she was shot by a Capitol officer. Buck, are you as disgusted by Stephen Colbert as I am, and by his inability or unwillingness to acknowledge that his staff did something wrong here?

BUCK: I expect nothing more from him. So it’s disgusting, but that’s about in line with what you’ve seen from the transformation of that storied slot, which was meant to be entertaining at night for the American people, right? It changed. It’s become yet another pathetic propaganda platform, not even willing to push the envelope with jokes, just willing to make propaganda night and night out. But I thought it was funny too, “sedition insurrection.” They’re really pushing this stuff hard.

One would think that all insurrections require a degree of sedition. But, anyway, the bigger problem I think we see here, Clay, is yet again: The arbitrary and politicized enforcement of the law. This can pull apart a society. When you think of countries where people are not free, where they’re truly not free, one thing that is always the case, whatever the justice system may be — whatever the law enforcement, prosecutorial, and incarceration apparatus may be — it is always showing favoritism, it is often capricious, and it is at the whim of those in power.

It doesn’t actually involve basic principles. It doesn’t actually involve justice in a true sense of the word. And this is what we see with Democrats over and over again. I mean, the fact that, as you said, we’ve had these individuals in some cases for entirely nonviolent and not even particularly destructive acts held in solitary confinement, and some judges have said they need to be held in confinement — this is true, this is because of the judge’s orders — because of the risk of another insurrection? Yeah.

I’m sure these people who have had their lives ruined are really thinking, “Let me go and try to take another selfie inside the Capitol sometime soon.” It’s outrageous, and we all know that. But look at the way — even as we often talk about the crime issue Clay in different cities — at the same time that the government was willing to enforce mandatory vaccination… They would arrest people for going to church! They would arrest people. Men and women with badges would manhandle you for failure to mask up properly in public venues, which was lunacy.

It did nothing, and the people who pushed those policies are idiots. They do that at the same time that they don’t want the enforcement of quality-of-life crimes. They don’t want the enforcement of laws against theft, against vagrancy, against simple assault, against burglary, you name it. So, the state somehow in the same period of time, Clay, has decided — Democrats have decided — laws about covid, whatever it is we’ll enforce and we’ll use the full force of the law. But laws that actually keep people safe? Oh, no, those we’ll ignore. But when there’s politics involved like there was in the January 6th riot, the full force of the law brought down without any compunction against these people. This is abuse of the worst kind.

CLAY: Has anything surprised you? You and I paid attention way more than 99.999% of people to overall news stories, ’cause it’s our job. Has anything surprised you that has come out from January 6th, the hearing?

BUCK: Yes. The severity of the punishment. Oh, from the hearings?

CLAY: In terms of the hearings themselves, has anything surprised you? Have you been surprised?


CLAY: I want to play Stelter —

BUCK: Yeah, go ahead and play it.

CLAY: — because he’s arguing, Stelter is — who, by the way, the reports have been maybe on his way out at CNN, but Brian Stelter is trying to argue, “Oh, the right-wing media is totally burying everything that’s going on surrounding January 6th.” My argument would be, Buck, that we’re not burying anything. It’s just all of this has been reported in the Washington Post and the New York Times and MSNBC and CNN ad infinitum. There’s nothing really new to anything that’s being presented, but here’s his argument. Nobody’s paying enough attention to January 6th, and everybody’s burying it! Listen.

STELTER: They absolutely hate the hearing story and will do anything not to talk about it. OAN, for example, goes and interviews lawyers of accused rioters who are in jail instead of talking about the hearing. Tucker Carlson obsesses over Stephen Colbert’s crew being detained at the Capitol, claims that’s an insurrection, in order to mock the real insurrection. (sputtering) I can’t express enough how right-wing media is burying what is going on at these hearings, pretending it’s not happening.

And that effects politicians as well. You have senators, lawmakers on the Republican side saying they’re not watching — and they’re proud to say they’re not watching, ’cause their viewers aren’t, either. If you look at the ratings for Fox News on the three days, they did show the hearings, dropped like a rock. The audience literally just cratered during the hearing and then came right back afterwards. That’s the reality of the Republican Party bubble thanks to the GOP media.

CLAY: It’s funny that he mentions ratings, because while CNN has been covering January 6th obsessively, last week they hit a 22-year low in the number of viewers that they have, and I think that’s because most CNN viewers already know everything about January 6th, too, Buck. They’re try to repackage this and try to play it as if there’s new revelations coming. I pay a lot of attention to the media coverage.

I’ve been watching all January 6th coverage for 18 months now. I told you that I watched the opening prime time hearings. I know you did too. I watched the first 20 minutes. I said, “They ain’t got nothing new.” They still don’t. This was a riot. People deserve to be punishment who rioted. But this idea that it was a coup or an insurrection? I haven’t seen anything that hadn’t already been written about.

BUCK: There’s a critical question that needs to be asked about all of this, too, and they don’t have — or they won’t give — a real answer. What exactly are we supposed to do now about all of this? They keep talking about “the insurrection.” Okay. Clay, you weren’t there. I wasn’t there. I condemned it; you condemned it. This audience wasn’t there. We’ve already had people in solitary confinement. We’ve already had people get lengthy prison terms for nonviolent crimes. The media has talked about it obsessively.

What exactly are we supposed to do? And you see, you ask this question, you go, “Hold on. Oh, this is really just about politics, actually.” They say it’s about saving our sacred democracy, but what it’s really about is maligning Donald Trump to the greatest possible extent is that he will be either not a candidate or not a viable candidate for the presidency again. This is all politics. There’s no takeaway from this. They’re not saying, “Going forward, here’s how we would avoid this.” I have an idea. Don’t have Capitol Police on video in different places wave people closer to the Capitol!

CLAY: (laughing) Yeah.

BUCK: There are a lot of security procedures that we could actually talk about going forward. You know, give National Guard protection in advance if you think there is going to be some kind of a riot. But you see if it were about security and if it were about the things they sometimes pretend, then we’d also want to say:

What about the riot out in front of the White House when Trump was president? What about attempting to burn down the church that was 150 years old right across from the White House or burning down a federal courthouse in Portland — trying to — successfully burning down a police station in Minneapolis, the billions of dollars? They didn’t do billions of dollars of damage inside the Capitol. They don’t have dozens of people who died as a result of the Capitol.

Dozens of people died because of a Democrat movement known as BLM, which was used to intimidate voters — in an election year — and we saw this from the businesses that were boarded up. They weren’t boarded up in case Trump won. None of that gets brought into this. None of the rejection of political violence as a tool for the Democrats — none of that — gets discussed or talked about. So this isn’t about our sacred democracy or making it safer. This is about rubbing Trump’s face in it and all of his voters’ face in it, so that we won’t do the only sane thing now, which is throw these Democrat lunatics out of office for making the country poorer, weaker, and more miserable for 18 months.

CLAY: There you go, Brian Stelter! Nobody watches CNN. Lots of people listen to this radio show. We just talked about January 6th. There’s nothing there. You’re welcome, by the way, when you get fired at CNN, to come on this show and lecture us about why we need to cover it more.

BUCK: (impression) “Clay Travis is gonna be mean to him. He’s gonna make fun of his voice and is gonna say, ‘Hey, buddy, why are you never honest with your audience?’”


BUCK: Welcome back to Clay and Buck. That was the very excellent Victor Davis Hanson there, really reiterating a point we were just talking about a few minutes ago on how the political application of the law is so toxic to a free society. And you have to ask the question: Are we ruled by the law these days or are we ruled by men and women who have political axes to grinds and power to achieve?

Because, Clay, the border? The primary motivation for Democrats is not rule of law. In major cities really all across the country now, criminal justice? It’s not the equal application of the law. What we saw on January 6th and the treatment of those defendants? Not the equal application of the law. We’re heading into some stormy waters with this.

CLAY: There’s no doubt. We talked earlier about Andrew Gillum get charged with 21 felony accounts. There are oftentimes politicians that are not very powerful who get felony counts brought against them or their family. One of the big lessons of January 6th is there is a clear attempt on behalf of Democrats to get Donald Trump charged with felonies relating to January 6th. Simultaneously, you and I have a bet about Hunter Biden and all of the complicity. There is evidence on his laptop of what he has been involved in in terms of selling access to the Biden family.

Will anything happen there? We already know that Hillary Clinton’s campaign to a large extent based on the forum in which they were having the Sussmann trial was able to avoid criminal allegations being proven, despite the fact that there were a lot of details given about all of her complicity in the great Russia collusion hoax.

There’s all these dueling interpretations of what the law is involving powerful people. How is the law going to be applied — and, most importantly, does the American public out there have confidence that if you’re in a position of power, the law will be applied fairly against you? It’s one of the biggest questions of our time, I think it’s fair to say.

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