Stephen Colbert calls right-wing coverage of staffers’ arrests in D.C. 'shameful and grotesque'

Stephen Colbert kicked off The Late Show Monday by addressing the arrest of some of his staff at the Capitol complex in Washington D.C. late last week. A production crew shot in D.C. for two days with comedian Robert Smigel, who voices Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, to cover the January 6th hearings.

“Triumph and my folks shot for two days in congressional offices across the street from the Capitol building,” Colbert said. “They went through security clearance, shot all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, invited into the offices of the congress people they were interviewing, and that’s very important.”

Colbert also addressed coverage of the arrests by some in conservative media who are trying to equate this situation with the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.

“A fairly simple story,” Colbert said, “until the next night when a couple of the TV people started claiming that my puppet squad had, quote, ‘committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building.’ First of all, what? Second of all, huh? Third of all, they weren’t in the Capitol building.”

So Colbert explained the vast difference between the two situations.

“I am shocked I have to explain the difference,” Colbert said, “but an insurrection involves disrupting the lawful actions of Congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. This was first degree puppetry. This was hijinks with intent to goof.”

Colbert went on to say that this sort of coverage is nothing more than an attempt to pull attention away from the January 6th hearings, and is disrespectful to the officers who protected the Capitol that day.

“They want to talk about something other than the January 6th hearings on the actual seditionist insurrection that led to the deaths of multiple people, and the injury of over 140 police officers,” Colbert said. “But drawing any equivalence between rioters storming our Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral ballots and a cigar-chomping toy dog is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died, and it obscenely trivializes the service and the courage the Capitol police showed on that terrible day.”

Video Transcript

STEPHEN COLBERT: The Capitol Police were just doing their job. My staff was just doing their job. Everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm. My staffers were detained, processed, and released, a very unpleasant experience for my staff, a lot of paperwork for the Capitol Police.

KYLIE MAR: On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday, Colbert opened the show by addressing the arrest of some of his staff at the Capitol complex in Washington while filming a bit with Robert Smigel who voices Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Triumph and my folks shot for two days in congressional offices across the street from the Capitol building. They went through security clearance, shot all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, invited into the offices of the congresspeople they were interviewing, and that's very important.

KYLIE MAR: Colbert also addressed some in-conservative media who have tried to draw parallels between these arrests and the violent insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.

STEPHEN COLBERT: --fairly simple story until the next night when a couple of the TV people started claiming that my puppet squad had, quote, "committed insurrection" at the US Capitol building. First of all, what?

KYLIE MAR: So Colbert laid out the difference.

STEPHEN COLBERT: I am shocked I have to explain the difference, but an insurrection involves disrupting the lawful actions of Congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. This was first degree puppetry.

KYLIE MAR: Ultimately, Colbert claimed that this sort of coverage of the arrests is nothing more than an attempt to pull attention away from the January 6 hearings and is disrespectful to the men and women who protected the Capitol on that day.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Drawing any equivalence between rioters storming our Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral ballots and a cigar-chomping toy dog is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died. And it obscenely trivializes the service and the courage the Capitol Police showed on that terrible day.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting