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Colbert on Arizona audit: ‘They hired Maga fans, and even they couldn’t say No 45 won’

·5 min read

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert mocked the humiliating conclusion of a partisan effort to overturn the 2020 election in Arizona, which concluded on Friday by reaffirming Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump by 360 more votes than initially reported.

“Wow, he really did get tired of winning,” the Late Show host joked.

It was a disappointing end for the Republican-led, delusional election review in Maricopa county – the state’s most populous, which tallied 2.1m votes – that was based on Trump’s lies about election “fraud” and resorted to such ludicrous measures as scanning ballots with UV light.

The investigation was run by a company called Cyber Ninjas, which had no expertise in election audits and whose CEO endorsed conspiracy theories that the election was stolen from Trump. “So they hired Maga fans, and even they couldn’t say that No 45 won,” said Colbert. “That’s like hiring your mom to judge the ‘handsomest boy contest’ and still losing to a 78-year-old guy from Delaware.”

Related: Seth Meyers: ‘If Trump is the bull then his associates are the china shop’

“So Biden has won Arizona and the Republicans all know it,” he continued. “They called for the audit, they paid for the audit, they conducted the audit, which confirmed the former president lost on the forensic audit.” Or as Trump put it at a rally on Saturday: “We won on the Arizona forensic audit yesterday at a level that you wouldn’t believe.”

“So nothing’s gonna shut this guy up – no matter what the results are, he’s just going to go out and say he won,” Colbert said. “He’s not playing three-dimensional chess. He’s not even playing regular chess. He’s just shoving the bishop up his butt and yelling ‘Yahtzee!’”

Seth Meyers

On Late Night, Seth Meyers recounted another ignominious end: Rudy Giuliani on Fox News. After Politico reported that the network had banned Trump’s personal lawyer from appearing on-air, Fox News clarified that he hadn’t been booked because he was no longer “relevant” to recent coverage. “Damn, it’s one thing to ban him because you’re afraid of the Dominion lawsuit,” said Meyers, “but to tell him you just don’t want him any more? It’s like breaking up with a boyfriend and telling him ‘No, it’s not because my mother doesn’t like you, it’s because you’re ugly and bad at sex.’”

“Lest we forget, Rudy is a real human being, with real feelings, and not, as he appears, a fictional goblin Italian grandmothers threaten children with if they don’t brush their teeth,” Meyers continued. “And Rudy was apparently deeply emotionally affected by this news” – a source said Giuliani was “really hurt” because years ago, he helped get Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News on Time Warner and thus available to viewers in New York City.

“Does Rudy think Rupert Murdoch cares about his hurt feelings?” Meyers remarked. “If Rudy so much as tried to speak to Murdoch at a dinner, Murdoch would simply nod at one of his henchmen and have Rudy thrown into a watery pit full of crocodiles.

“It seems like the real reason Rudy was banned probably has a lot more to do with a simple financial and legal calculation” related to Dominion Voting Systems, which has slapped the network with a $1.6bn defamation lawsuit for spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the integrity of the company’s voting machines in the 2020 election. Dominion has also personally sued Giuliani, who was instrumental in fomenting said conspiracies on Fox News.

“This is what happens when the rightwing fantasy world of unhinged conspiracy theories collides with reality,” said Meyers. “Fox News wants to fend off a lawsuit from Dominion, and they know Rudy’s batshit conspiracy theories can’t hold up in court.”

Trevor Noah

And on the Daily Show, Trevor Noah checked in on fallout from the new abortion law in Texas, which bans abortion at six weeks (before most women know they’re pregnant) and allows citizens to sue anyone who “assists” a woman receive the procedure, from doctors to Uber drivers.

Noah dug into what is known to happen when states restrict abortion: women seek healthcare elsewhere, with increased hurdles and often increased risk of harm. “People, this is despicable,” said Noah of reports of weeks-long waitlists at clinics in Oklahoma and Mexico. “You shouldn’t have to cross state lines to get a simple medical procedure performed. That’s something people do when they’re running from the law because they, I don’t know, kidnapped their ex’s puppy after she refused to give them visitation rights.”

Like most laws, the Texas measure disproportionately burdens the poor, who may not be able to afford a long-distance road trip or days off work. “When women are stuck between a rock and a hard place, they take matters into their own hands,” said Noah. He rolled a news clip from 1965 about the epidemic of “illegal pregnancy termination”, from which 350,000 women suffered complications. “That wasn’t that long ago,” said Noah. “The last time abortion was outlawed in America, hundreds of thousands of women suffered complications each year, with hundreds dying.

“So these supposedly ‘pro-life’ laws are actually going to end up hurting a lot of women, and probably killing some of them.”

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