CNN’s top media analyst Brian Stelter found himself in an odd predicament Thursday morning: He agrees with Fox News conservative firebrand Sean Hannity.
Stelter appeared on CNN’s “New Day” with fellow media analyst Bill Carter and discussed CBS’ “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert’s vulgar joke about President Donald Trump being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “c**k holster.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 4, 2017
At first, Stelter suggested that Colbert “was sort of trying to have it both ways” after the CBS late night host told viewers Wednesday night he would do the same thing again but noted that he “would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be.”
“I’m surprised this joke made it out of the writers' room,” Stelter remarked.
Since Colbert made the comment about Trump Monday night, numerous conservatives on social media have called for CBS to fire the jokester.
Ultimately, though, it’s unlikely the vulgar quip will have any negative impact on Colbert’s job because, as Carter pointed out, Colbert’s “fans cheered like crazy” when he said he doesn’t regret slamming the president.
After Stelter and Carter agreed that it’s not likely Colbert broke any Federal Communications Commission guidelines, “New Day” co-host Chris Cuomo said the incident that sparked Colbert’s crude joke, Trump’s walking out on CBS anchor John Dickerson during an Oval Office interview, is something that would only happen under the current president.
Stelter concluded that the U.S. is in “very unusual times” because no one knows how to talk — or joke — about this president. And moments later, he made the times even more unusual.
The CNN analyst said toward the end of the segment that he sides with Hannity, who on Wednesday said he “will NOT support #FireColbert” because he has the right to say what he wants.
“I’m with Sean Hannity on this one, and by the way, I’ve never said those words before,” Stelter said. “Hannity said, ‘I don’t support any kind of boycott because that’s what the left is trying to do right now to people like Ann Coulter. Let’s not try to shut down anyone’s right to speak.’”
Coulter canceled a speech at the University of California, Berkeley, after the college scrubbed her pre-planned appearance last month and then rescheduled it for May 2, a day when classes are no longer in session.
“It’s a sad day for free speech,” Coulter said at the time.