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Former comedians slammed for advancing Beijing's preferred virus narrative on late-night shows
Image source: YouTube video, The Late Show - Screenshot

Former comedians slammed for advancing Beijing's preferred virus narrative on late-night shows

Like their peers on "The View" and other obedient script-readers in the news media, corporate late-night hosts are now being confronted over their part in propagating Beijing's preferred and increasingly unlikely narrative regarding the origins of the COVID-19 virus — or at the very least downplaying the possibility of a lab leak.

Last week, "The View" cohost Whoopi Goldberg blamed former President Donald Trump for her long-standing refusal to recognize there was a good possibility that COVID-19 originated in the Chinese lab known for running dangerous gain-of-function experiments on coronaviruses.

Fox News Digital has since emphasized that this partisan blindness did not only affect liberal media personalities like Goldberg during the daytime.

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Samantha Bee are among the former comedians now facing backlash over downplaying or outright rejecting the lab-leak theory.


Jon Stewart went on CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in June 2021 and leveled his former subordinate with the suggestion that human meddling or error was responsible for the pandemic.

"I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science," said Stewart.

Colbert responded, "Do you mean perhaps there’s a chance that this was created in a lab?"

"A chance? There’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China, what do we do? Oh, you know, who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab. The disease is the same name as the lab! That’s just a little too weird!" Stewart replied.

The comedian stressed the point, saying, "‘Oh, my God, there’s been an outbreak of chocolaty goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania. What do you think happened?' ... Like, 'Oh I don’t know, maybe a steam shovel mated with a cocoa bean?' Or it’s the f***ing chocolate factory!"

Visibly unnerved by Stewart's belief and the audience's reaction, Colbert countered, "It could be possible; you could be right. It could be possible that they have the lab in Wuhan to study the novel coronavirus diseases because in Wuhan, there are a lot of novel coronavirus diseases because of the bat population there," which prompted Stewart to quip, "I understand; it’s a local specialty and it’s the only place to find bats. You won’t find bats anywhere else."

National Review noted that, contrary to Colbert's suggestion, the bats studied in the Wuhan Institute of Virology did not come from Wuhan but rather caves outside the city of Nanning in southern Asia, some 1,000 miles away from the epicenter of the outbreak.

Jon Stewart On Vaccine Science And The Wuhan Lab Theoryyoutu.be

Colbert appears resolved to reject the possibility that a CCP-controlled lab with a checkered safety record was the source of a virus that slaughtered tens of millions of people worldwide.

On Feb. 27, he mocked the Department of Energy's conclusion that the virus likely originated in the Wuhan lab.

"Now, if like me you’re wondering why the Department of Energy is the one making this judgment, it’s because that agency oversees a network of national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research," said the former comedian.

"No, no! Bad Energy Department, no bio-labs until you finish building your electric car-charging stations. Stay in your lane — you don’t see the Census Bureau building nukes," continued Colbert. "But whatever, who am I to say? They’re the Energy Department; I’m sure they’re smart. They wouldn’t release these findings unless they were absolutely confident."

Addressing the apparent ignorance of certain late-night script readers, National Review noted that the DOE weighed in because it "has a special division that, as part of its mission to track and mitigate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, specializes in the study of biological weapons such as viruses."

"What’s that? They made their judgment with ‘low confidence,'” said Colbert, adding, "Anyway, we’ll have more on this story as soon as anyone has anything they can prove."

On March 1, Colbert doubled down, complaining to his fully vaccinated audience that the FBI won't share proof of the lab leak.

"If you can't share it, maybe tell someone at that Chinese lab, and if they leak it, you'll know you were right," said Colbert.

After intimating that an absence of proof was the proof of absence, Colbert then unironically invoked the wisdom of Dr. Fauci, recently reported to have discounted possible evidence of the virus' human engineering and concealed his efforts to push the counternarrative.


After the DOE confirmed that the Wuhan lab may be the origin of the virus, former comedian Jimmy Kimmel claimed during his monologue on ABC that the lack of an overwhelming consensus means "we didn't know then. We still don't know now. But what we did know is that Trump and his buddies blaming the Chinese resulted in a great deal of anti-Asian-American sentiment and even violence in this country. And that's why it was irresponsible for the president to call it the 'China Virus.'"

In 2020, Kimmel said then-President Donald Trump was "pushing U.S. intelligence to find evidence for this theory that the virus was accidentally released from a lab in Wuhan. That's his new angle to feed the wingnuts, to treat this virus like it was a conspiracy of some kind. ... Tomorrow, he'll blame the Spanish flu on Antonio Banderas."

Trump intimated in spring 2020 that he had seen evidence that gave him a high degree of confidence that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, adding, "Certainly it could have been stopped."

A day after suggesting Trump used the term "Chinese virus" to deflect blame from himself, on March 19, 2020, Kimmel said, "[Trump's] really going all in with this 'Chinese virus' nonsense. ... Just shut up already and let the doctors take over."

Kimmel's recent attempts at damage control are in response to a takedown on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight," where Carlson said, "Imagine if you're a comedian and all of a sudden your cue card has all kinds of talking points from politicians and foreign governments on it. Don't read it. You degrade yourself and you become complicit in the greatest crime in history."


Fox News Digital noted that years prior to her cancellation for averaging less than half the number of viewers other late-show hosts netted, Samantha Bee denounced conservative outlets for suggesting that China may have had something to do with the virus.

After playing a montage of Fox News pundits criticizing the CCP, she said, "China, we know it's not your bad. ... Tying coronavirus to China and Chinese people isn’t just a racist dog whistle, it’s a whole racist orchestra… the coronavirus is not an excuse to be racist."

Cui bono

TheBlaze previously reported that Department of Health and Human Services records obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests revealed that media personalities such as Colbert and the hosts of "The View" were among those tapped to spread propaganda promoting COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the Biden administration.

It is presently unclear whether there was a similar statist push behind these former comedians' efforts to downplay the lab-leak theory or whether this seemingly coordinated effort, while ostensibly politically motivated, was in fact spontaneous.

Arthur Bloom noted in the American Conservative at the outset of the pandemic around the time the liberal media began shielding China from criticism that "many media companies either do business with China or are paid by the government in some way."

"The companies that own the major news networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, all do significant business in China. On the print side, top U.S. newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times have been criticized for running paid China Daily inserts. What they were paid for these inserts is still unknown," continued Bloom.

Bloomed added, "By contrast, conservative news companies are much less involved in China. Conservative radio giant Salem, whose attempt to buy Tribune several years ago provoked an enormous freakout from media reporters over consolidation, is all-American. And Fox, after several troubled attempts to break into the Chinese market—including sending a News Corp team to help build People’s Daily a website—has mostly given up, after selling its Asia-Pacific operations to Disney over the last two years."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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