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Stephen Colbert spreads misinformation ahead of elections, gets called out for his 'absolute ignorance' by man he claimed Tudor Dixon invented
Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

Stephen Colbert spreads misinformation ahead of elections, gets called out for his 'absolute ignorance' by man he claimed Tudor Dixon invented

Stephen Colbert suggested last week that Tudor Dixon was a liar. The host of CBS' "The Late Show" said that the Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate had referenced a "totally made up" man in her Oct. 25 debate with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

That man, a former Democratic candidate who changed parties earlier this year to join the Republican fight against the sexualization of children, is real. He has since come forward, revealing that it is Colbert, not Dixon, who has an estranged relationship with the truth.

The accusation

On Oct. 26, Colbert discussed the Michigan governor's debate during his monologue on "The Late Show."

The corporate script reader ridiculed Dixon, calling her an "anti-choice, MAGA Republican" whose views are not allegedly popular in Michigan — a state where 47.8% of voters supported former President Donald Trump in 2020.

Colbert zeroed in on two clips from the debate in which Dixon advocated for shielding children from inappropriate content in schools.

Dixon said in the first clip: "If you have material in your school that is something you can't read to a child at a bus stop because you would be arrested, because it is pornographic, then it should not be in our classrooms."

In the second clip, Dixon noted, "I had a gentleman come up to me just a few nights ago, and he said, 'I found content in my school library describing how to have sex to my son.' I went to the Democrats and I said, 'I cannot believe that this is in there.'"

Colbert claimed that Dixon had "totally made up" the individual in her story and sarcastically added, "That totally happened."

Colbert further questioned why a concerned parent would turn to a Democrat for help in the first place, discounting that eight of ten members of the state board of education are Democrats and that local partisans (e.g., on the Dearborn City Board of Education) would also have influence over the content available in schools and libraries.

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Colbert's 'absolute ignorance'

The Detroit Free Press reported that 41-year-old Khalil Othman came forward as the man whose existence Colbert denied last week.

Othman told the Free Press, "To claim that I'm not here, I don't exist, I'm not human, that's absolute ignorance."

"If this person did his due diligence and start researching or has his team do a little bit of research of who's this person who attended Dixon's rally, they will be able to find my name right away, easy, on social media. Just Google it," said Othman.

Contrary to Colbert's suggestion, Othman had in fact raised his concerns to Democrats at a Dearborn school board meeting on Oct. 13. That totally happened.

Othman also attended the Dixon campaign rally on Oct. 21, where he lauded Dixon for her efforts to protect children and indicated that he and his family would now vote Republican.

Othman had run as a Democrat for election to the Michigan House of Representatives to represent District 3 and lost his primary on Aug. 2.

In an Oct. 21 Facebook post, Othman wrote, "Ever since immigrating to this great country almost 20 years ago, I've been a loyal Democrat. Never once did I ever vote Republican. However, the situation with the sexually explicit material in the schools was a for me a bridge too far."

The sexually explicit books targeting children that Democrat Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) support are the same that prompted Othman to switch parties.

"When it comes to my kids and my family, I will not budge. Family before party!" added Othman.

Othman called out Colbert for his remarks, writing, "Stephen is trying to save Governor Whitmer's sinking ship by launching false attack on Tudor Dixon. ... Cheap shot and it won't help Governor Whitmer's dying campaign."

Dixon joined Othman in criticizing Colbert for denying the man's existence, saying at a Oct. 30 rally in Dearborn, "I told his story ... and Stephen Colbert picks it up. ... And they make this whole skit about how this has never happened. That's what he said, this story never happened."

"That's where the Democrats are right now," said Dixon. "You don't exist, your stories are not important."

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