The late night US chat show hosts returned to TV screens for the first time since the Pittsburgh shooting and discussed the deadly attack which left 11 Jewish people dead.
Stephen Colbert addressed the mass killing which occurred at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday (27 October) during his opening monologue on The Late Show, branding it “tragic and sickening.”
“Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and the larger Jewish community,” Colbert said, adding: “But more than that, I want to say, hate is not what America stands for, and tonight all of us are with you.”
Colbert tore into Donald Trump’s suggestion that armed guards should be used to defend antisemitic violence.
“Yes, it’s so simple,” he said. “In fact, why didn’t Jewish people have an armed guard for the past 5,000 years? Moses could’ve saved a lot of desert time if Pharaoh knew he was packing.”
Colbert capped his touching message by saying: “It’s going to take a lot more than this to break the resolve of the Jewish people,”
Another host to address the shooting was Seth Meyers who explained how his Jewish great-grandfather moved straight to Pittsburgh after travelling to the US in 1869.
He said on Late Night: “I’m not Jewish but my wife is Jewish, my kids are going to be Jewish. My great-grandfather was Jewish, and he took a boat in 1869 to Manhattan and then he went straight from there to Pittsburgh – and members of the Meyers family have been living there and have been thriving there in the city that welcomed them so many years ago. So I just want to say thank you to Pittsburgh.”
Jimmy Fallon skirted around the case of antisemitism, simply stating he wanted “to send [his] love to everyone in Pittsburgh.”
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White House senior counsellor Kellyanne Conway sparked controversy after partly attributing blame of the mass shooting to late night hosts, claiming their jokes could potentially help fuel anti-religion beliefs.
“The anti-religiosity in this country that is somehow in vogue and funny to make fun of anybody of faith, to constantly be making fun of people that express religion — the late-night comedians, the unfunny people on TV shows — it’s always anti-religious,” Conway said on Fox News.
Eight men and three women were killed in the deadliest ever attack on the Jewish community in the US before police officers shot the suspect and took him into custody. According to federal law enforcement, the shooter made antisemitic statements during the massacre.
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