By Tristan Justice
Eight late-night comedy shows teamed up Wednesday to dedicate entire portions of their programs to climate change, with each regurgitating the catastrophic claims aired by the newsrooms of their own networks.
By now the legacy late-night programming that used to feature genuine comedy has morphed into tribalistic political broadcasting with snarky comedians playing into the confirmation biases of their left-wing audiences. The Trump years accelerated that process if not completed it, and this week was no exception to the new routine.
With the big bad orange man out of the White House, the late-night network hosts joined CNN in a crusade to tackle climate change as the next primary target of their activism. It was condescending snark slapped with a comedy label.
“And really, what’s a more compelling cause to combine forces on than the climate, which we require in order to do our shows?” asked TBS’s Samantha Bee in an interview with The New York Times, telling the paper she has never seen so many programs coordinate on such a big issue throughout her television career.
Bee dedicated the first segment of her show to the cause, wherein she bizarrely began the night with a skit on a bike outside the studio, joking her muscles were the strongest source of renewable energy on the planet.
“The energy from this fight was running our entire show because climate change has arrived faster than many of us thought, but not as fast as me shredding on this bike,” she said. Lol?
Bee went on to spend her segment raising alarm over the nation’s sewer systems being overrun by more powerful storms than for which they weren’t designed. Bee never said anything about the importance of development and innovation to adapt to changing weather patterns, which are far more practical solutions, and instead groaned about the world coming to an apparent end that’s been predicted time and again for decades.
Stephen Colbert also spent time talking about the sewer problem.
“Check out this headline: ‘Climate Change Is Putting More Poop In New York’s Water,’” Colbert said. “Sh-t just got real.”
Absent from the comedian’s monologue was any serious discussion of adaptation. It instead highlighted inadequacies in the nation’s sewage system to stoke audience fears about catastrophic climate change with explicit attacks on Republicans.
“Americans treat climate science like it’s soccer,” Colbert said. “We know it’s out there and it really matters to the rest of the world but no one can make us care.” The late-night host conspicuously left out China’s leading role in emissions.
Colbert’s guest was 23-year-old celebrity singer Shawn Mendes, who spoke of his generation’s sense of despair afforded to them by an increasingly hyperbolic political establishment.
The Earth, Mendes said, “it’s always been dying. It’s always been doomed. … I emphasize with the doom. I feel the doom.”
Viewers could see the apparent doom with apocalyptic images of fires, floods, and storms across the late-night programs, none of which are unique to the 21st century.
Wildfires were a key theme of the evening. Late-night hosts exploited the massive infernos in the West sending smoke as far east as New York as evidence of catastrophic climate change already here. NBC’s Seth Meyers was one of the night’s biggest offenders, airing images of the blazes at every opportunity.
“Billy Joel is gonna have to write an update for 2021 and call it ‘actually, we did start the fire,’” Meyers said, going on to sing a climate-change-themed parody of Joel’s 1989 hit. The quip actually could have been funny had the late-night host placed proper blame for the flames on negligent land management. Instead, Meyers just went on a rant that blamed every disaster ever to face the nation as evidence of climate change.
Out of all the late-night comedians who participated in “Climate Night,” Meyers appeared the least interested in comedy. At one point, the self-proclaimed entertainer just demanded that Congress pass the behemoth $3.5 trillion dollar infrastructure package because it contains provisions to deal with climate change.
“The real-world effects of climate change are very much here as we can see with our own eyes and they’ll keep getting worse until we do something about it, and the good news is, we can do something about it,” Meyers said, emphasis his. His solution? Pass the leftist wish list that includes the largest tax hike in a generation to give government subsidies to elites such as him to buy electric cars in the name of feel-good activism.
After airing a pair of reporters who touted green agenda items within the bill to solve the apparent doomsday crisis on the horizon, Meyers ended with, “that’s great news.” The final punchline that followed the lengthy monologue was a joke about sadness that the extinction of gas stations meant the extinction of small convenience stores to buy junk food at 13.
“And when you get back to the car and your mom complains that you bought Funyons and Mountain Dews, you can say, ‘Oh I’m sorry, they were out of matcha and kale chips at the Sunoco,’” Meyer said. Again, lol?
The late-night comedian’s guest was White House Climate Envoy John Kerry, a frequent flyer on private jets, which emit five to 14 times more pollution than commercial planes per passenger, and 50 times more than trains.
Predictably, Meyer’s interview with Kerry sounded more similar to a sit-down on CNN than late-night comedy, though it’s increasingly difficult to tell the difference.