Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Meyers, Colbert, and Noah take closer looks at Trump ignoring science on fires and pandemic

During the past seven days, I took two serious looks at climate change in The Weather Channel compares the 2005 and 2020 Atlantic hurricane seasons as tropical storms Teddy and Vicky form and 'California wildfires illustrate the consequences of climate change' — PBS NewsHour. That means it's time to examine these two climate-fueled weather disasters through the lens of comedy. Two Emmy-nominated late night talk show hosts, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, and their writers provided me the material to do that along with a bonus helping of President Trump ignoring science, not only about the fires, but also the pandemic. That allowed me to include a third comedian, Trevor Noah, in the mix. A trifecta of gallows humor!

I begin with Late Night with Seth Meyers' Trump Holds Indoor Nevada Rally as Wildfires and Pandemic Rage: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at President Trump and the Republican Party descending deeper into lawless authoritarianism as wildfires and an out-of-control pandemic continue to rage.
I'm glad to see that Seth included clips of Leah Stokes from PBS NewsHour in his routine. That means more people will see her candid comments about how climate change is fueling the fires.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert examined much of the same territory without duplicating clips and jokes in Trump Denies Climate Science In Fire-Scarred California, Echoing His Downplaying Of The Coronavirus.

Stephen Colbert addresses the issue on everyone's mind (that photo of Chris Evans' penis) before turning to the day's other pressing stories including the California wildfires and new revelations from Bob Woodward about President Trump's handling of the pandemic.
Stephen's important contribution to the fire coverage was pointing out that most of the fires in California are taking place on federal land, so criticizing the state of California's forest management practices is misguided, misinformed, and downright hypocritical. It's also a rerun of Trump's remarks about Finland raking its forests two years ago. At least Trump is being consistent, if only consistently awful.

Stephen also had more to say about Trump's mishandling of the pandemic beyond his Nevada rally in his own take on Trump downplaying the pandemic to Bob Woodward. The Late Show uploaded three clips of Stephen interviewing Woodward, which I am thinking of turning into a post of its own. Stay tuned, I just might.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah didn't talk about Trump's mishandling the fires — Trevor and his writers focused on how his followers are doing that on their own in another clip — but they, like Meyers and Colbert, did describe how his rally in Nevada was likely to exacerbate the pandemic in Trump's Illegal Indoor Rally & A COVID-positive College Party | The Daily Social Distancing Show.

Facebook comments come to life at a Utah anti-mask protest, college students can’t grasp the meaning of quarantine, and Trump holds an illegal superspreader rally in Nevada.
The Daily Show's writers are finding more comedy gold in the people who support Trump than Trump himself. I think that's a useful perspective on the crisis we're facing. Trump may be setting the tone, but he pays attention to his followers. Otherwise, pollsters wouldn't be seeing numbers like those below.

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