Pity Stephen Colbert.
The “Late Show” host arrived at work this week tasked with interviewing a former Vice President. That’s normally a cushy gig. You throw a few political barbs his way, make some small White House talk and promote the book, charity or event the guest arrived to shill.
What if the guest is Joe Biden?
President Barack Obama’s tag team partner is running for the White House, again, and doing so badly. His gaffes are coming at a steady clip. His handlers are trying to keep him out of the public eye whenever possible.
And, at 76, the whispers he’s too old for the gig rise up with every jaw-dropping mistake -- like forgetting his old tag team partner’s name.
Good thing Colbert had an ace in the hole. Biden’s a Democrat, so all he need do is prop the vice president up for a good 10-plus minutes, avoiding reality as long as possible.
And that’s precisely what happened Wednesday night.
Early in the chat Colbert, the stand-up comic, smelled manure from his well-coiffed guest. Biden shared some political wisdom from his father, who told a young Biden, “Joey, don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative.”
Meaning President Donald Trump.
“When did your Dad say that,” Colbert asked incredulously, sensing the lifelong politician trotted out a fake fatherly morsel.
The sorriest interview moment of the night, though, is easy to spot.
Biden kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign with the most mendacious lie in modern political history. He claimed, despite audio proof directly disproving it, that President Donald Trump called Nazis “very fine people” at a Charlottesville-themed press conference two years ago.
It’s a lie, the bald-faced variety, and not a single journalist has called Biden out for repeating it.
Naturally, Colbert let him get away with it, too.
The interview’s low points didn’t end there, though. Colbert “confronted” Biden on his gaffe-tastic campaign to date. Biden dodged the question, saying his gaffes only connected to immaterial matters.
“I think it’s fair to go after a political figure for anything, okay. I mean we stand up, it comes with the territory, but here’s the deal any gaffes I have made, and I have made gaffes like every politician I know has, have been not about a substantive issue, have been about I’m trying to talk about what other people have done,” Biden said.
A fair point? Maybe. What about a 70-something politician who might be suffering from age-related issues? Colbert called that “going nuts?” to laugh it off. Nor did he dredge up Biden’s political past, filled with massive lies and plagiarism.
As bad as letting the Charlottesville lie go unchallenged, this element of the Colbert/Biden exchange may be even worse.
“I don’t get wrong things like there is, we should lock kids up in cages at the border,” Biden added.
That’s exactly what Biden did, though, and we have the photographic proof of it.
While Biden and every other Democrat running for the White House in 2020 embrace a virtual “open borders” approach to the border, the Obama/Biden team aggressively removed illegal immigrants from the U.S. during their two terms in office.
In 2012, the Obama administration kicked 419,384 people out of the United States, a single-year record that still stands, despite two years (and counting) of Trump framing himself as America’s border-guard-in-chief.
Did Colbert challenge him at all on the issue? Of course not. That would require intellectual vigor and honesty. Colbert revealed he had neither during a recent spin cycle with Rep. Ilhan Omar.
What he did Wednesday with the man who may be our next President is far more embarrassing.