The Atlantic

‘He Is Not a President’

In the wake of Charlottesville, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon delivered damning critiques of Donald Trump.
Source: NBC / YouTube

At this point, seven months into the Trump presidency, late-night hosts have gotten a thorough grounding in reacting to things that would have been unimaginable a year or so ago. Seth Meyers, who made a promise the day after the election that he’d “be watching” closely for the next four years, has excoriated the 45th president on an almost nightly basis, interrogating his advisers and mocking Trump’s reportedly short attention span by presenting foreign-policy briefings in limerick form.

The exact role political entertainers should play has been up for debate long, and the lines have only blurred further in the Trump era. Are Meyers and his ilk comedians? ? ? But on Monday night, Meyers and his NBC stablemate Jimmy Fallon seemed to redefine themselves as something different again: arbiters of a national moral compass that sometimes seems increasingly skewed. In two powerful, impassioned monologues, the hosts took pains to denounce white supremacy and racism in a way that both argued the president had delegitimized himself by failing to do.

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