Colbert Pokes Fun at How Cable News Is Awkwardly Covering the Ukraine-Russia Situation (Video)


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On “The Late Show” Wednesday, Stephen Colbert talked during his monologue about the uncertain situation between Russia and Ukraine. Or, more specifically, he spent a few minutes roasting cable news channels for endless, breathless, time-filling coverage that doesn’t actually inform anyone of anything. We laughed more than once.

By now you know that tensions between Russia and Ukraine — well mainly from Russia at Ukraine — have worsened in recent weeks, and plenty of national security commentator types worry Russian might invade. And just today, Russia claims it is withdrawing troops from the border with Ukraine, while American authorities say that might not be true. It’s a complicated situation, and if you need it here’s a pretty decent explainer.

Colbert brought the audience up to speed, noted how uncertain the whole thing is, and then, dripping with sarcasm, said “Thank goodness America’s cable news channels are covering the story 24/7 to give us all the information we need.”

Then he proceeded to demonstrate how cable news is doing the exact opposite of that. First, he started with a clip from MSNBC’s “The Reid Out,” in which host Joy Reid and two guests basically failed to make any sense out of it or even agree to the same set of facts.

“Good not to know, OK,” Colbert joked during this bit.

Then he rolled a clip of CNN’s Jim Scuitto saying “could be a full scale invasion, also could be something… less than full scale, right?”

“Right, OK,” Colbert replied. “So I’ll hide under half my desk with my pants a quarter full.”

Then Colbert played a clip of ex-Russian ambassador Michael McFaul on MSNBC telling Nicole Wallace “I can’t tell you what’s going on, Nicole, I do not know what’s going on.”

At this, Colbert begged “Can anyone give us any information about this whatsoever? What about you Rachel Maddow?” But instead of a clip of Maddow, Colbert ran the famous “WHAT’S HAPPENING” scene from the 1982 horror film “Poltergeist.”

“No one gets into the details like Rachel,” Colbert quipped before moving on to another topic. Watch the whole monologue above. The Ukraine stuff happens soon after the start.


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