“I really hope you don’t get your news from me,” Stephen Colbert says in a monologue from last night’s episode of The Late Show, “because this isn’t news. This is entertainment.”
In the ten-minute segment, Colbert tears into the proliferation and legitimization of conspiracy theories — particularly Pizzagate, which posits that Hillary Clinton has been running a child sex ring in the basement of a D.C. pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong. This nonsensical rumor began with Clinton’s hacked emails, courtesy of WikiLeaks; stalwart defenders of the alt-right began combing through the emails and noticed a profusion of references to pizza. “Which can only mean one thing,” Colbert quips. “Secret sex ring.”
Amazingly, Trump’s pick for national security advisor, Michael Flynn, tweeted a link to another conspiracy theory involving the Clintons and a sex ring, with the preface, “U decide.” To which Colbert responds: “I decide a guy who spreads this bullshit shouldn’t be in charge of national security” — which elicits a roar of cheers from the audience.
As Colbert points out, he himself is implicated in the “scandal,” because, according to a Reddit post, he had the audacity to… talk about pizza one time. “This is insane,” Colbert says. “I have absolutely no part in the Pizzagate conspiracy… is what they want me to say.” Apparently these internet sleuths think Colbert is on the Clinton payroll, which he says is ridiculous. “She can’t afford me.”
He also responds to more crazy-making allegations from Alex Jones, the influential conspiracy theorist and radio host who runs the fake news site InfoWars, who’s alleged that Colbert is in the pocket of the Clintons because he had Bill on his show. According to Jones, we’re to be suspicious of talk shows, because they make money off their broadcasts and are clearly rehearsed. As Colbert says, “It’s like these shows are some kind of business.” Hmmm. Sounds suspicious. U decide.