We’ve had more than a week straight of nationwide protests against police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, and they’ve continued unabated despite the many times police have assaulted peaceful protesters on camera, and calls from the White House to have the military get in on that action. And on his show Thursday night, Seth Meyers took aim at those hardliners in the government, as well as their enablers at the New York Times.
“This is what authoritarian regimes do. They defend violent crackdowns on peaceful protesters by spreading lies and disinformation. And yet the Republican Party is in most cases either idly standing by or openly embracing calls for military violence towards American citizens,” Meyers said during a new edition of his “A Closer Look” segment.
“Arkansas senator Tom Cotton wrote a chilling op-ed for the New York Times called ‘Send In the Troops,’ in which he lied repeatedly about the demonstrations and called on the president to invoke a law known as the Insurrection Act to send the military into American cities to put down the protests.”
Meyers then quoted one bit from the column: “One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers.”
“Holy s— dude. Did you steal that line from General Hux?” Meyers asked, referring to Domnhall Gleeson’s character from the Disney “Star Wars” trilogy. And then Meyers continued with his strongest burn of the evening.
“These guys want to tear up the Constitution so badly because they want to be ruled by a dictator so badly,” he said. “Nothing would make them happier than to throw a party celebrating the end of democracy and load a confetti cannon with scraps from the Bill of Rights.”
But the problem here isn’t just that Cotton wrote that column, Meyers said, as he took aim at the publication that would run such a thing.
“But as sinister as this op-ed is, the more shocking thing is that the Times opinion page chose to run it. I mean, what are you guys doing? Our democracy’s on a precipice, and you decide to give it a push? I mean, just because it’s a terrible opinion doesn’t mean to deserves to be on the New York Times op-ed page,” Meyers said.
“I mean, you wouldn’t want to read ‘Baby Seals Are Asking For It, Club Away.'”
You can check out the entire “A Closer Look” segment from Thursday’s episode of “Late Night With Seth Meyers” in the video embedded up at the top of this article.