CNN's Smerconish slams Stephen Colbert's Trump-Putin joke

Smerconish: Colbert, progressives go low
Smerconish: Colbert, progressives go low

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Smerconish: Colbert, progressives go low 03:23

Story highlights

  • Michael Smerconish was not amused by a joke Stephen Colbert made about Trump and Putin
  • The CNN host criticized what he dubbed "liberal intolerance"

(CNN)Taking aim at a joke by comedian Stephen Colbert, CNN's Michael Smerconish insisted Saturday that "going low" is a bad way for liberals to try to accomplish their goals.

Smerconish took issue with Colbert's monologue Monday during his show, "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," in which he joked about oral sex between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Colbert, Smerconish argued, had gone "too far" and crossed "a line."
    "First, it was crass and in bad taste, quite a departure for the Sunday school-teaching Colbert and a far cry from the Democratic campaign mantra, 'When they go low, we go high,'" Smerconish said during a commentary on his CNN show.
    "Second, it's foolish politics," he said. "On President Obama's watch, the right lost credibility when they allowed their discomfort with President Obama's background to devolve into charges of birtherism."
    Donald Trump became the punch line of a controversial joke this week by Stephen Colbert.
    Liberal intolerance, Smerconish noted, "has a way of catching up with you politically."
    The only beneficiary of progressives touting harsh rhetoric, Smerconish insisted, was Trump, who is "helped when he is no longer the bad-behaving outlier but the norm in a political atmosphere run amok."
    In addition, such a climate has the capacity to "alienate independents who might be swayed by the perception of a political pile-on," Smerconish argued.
    When it comes to liberals critiquing Trump, the approach should be simple, Smerconish said.
    "The best way to fight him is on substance, not his own style," the host said.