On Thursday night, late night comic Stephen Colbert is at the center of controversy again by acting out a satirical Nazi salute to mock President Trump, however, political commentator Jeffrey Lord was fired by CNN for using a Nazi slogan with a similar joking intent.
The host of CBS’s The Late Show was off for two weeks on vacation and didn’t get to cover the departure of Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon from the White House. Bannon is scheduled to appear on Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes with Charlie Rose in his first televised interview since he left. Colbert reacted to several clips from the interview, particularly when Bannon said that Trump is “taking it up a higher level.”
“He’s definitely taking it to a higher level. I’d say his support is right up there,” Colbert joked while flashing the Nazi salute to show where “there” is.
Colbert, while a comedian by profession, has more leniency when flashing Nazi salutes or drawing swastikas to mock President Trump and his supporters. However, Lord tweeted the phrase “Sieg Heil” at the president of the progressive research non-profit, Media Matters for America, in an effort to defend Fox News host Sean Hannity against their smear campaign.
Sieg Heil!— Jeff Lord (@realJeffreyLord) August 10, 2017
In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson this week, Lord trashed his former employer when discussing how his coworker, W. Kamau Bell, was endorsing the radical Leftist group Antifa, and even spoke at one of their rallies.
“I was fired from CNN because I was mocking Nazi-style tactics from Media Matters,” Lord said, noting that CNN “immediately took it the wrong way.”
“They have the right to hire or fire whoever they want, but I’m not sure they understood that I was aware that this group has gone after a businessman in New York… who by the way is Jewish, and terrorized his business,” Lord explained. “I believe it is okay to mock people who use Nazi-style tactics, to mock Nazis, white separatists, white supremacists, the Klu Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, these people have no role in our American civic society. I found it interesting that the president was being accused of not calling out people by name. I called out people by name and I got fired for it.”
Of course, Colbert and Lord are two different types of personalities to the public. Colbert is a liberal comedian who is meant to push boundaries. Lord is a conservative political commentator and writer who is meant to push boundaries but with a tighter leash. It’s obvious when Colbert is being serious versus when he’s joking, especially when we can see it in a monologue. It’s harder to see Lord’s tweets in the context given the fact that his audience only sees the final product and not what his intent was.
Jeffrey Lord could have used better tactics in exposing groups like Media Matters, but the fact of the matter remains, Trump supporters, free speech advocates, and conservatives, in general, have to be much more careful with the words they use.