You can’t blame late-night comedians for piling on Donald Trump. The GOP front-runner’s antics all but demand mockery.
What about Sen. Ted Cruz?
The GOP’s best hope to dethrone Trump isn’t prone to outlandish statements about his physical endowments. He doesn’t start Twitter wars with journalists. He’s a solid conservative with a deep and abiding faith. If anything, he should be challenging to mock, unless you simply disagree with his politics and want to tag him for it.
That’s hardly proven true so far. In fact, the venom aimed at Cruz has been surprising given how far he’s been behind Trump for much of the current presidential campaign.
New late-night kid on the block Samantha Bee of TBS’s “Full Frontal” fame wasted no time savaging Cruz. She launched her show Feb. 9 with an attack on him that seemed far more personal than comic. How else to describe her slamming him as a “fish-faced horse**** salesman”?
Late last year, Cruz’s name came up on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.” No, the host didn’t blast Cruz directly. He simply sat by while one of his guests, comedienne Aida Rodriguez, did the character assassination.
Rodriguez said Cruz would do “everything the KKK does. That is his agenda.”
Not to be outdone, the host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” has dubbed Cruz both “evil” and “diabolical.” Once more, it’s hard to see the humor in these adjectives.
This week, more late nighters piled on Cruz in connection to a National Enquirer story accusing him of serial infidelity. No mainstream news outlet has corroborated the accusations. And while the source has nailed a few big stories in the past, notably John Edwards’ affair, it’s much more common for them to exaggerate the truth.
That didn’t stop two late-night comics from using the spurious account against Cruz.
“Five different women are accused of having terrible taste in men,” Conan O’Brien cracked earlier this week from his TBS perch. “I’m just telling you what’s happened,” the “Conan” host added.
Actually, that isn’t what happened, at least for all we know now.
The host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” who recently rushed to Hillary Clinton’s defense by saying her critics are sexist, also tagged Cruz for the specious claims.
“I find it difficult to believe that even one woman had sex with Ted Cruz, let alone five,” Kimmel said.
What’s worse? Kimmel uttered the insult knowing the Texas senator will be gracing his stage two days later.
Now, imagine what happens if Cruz pulls off an upset and defeats Trump for the GOP presidential ticket. Or if, after a heated convention, Cruz emerges victorious.
We might look back at comments by Bee, Maher, O’Brien and Kimmel as being downright sweet compared to what we’re hearing now.
Christian Toto is a freelance writer and editor of HollywoodInToto.com.