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April 20, 2017

YES: How Late-Night Comedy Fueled The Rise Of Trump: Sneering hosts have alienated conservatives and made liberals smug. Comedians used to appeal to broad audiences with actual humor. Now they’re just Democratic Party operatives with punchlines. Well, sometimes they have punchlines.

I’ve also thought a good deal about the boy on Samantha Bee’s program. I thought about the moment her producer approached the child’s mother to sign a release so that the woman’s young son could be humiliated on television. Was it a satisfying moment, or was it accompanied by a small glint of recognition that embarrassing children is a crappy way to make a living? I thought about the boy waiting eagerly to see himself on television, feeling a surge of pride that he’d talked about church and Bible study. And I thought about the moment when he realized that it had all been a trick—that the grown-up who had seemed so nice had only wanted to hurt him.

My God, I thought. What have we become?

We? And Caitlin Flanagan’s right here, but she goes out of her way to make sure you understand that she has nothing good to say about that beastly Donald Trump fellow.