CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert and CBS News have a strong connection. The late night host consistently promotes the news division’s coverage, and he has hosted personalities like CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King on his program many times. Heck, his executive producer joined the Late Show after running the network’s morning news show.
However, Colbert criticized CBS News during Thursday night’s broadcast after the network announced on Tuesday it was hiring former President Trump’s one-time acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as a network contributor.
“You know I’m a company man — I love CBS, our parent company Paramount, and its parent company, probably a defense contractor who makes boner pills, there’s no way of knowing,” Colbert said on Thursday’s Late Show. “Recently, my network got a lot of criticism, much of it from itself, because CBS News has hired the ex-president’s former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to ‘provide political analysis across the network’s broadcasts and platforms.’”
Colbert added, “What the fuck?!?”
Colbert proceeded to point out Mulvaney’s downplaying the pandemic, defending former President Trump’s attempt to withhold military aid from Ukraine in exchange for dirt on President Biden’s son Hunter.
“I for one can’t wait to hear Mulvaney’s trenchant and objective political analysis considering that back in 2020, he suggested that ‘coronavirus was the media hoax of the day,’ and after his boss extorted [Volodymyr Zelensky] for dirt on the Bidens, he said, ‘get over it,’” said Colbert.
He also criticized Mulvaney his claim in a Wall Street Journal op-ed around the time of the 2020 presidential election that Trump would gracefully concede if he lost.
“Is Mick Mulvaney psychic? Get this man to Vegas! He’s Nostradumbass!”, Colbert continued.
“Obviously I’m just joking, but why would the Tiffany network’s venerable news division put this craven toady to a tyrant on their payroll?” Colbert asked.
Fast forward to 8:20 for the segment:
The Washington Post‘s Jeremy Barr reported earlier in the week that more than a few CBS News staffers are angry with news division president Neeraj Khemlani for the decision to bring Mulvaney on board as a network contributor.
Barr added the hire is part of a larger plan to increase the number Republicans on the network ahead of the midterms for “access” purposes and because there could be a “wipeout” for Democrats.
“We know the Republicans are going to take over, most likely, in the midterms. A lot of the people that we’re bringing in are helping us in terms of access to that side of the equation,” Khemlani is heard saying in a recording obtained by Barr.
Mulvaney is the second former Trump administration official to join CBS News in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the network hired former national security advisor, retired LT—Gen. H.R. McMaster as a foreign policy and national security contributor. That hiring reportedly hasn’t sparked the type of anger among some staff that Mulvaney’s hiring has.
The Hollywood Reporter was a bit less critical in its piece, stating that it’s not totally unheard of for a network to increase its roster of political contributors ahead of an election who bring varying perspectives to the table. However, many have argued that there have to be better options out there than bringing on someone who has been wrong in the past about a lot.