As Republicans were scrambling to pass Trumpcare through the House on Thursday, far-right media were increasingly focused on something else: their war against Late Show host Stephen Colbert—and whether the Federal Communications Commission could get involved.
The Drudge Report, Breitbart, and InfoWars repeated a talking point that spread first on right-wing social media websites like Twitter and Reddit’s r/The_Donald calling for Colbert to be fired for joking Monday that President Donald Trump’s mouth is “Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”
Colbert refused to apologize in his Wednesday night monologue, and by Thursday, the outrage had reached Fox News and its sister station. On Fox Business Network, Neil Cavuto brought on Trump-appointed Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai to ask him if it’s possible to “regulate or at least police offensive comment.”
“I know you said, ‘By and large, the FCC, outside of our indecency rules, we don’t get into the business of regulating content,’” said Cavuto. “But you can regulate or at least police offensive comment, can’t you?”
“If we do get complaints, then we will take a look at the facts that are alleged, and we’ll apply the law,” said Pai.
“There are a lot of people saying he should be fired,” Cavuto also said, kicking off the segment. “There’s an internet cause saying just that.”
That internet cause was largely focused in r/The_Donald, the largest Trump community on the web, which bragged that “the Colbert story is now 1st column on Drudge with 31 Million visitors per day” in a high-ranking post on the site on Thursday.
Another top post better defined the group’s gripe. “Paula Deen uses the N-word in private; loses her job and publically shamed. Stephen Colbert makes a homophobic slur against the President, uses the ‘It’s just a joke!’ excuse and keeps his job,” reads a submission with more than 7,600 upvotes.
When not voiced by Colbert, however, homophobic slurs otherwise appear to be welcome on the subreddit. A post headlined, in part, “The ShareBlue faggots are here RIGHT NOW. Report every cuck you see,” was one of the top posts on the subreddit for Feb. 7. (ShareBlue is a leftwing content site that users of the subreddit believe is constantly voting down stories within r/The_Donald, despite a lack of evidence.)
Three days ago, a top post on r/The_Donald was headlined “Ok, theatre fags. (It’s seriously amazing the amount of talent in our camp)” and linked to a video about far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. The post received more than 6,200 upvotes.
On Wednesday, InfoWars brought on far-right Twitter ringleader Mike Cernovich to talk about Colbert’s comments in a video headlined “Colbert must be held accountable for inflammatory speech.”
The website has been feuding with Colbert directly for the last two weeks, after the Late Show host created an Alex Jones-based character named “Tuck Buckford” who would scream things about how the Sesame Street character Snuffleupagus is a false flag operation from the Department of Justice.
On Monday, Jones called Colbert a “coward” who “refuses to debate me.”