It was only a matter of time.
The mainstream press, once firmly in President Joe Biden’s corner, gave the go-ahead to criticize the world leader on both his advanced age and ability to lead Democrats in 2022 and beyond.
The same press that cheered on Biden’s favorite ice cream flavors now suggest the 79-year-old isn’t vigorous enough for a second term.
The Hollywood fallout from the press’s shocking reversal didn’t happen overnight.
Late-night comedians spent the first 16-plus months of the Biden administration avoiding jokes that would make the new leader look bad. They snapped off a few “old age” gags now and then, toothless barbs that avoided geopolitical truths.
Instead, they focused their firepower on all things GOP.
They slammed former President Donald Trump as if he still called 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW home. They also savaged Republicans like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Fox News superstar Tucker Carlson.
Now, they’re suddenly giving Joe Biden a hard time via their nightly monologues.
Colbert: The Crown Prince Is Infamously a ‘Murderer’ But on the Other Hand, Gas Is Five Bucks a Gallon pic.twitter.com/Pi4JuVQKoZ
— Alexandra Datig | Front Page Index 🇺🇸 (@alexdatig) July 19, 2022
This week, both Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon mocked Biden for mispronouncing the COVID-19 treatment known as Paxlovid.
Here’s Colbert imitating Biden:
“I took me some Plaxivoid, the Plaxivid, the platypus polish, I took it. The point is that little pill knocked the Clovis right out of my bread basket,” Colbert said.
“Now I am easy breezy breathing…where am I?”
Colbert didn’t just torment Biden for the mispronunciation. He suggested Biden suffers from dementia, a line of attack conservatives have been making, with copious evidence to back them up, for two years.
It’s also something “Saturday Night Live” teased last year but quickly abandoned.
Plus, Biden has made far worse verbal blunders over the past year-plus without rousing any late night alarms. He’s read teleprompter cues as part of his speeches, misstated key officials’ names and lost his train of thought on numerous occasions.
Jimmy Kimmel saved Biden from one such miscue by cutting to a commercial, stat.
Biden’s gaffes are so obvious, and comical, that they’ve inspired memes of their own. Get your “You know the thing” T-shirt at Amazon and other fine retailers.
Yet Colbert is suddenly poking fun at a leader mispronouncing a complex medicine?
And he wasn’t alone.
Fallon, who veered to the Left after the media punished him for humanizing Trump, similarly pounced and seized on the Paxlovid miscue.
After playing Biden’s blunder, Fallon looked confused at the camera before mockingly saying, “welcome back, Mr. President, welcome back.”
That’s just days after Fallon suggested Biden take a page out of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s playbook and retire.
Fallon on Fauci saying he’ll retire: “Everyone” is hoping Biden announces his retirement next pic.twitter.com/U9ooyB0LKq
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 19, 2022
ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” as relentlessly partisan as his peers, even hired old pro Dana Carvey to tweak Biden in recent days.
Newsweek suggests it’s Biden’s poll numbers that gave hosts the “all clear” sign to mock the president.
That’s not exactly true.
Biden’s poll numbers have been embarrassingly low for some time. They’ve never been high, but they collapsed roughly this time last year after he handed Afghanistan back to the murderous Taliban regime.
Those polls numbers never bounced back.
Now, with soaring inflation, sky-high gas prices and an economy that’s officially in a recession, they’re scraping bottom with few signs of a resurgence.
What happens next?
Team Late Night will continue to pound GOP targets. They’ll occasionally target Biden, too, perhaps hoping to steal some of Greg Gutfeld’s thunder over at Fox News.
“Gutfeld!” remains at or near the top of the ratings heap, and his panelists aren’t afraid to speak truth to power, 2022 style.
They may even drag Hunter Biden into the comedy equation. The revelations about the First Son’s business dealings grow murkier every day, and now it’s clear that the Commander in Chief had plenty of contact with his son’s wheeling and dealing.
One thing won’t change anytime soon.
Colbert and co. will continue to ignore Vice President Kamala Harris. She’s next in line should Biden officially stumble, and late-night hosts have no desire to damage her already wobbly brand.
It doesn’t matter how many word salads Harris serves up, she’s immune from satirical barbs.
The late night attacks on Biden may do more to keep his poll numbers down than anything the Commander in Chief actually does.
At this point all Biden has is his hardcore base, and the only way they’ll buckle is if their late night heroes tell them it’s time to move on.
That appears precisely what Colbert and co. are telling them.