Nearly nine months after his controversial, lighthearted interview when then-candidate Donald Trump last fall, Jimmy Fallon has finally taken to the New York Times to address the backlash he received from the Left over his treatment of Trump.
In September, Donald Trump appeared on Fallon’s Tonight Show. The host engaged in jovial banter with Trump and even mussed the billionaire’s hair. Naturally, the Left (the same folks who treated Hillary Clinton with softball after softball) tore into Fallon for not being more harsh on Trump, and – not surprisingly – Fallon has reacted by admitting that the Left was right to be angry with him.
“They have a right to be mad,” Fallon said, referring to critics and fans who thought his treatment of Trump was inappropriate. “If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it.”
The host says his treatment of Trump was meant to humiliate the candidate rather than to show him as a regular guy with a sense of humor.
Fallon said that he wasn’t trying to endear Trump to undecided voters across the United States when he engaged in easy banter with him.
“I didn’t do it to humanize him,” Fallon said. “I almost did it to minimize him. I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we all wanted to do.’”
Nevertheless, Fallon admitted that the blowback to the interview stung him and that he should have addressed it earlier, but he did declare that he wouldn’t allow the criticism of one side of the political aisle or the other to affect his comedy.
“I don’t want to be bullied into not being me, and not doing what I think is funny,” he said. “Just because some people bash me on Twitter, it’s not going to change my humor or my show.”
In the end, even though Fallon saw fit to suck up to the haters, he told the Times that he is mindful that Trump’s voters and supporters watch the show and that he is glad to focus less on politics than other hosts. That much, at least, is refreshing of him.