What better way to demonstrate that you’re the party of the working class than to mercilessly mock actual members of the working class?
That seems to have been the conclusion of the writers for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, whose typical style of politically-charged comedy may have gone a little too far in a recent episode mocking Trump-supporting farmers.
In one of the show’s typical “cold opens,” the episode begins with a clip of John Berman, a co-host of CNN’s New Day with Alisyn Camerota. In the clip, taken from a segment discussing the effects of President Trump’s tariffs on American farmers, an upset farmer is asked by someone off-camera if he voted for Trump.
“I did,” the farmer emotionally replies. “I’ll never vote for him again.”
Now, right off the bat, a reasonable viewer might expect the show to proceed with ripping into the president or debating the merits of his trade policies in a comedic fashion.
But, then, that would be reasonable, and we know better than to expect that.
Rather than go after the low-hanging fruit of yet another dig at the president, the segment transitions to an infantile cartoon music video for a rendition of “The Farmer In The Dell” where the butt of the joke is actually the Trump-supporting farmer himself.
The cartoon begins with a farmer shown riding his tractor emblazoned with a large Trump campaign sticker, then it all goes downhill from there when the song begins:
Tariffs posed by Trump put the farmers in a dump.
Oh no, the derry-o, the farmer’s in a slump.
The farmer lost his wife. She wants a better life.
She ran off with an ex-convict who rides a bitchin’ bike.
Honestly, the writers could have maybe gotten away with the segment if they’d stopped there. Still tasteless, mildly offensive, and stupid, but what follows just goes beyond the pale:
The farmer needs a job. He’s stripping while he sobs.
Hi-ho the stripper pole, they’re laughing at his knob.
The farmer drinks a lot, his liver starts to rot.
Chuggitiy-chug the winey-o, time to start growing pot.
Seriously, this is the level we’ve reached? This disgusting segment is far from sympathetic to farmers who believe they’ve been wronged by Trump’s policies. If anything, it mocks them and implicitly gloats that liberals were right all along.
Even Caleb Howe, editor of far-left Mediaite denounced the segment as “dark” and “definitely a miss”:
I mean it’s one thing to say Trump is hurting farmers. But it seems like an odd choice to express concern for farmers by painting them as shameless drunkards who lose their shallow wives to motorcycle riding criminals. Even unpacking it like that doesn’t really unpack it.
It’s not that the premise is hard to grasp, it’s just… dark. It’s oddly focused on stereotypes about farmers or laborers. After the wife leaving for a convict line, I was genuinely surprised they didn’t draw a gap in the cartoon farmer’s teeth.
One hardly has to use a vivid imagination to think of other groups of people about whom such a video would generate genuine and widespread outrage.
How perfect that Colbert would tastelessly lampoon a group of people who in all likelihood probably have pitchforks readily available to lob at him—metaphorically, of course.