Show caption Jimmy Kimmel: ‘You send Melania your money and in return, you’ll get whatever they decide to send back.’ Photograph: YouTube Late-night TV roundup Kimmel on NFTs: ‘I thought a blockchain was what Melania had on her door’ Late-night hosts discuss Melania Trump’s NFT collection, the Canadian trucker protest and Fox News’s faux scandal over Biden’s harm reduction program Adrian Horton @adrian_horton Fri 18 Feb 2022 17.02 GMT Share on Facebook
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Jimmy Kimmel responded to news on Thursday evening that Melania Trump was selling NFTs, AKA non-fungible tokens, to commemorate her husband’s presidency. “Until today, I thought a blockchain was what Melania had on her bedroom door, to protect her from the bored ape in the next room,” Kimmel joked.
Melania’s Potus NFT collection will supposedly include 10,000 NFTs priced at $50 each that will highlight “iconic” moments from the Trump administration. “How would she even know what the iconic moments from his administration were?” Kimmel wondered. “Half the time she was first lady, she hid in her room. The other half she spent bitching about Christmas decorations.”
The weirdest part, Kimmel added, was that collectors will “enjoy an element of surprise” as the artwork for each NFT would be revealed only after purchase. “So you send Melania your money and in return, you’ll get whatever they decide to send back,” he mused. “Where do I line up? What a deal that sounds like.”
On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert touched on the truckers’ protest in Canada, which has paralyzed the capital for weeks and caused the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to invoke emergency powers. Earlier this week, the Canadian government declared a state of emergency as the so-called “Freedom Convoy” protesters, who have called for an end to Covid vaccine mandates, continued to occupy Ottawa.
“As with anything that pisses people off, American conservatives are all for it,” Colbert explained, such as MyPillow CEO and Trump acolyte Mike Lindell, who declared he would send 10,000 pillows to the “brave” truckers. The shipment contained “almost as many as are on the bed in your great aunt’s guest room,” Colbert quipped. “These protesters are camped out in the cold – they need food and fuel, not 10,000 pillows!”
Lindell packed up his 10,000-pillow convoy and headed for the border … where he was turned back because he was not fully vaccinated and did not have a negative PCR test. “He couldn’t support the vax mandate protesters because he wasn’t fully vaxxed. How can you describe that?” Colbert asked, cueing up a clip from the Canadian singer Alanis Morissette’s song Ironic.
And on Full Frontal, Samantha Bee debunked the latest front of the GOP’s culture war: the Biden administration’s investment in harm reduction programs for drug abuse.
“Republicans love to manufacture controversy that sends their base into a frenzy that will eventually, I’m sure, lead them to burn someone in a wicker man to get a better vote harvest,” Bee explained. “Unsurprisingly though, conservatives are also scaring their base by leaning into that classic racist rhetoric, the ‘war on drugs’.
“But while Republicans are acting like the Biden administration harm reduction grant would basically be a gift card to Drugs ‘R’ Us, the truth is far less stupid.”
The Biden administration has pledged to invest $30m to support harm-reduction services that include treatment, prevention and syringe exchanges and smoking kits. “On one hand, this would be the first-of-its-kind federal grant that would pay for harm reduction tools to help save the lives of people suffering from addiction,” said Bee. “On the other, this goes against the official Republican drug policy of ‘go fuck yourself’.”
Hence why the usual cast of Fox News commentators – Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Jesse Watters and others – have misrepresented the evidence-based program as a free handout of crack pipes. The Biden administration has since responded to the faux scandal and confirmed that distribution of crack pipes was never part of the program.
“Rather than kowtowing to Republicans, Democrats should be focused on something even more important: harm reduction actually fucking works during a time when we need it to work,” said Bee, as drug overdose deaths increased 28.5% over the previous year.
“If harm reduction works, why are Republicans so against it?” she added. “Because conservatives’ ongoing panic over drugs was never about helping people. It was about using racial stereotypes to arrest people of color.”
The largest share of resources during the Reagan administration’s “war on drugs”, Bee pointed out, went to policing crack cocaine and incarcerating black and brown people. This, “when referencing crack, conservatives know they’re appealing to a decades-long racist stereotype that riles up their base – that’s the whole point!” Bee said.
“If they can discredit policies like harm reduction, they can both make Democrats look bad and keep jailing people of color. For them, it’s probably just a bonus that rebooting the crack panic will likely lead to more death and suffering,” she concluded. “Unfortunately, by hedging their commitment to harm reduction, the Biden administration is inadvertently helping give credence to a bullshit morality about who deserves help.”