On Monday’s Late Night, Seth Meyers took a closer look at people who believe things that are blatantly untrue: Donald Trump, who believes Vladimir Putin when he says he didn’t meddle in the U.S. election, and Roy Moore’s dwindling supporters, who still believe he is fit for office.
As the disturbing allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore—that he initiated a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old while in his 30s, that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old after offering to drive her home, that he was known to cruise malls looking for teen girls—continue to pile up, so too do the ridiculous ways in which his supporters have tried to defend him. Meyers offered up a litany of these defenses, from the conspiratorial to the stupid to the grotesque and incoherent, and they hardly needed Meyers’ quips to sound laughable.
In the conspiratorial corner, Steve Bannon—who has “slithered out of his fever swamp”—believes the media is conspiring with the Democrats to destroy both Moore and Trump, declaring the story a “Bezos Amazon Washington Post” conspiracy. Hey, wasn’t it also the “Bezos Amazon Washington Post” that dropped the Access Hollywood tapes? “Now is that a coincidence?” Bannon asked.
The stupid came in the form of Moore himself, who could not have done a worse job of defending himself on Sean Hannity’s show (“less than persuasive” is Meyers putting it gently). Moore was given plenty of opportunities to deny the claims—easy yes/no answers—but runs with the preferred method of fellow Alabamian Jeff Sessions: “I don’t recall.” “I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother,” he chose to add.
Lesser known figures provided the gross and incoherent, in a combination of victim-blaming, Obama-blaming, frogs, and lawnmowers. Alabama state Rep. Ed Henry said that if the sexual allegations were true, the women should be prosecuted as accomplices to the crimes and, speaking to Anderson Cooper, gave this rambling response: “My grandfather used to have a nice quib about a frog and if he had wings. But here’s the thing: Frog doesn’t have wings.”
“Of course, if a frog had wings, it still wouldn’t be the creepiest thing in Alabama,” added Meyers.
A local reporter who had written an op-ed in support of Moore also appeared on CNN, saying if we disqualified everyone who had ever done something bad, Obama and Clinton shouldn't have been allowed to run either, before comparing sexual relationships with minors to, um, stealing lawnmowers.
In fact, the only person more obstinately disbelieving this weekend was Donald Trump, or as Meyers called him, “the easiest mark Putin’s ever had.” Trump, who has so far declined to take a side on the Moore allegations, did tell reporters that he believes Putin when he says he didn’t meddle in the 2016 election. But also that he doesn't. We can only marvel at the knots Trump is able to tie himself in over this.
Or as Meyers puts it: “I believe he believes what he believes, and he believes that I believe what I believe, even though he believes what I don’t believe.”
Yep, that pretty much sums this year up.