(Headline USA) Late night host Stephen Colbert was forced to walk back his criticism of Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon after he falsely claimed that a voter with whom she spoke recently wasn’t real.
During his show last week, Colbert slammed Dixon for raising concerns about pornographic material being found in Michigan public schools, claiming Dixon “made up” voters who are concerned about this issue.
“Dixon’s not the only one worried about this issue. So is this guy she totally made up,” Colbert quipped.
He then played a clip from Dixon’s campaign in which she says, “I had a gentleman come up to me just a few nights ago, and he said, ‘I found content in my school library describing how to have sex to my son.’”
“Ok, fine, ‘that happened,’” Colbert said, using air quotes.
A fact check from the Detroit Free Press confirmed that Dixon’s interaction with this voter did, in fact, happen.
“A Dearborn resident whose existence was doubted by comedian Stephen Colbert during a monologue last week has a message for the CBS late night host: I am real, and so is my switch to the Republican Party,” Free Press reporter Niraj Warikoo wrote, revealing that the man’s name is Khalil Othman.
Colbert was forced to acknowledge this fact-check, but refused to apologize to Dixon for smearing her.
“This very real person deserves an apology because he says, ‘To claim that I’m not here, I don’t exist, I’m not human, that’s absolute ignorance.’ So I would like to apologize. It is a terrible thing for someone to deny your very existence. Just ask trans people,” Colbert said. “Therefore, I, Stephen Colbert, acknowledge that you exist and ask that you forgive me.”
He then went on to mock Othman for switching to the Republican Party.
“As recently as October, last month, this guy claimed to be a Democratic politician but switched after he lost his primary and packed up his toys and went off in a huff to support an election-denying, transphobic, COVID-19 conspiracy theorist. What a wonderful example for all of our children,” Colbert said of Othman, after Colbert set his own ‘wonderful example’ by lying and denigrating people.