Your freedom of speech may put your job in jeopardy

When you have to censor your jokes, is that even comedy? Isn't it supposed to be sort of wrong? On Wednesday evening's edition for the "Late Show," Stephen Colbert responds to criticism of the joke about President Trump that began the trend to hashtag #firecolbert and demanding a boycott those who advertise on the "Late Show." He has not said anything that shocking, especially with a long tradition of late-night talk show hosts blasting every action, every president in history has made. It is a way people can cathartically commiserate the state of the union.

Perhaps his choice of words were insensitive and the subtext may have offended some. It's still just poking fun at the POTUS's expense. You would think, as arguably the most powerful man in the world, he could take the criticism in stride knowing that his opinion is the only one that matters.

A spokeswoman from CBS's "Late Show" and Colbert's agent did not respond to requests for comment. CBS sent out a transcript of the top of Colbert's Wednesday night show, which taped earlier in the day. He addressed the controversy in the opening moment, joking, "Welcome to 'The Late Show.' I'm your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I'm still the host!!"

"So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be," the talk show host said to his audience during the taping which would air Wednesday night.

He went on to say,"I'm not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that."

"Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine. So at the end of that monologue I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don't regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it's a fair fight."

Though President Trump has for months been the target of Stephen Colbert's pointed jokes and mockery, many on social media believe he went too far Monday night in making an oral-sex joke regarding Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The anger that Trump thin-skinned supporters had over a relentless series of jokes by Colbert in the last two minutes of his monologue on Monday night, was a reaction to how the POTUS dealt with John Dickerson, CBS News' political director. He then turned to how Trump abruptly ended the interview with Dickerson, after the "Face the Nation" host asked him if he stands by his claims that President Barack Obama had wiretapped him.

Trump response to Dickerson was that he "I don't stand by anything."

Colbert commented on it by saying, "It's true. He doesn't stand by anything except the dressing room door at Miss USA Pageant. . . . Who needs a lotion?"

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"It's a free country. People are willing and able to say just about anything these days," Pai said, adding later that unless a content is indecent, obscene or profane by FCC standards, the agency's authority is "pretty limited."

Furious Trump supporters immediately began tweeting, saying Colbert's jokes were homophobic. Very convenient for them to choose an issue of his jibe that most of Trump's well wishers would be the most guilty of making. Their jokes would be much more direct. It must take on to know one.

#FireColbert was trending on Twitter Wednesday morning. A new Twitter account called @firecolbert tweeted: "It's time to #FireColbert! It's time he be removed from CBS. Let your voice be heard! #Boycott all of Stephen Colbert's advertisers." There's also a new website, firecolbert.com.

Colbert's monologues largely focus on the debacles of the Trump administration. This hasn't hurt his popularity. Last year, he was trailing far behind Jimmy Fallon's "The Tonight Show." Colbert managed to narrow the gap and eventually top his biggest competitor. By late March, Colbert's show was averaging a drawing an audience of just about 3 million, beating out "The Tonight Show" by 400,000.

But as The Washington Post's Callum Borchers wrote, by joking about oral sex, Colbert "rushed the bro-ternity" of Alex Jones, who once said that Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., "looks like the archetypal c--sucker," and Jesse Watters, who came under fire for a not-so-subtle joke about Ivanka Trump "speaking into that microphone."

"They wrote this. This was not a rant that he came up with on the top of this head. They wrote this," Rove said, adding later: "I'm going to continue to do what I do with anything Colbert. I'm going to refuse to watch the SOB."

Sitting on a panel on "The Fox News Specialists" on Tuesday, Karl Rove, who was a senior adviser in the administration of former president George W. Bush, called the jokes "lewd," "obscene" and "inappropriate."

Then those defending Colbert hijacked the trending hashtag with sarcastic jabs at Colbert's critics:

Colbert began his monologue Monday night by making fun of Trump's comments about the first 100 days in office, which the president called a "ridiculous standard."

"Trump has repeatedly said that this 100 days is totally arbitrary, okay. Totally unimportant. And to prove how unimportant it is, he took out a TV ad, he cut a cake on Air Force One, and he held a rally in Pennsylvania," Colbert said. "The theme of that rally, 'Promises Made, Promises Kept.' Which is better than the original slogan, 'Promises made, never mind, never said it, fake news, watch Fox & Friends.' "

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Colbert's full statement:

CBS sent out a transcript of the top of Colbert's Wednesday night show, which taped earlier in the day. He addressed the controversy in the opening moment, joking, "Welcome to 'The Late Show.' I'm your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I'm still the host!!"

He went on: "Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine. So at the end of that monologue I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don't regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it's a fair fight."

"So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be," he concluded. "I'm not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that."