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Fallon faces social media backlash after Trump interview

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appears with host Jimmy Fallon during a taping of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

NEW YORK >> Some “Tonight Show” viewers weren’t laughing after GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump paid Jimmy Fallon a visit Thursday, and encountered nothing hairier from the NBC host than a head rub.

Noting that “the next time I see you, you could be the President of the United States,” Fallon proposed they do something “that’s just not presidential, really, something that we could do now that we’re both just civilians.”

“I’m not liking the sound of this,” Trump said.

“Can I mess your hair up?” Fallon asked, quickly adding, “I’ll be gentle.”

Fallon was, both with mussing up Trump’s legendary yellow ‘do and with the interview that accompanied it.

Afterward, tweets flew.

“In his defense, Jimmy Fallon just pulled in a 35 share among white supremacists 18-49,” cracked one, while another declared, “Humanizing a xenophobe is not okay.”

Yet another tweet excused Fallon for not drilling his subject as a journalist might, but faulted him “for his willingness to serve as hell’s court jester.”

For some observers, Trump’s devil-may-care guest shot may have seemed particularly jarring on Friday as he commanded blanket TV coverage for his revised verdict, after long denying it, that President Barack Obama was indeed born in the United States.

But years before the current polarizing presidential race, Fallon built his brand as a lovable, powder-puff-wielding host, no matter who his guest, politician or otherwise. No one mistakes Fallon for his slyly subversive CBS counterpart, Stephen Colbert, or Colbert’s caustic predecessor, David Letterman. Fallon’s nice-guy style has helped make him the late-night ratings leader.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, a scheduled guest for Monday’s “Tonight Show,” was surely expecting the same kid-gloves treatment accorded to Trump.

Even so, The Huffington Post called Fallon’s handling of Trump “a softball interview even by softball standards.”

A GQ magazine critic called it “embarrassing” and “fawning” — “like watching a dictator be ‘fun’ on state-run TV.”

On Friday, NBC declined to comment on Trump’s “Tonight Show” appearance.

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  • Oh no! Progressive bed wetters got a taste of their own medicine and they do not like it. The dirty little secret is that a lot of the entertainment crowd supports Trump. They just can’t come out of the closet or they’ll be out of a job. Better start Bernie warming up in the bullpen.

  • gruber voters can’t understand that fallon’s show is entertainment, comedy and bands. it’s a difficult concept when you get your news from Facebook or twitter feeds.

    • Pretty much what I expected from Jimmy. He’s there for pure fun entertainment, and he’s good at that. To the show’s credit, I’m sure they got it straight with Trump that he shouldn’t get all political and discuss his opponent (like the pastor did at the Black church). Trump actually wasn’t being offensive, though he looked a bit uncomfortable, tired, worried that Jimmy might ask him a real question.

      I’m sure Jimmy will be fun and non-political with Hillary next week. Fair enough.

    • Colbert isn’t funny, never was. None of these guys can hold a candle to the likes of Carson or Leno. Even Letterman who I enjoyed very much in his early years, stuck around too long and simply became e mean frustrated old guy who looked and sounded burned out. Fallon has a comedic background from his days at SNL. That makes hime funny ‘first’ and a talk show guy second. And that shows every night. Fallon is the first late night talk show guy who I enjoy because he has the skills to do the job and most of all, is entertaining! THAT is what the show is about, entertainment. All these whining babies who didn’t like the Trump show should set their infantile behavior aside and relax, get over themselves. Whenever a republican conservative shows up on late night talks shows, these crybabies are too lazy to change the channel. No surprise. Nobody forced you to watch. Why don’t you kids pull the sheets over your heads and crawl into your “safe space.”

  • So, these are two of the most unpopular candidates. But, what is disconcerting about the lack of trust for either candidate is that when viewed on the world stage (and our national stage as well), whomever is elected as POTUS, will now likely be subject to credibility challenges. What that translates to in terms of America’s leadership role in the world, let’s hope for the best. Finally, on a dreary note, if Putin’s aim was to disrupt and undermine our democratic process, he may have already achieved 50% of his goal. But only if we let him. So, this challenge is for everyone, and the media does bear a huge responsibility in this mess.

  • Fallon is a comedian talk show host, he’s not Hannity or Maddow (thank goodness). He has fun with his guest. Was he supposed to get all serious? When Obama is on there, he had fun with him too. Whats the big deal. Leftist wing nuts need to get over themselves.

  • Fallon is a comedian, not a journalist. I’m sure many people were interested in seeing someone stick their hand in Trump’s famous hair. I wouldn’t be surprised if he spends more than Gabbard to maintain that doo.

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