The “Late Night” comedian described the Republican senator’s column as “sinister” and “chilling” but said “the more shocking thing is that the Times opinion page chose to run it.”
“I mean, what are you guys doing? Our democracy’s on a precipice and you decide to give it a push?” he asked, addressing the newspaper. “Just because it’s a terrible opinion doesn’t mean it deserves to be on The New York Times op-ed page.”
James Bennet, the head of the Times’ opinion section, has defended the decision to publish the op-ed (despite fierce backlash from its own staff). Shortly after the piece went live on Wednesday, he tweeted that the section “owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy.”
But Meyers didn’t buy it.
“You’re not legally obligated to run fascist calls for military occupation in your newspaper,” he said. “Tom Cotton’s a senator. He has plenty of ways to get his opinion out there.”
“But if your policy is that you’re going to run bad columns full of lies for the sake of hearing counter-arguments,” he added, “then I’m officially requesting that you run my op-ed, ‘James Bennet’s Favorite Movie of All-Time Is ’Cats.’ I dare you to print it. Or are you too afraid of controversial opinions?”
Check out Meyers’ monologue here: