Last week, TV husk Jimmy Fallon playfully ruffled the hair of a maniac, letting Donald Trump appear on his program without even a passing question about all the banning and deporting the candidate loves to promise. Monday night, Hillary Clinton came by, for a perfectly sane, acceptably dull conversation about America.
As Pitchfork notes, about the only edgy thing that happened last night was the Roots ushering Clinton onstage with a rendition of Ghostface’s “Mighty Healthy” (after playing Trump on to Erykah Badu’s “Erykah Badu’s “20 Feet Tall,” which makes reference to a big wall).
Fallon put on a surgical mask to greet Clinton, because she’s been sick. While not actually funny, it was topical, and not as horrifying as pandering to a racist ochre Tribble.
There was also some discussion about “balance” as a working, ambitious woman (it’s hard!) and bigotry (it’s bad!)
Clinton hit Trump on his birtherism, calling it “sickening,” and reminded the crowd that not all that long ago he verbally attacked the family of a dead war hero. She did all that without prompting from Fallon, because he doesn’t know how to ask those kinds of questions.
Then they read some letters from children.
If it seems ridiculous to expect Fallon to conduct a hard-hitting interview, well, it is. But late night hosts have a level of access to political candidates that journalists don’t. They interview them for a larger audience, and in a more informal setting where occasionally they accidentally say something interesting.
It’s nice when hosts manage to use that platform to eke out something of substance. But in this instance, we’ll just settle for an interview— and a candidate, for that matter—that’s not a horrific embarrassment.