During an interview with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Pai confirmed that his office has gotten calls of complaint in response to Colbert’s jokes, notably a remark about Trump and Vladimir Putin considered homophobic by some critics (“the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster”).
“We have received a number of complaints, as I said, and we’ll follow the standard operating procedures, as we always do, and make sure we evaluate what the facts are and apply the law fairly and fully,” explained Pai. “I have had a chance to see the clip now, and so, as we get complaints, and we’ve gotten a number of them, we are going to take the facts that we find, and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts, and we’ll take the appropriate action.”
“Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be. A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do.”
The late-night host defended his jokes on Wednesday’s show, responding to the backlash that led to the trending #FireColbert hashtag online.
“Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine,” continued Colbert, referring to CBS’ John Dickerson, who interviewed Trump until the president walked out, calling Dickerson’s show “Deface the Nation.” “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,” said Colbert. “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.”