Donald Trump on being banned from Seth Meyers' “Late Night”: “I only like doing shows with good ratings”

The "Late Night" host banned Trump from his show in solidarity with the Washington Post

Published June 16, 2016 1:49PM (EDT)

Seth Meyers, Donald Trump   (Reuters/Gus Ruelas/Brian Snyder/Photo montage by Salon)
Seth Meyers, Donald Trump (Reuters/Gus Ruelas/Brian Snyder/Photo montage by Salon)

While Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Ted Cruz have all appeared on Seth Meyers' "Late Night," Trump has never appeared on the NBC show, even after controversially appearing on the network's "Saturday Night Live" and stopping by Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" several times this campaign season.

Trump is probably avoiding "Late Show" because the notoriously thin-skinned candidate holds a mean grudge and is likely still stewing over Meyer's 2011 roasting of him at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

"Donald Trump has been saying that he's running for president as a Republican," Meyers said at the time. "Which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke."

Trump, who attended the dinner, complained to the New York Times that Meyers was a talentless hack whose "delivery was so bad that he hurt himself."

Now, as part of the crew of late-night comedians tasked with turning a demagogue into a laugh line, Meyers' has finally decided to call it quits this week.

Trump, Meyers announced, was unequivocally banned from "Late Night."

“Trump is stoking fear and spreading hate,” Meyers said of the latest twist in the Birther conspiracy to claim President Obama allowed the Orlando attack to occur because he is secretly a "Radical Islam" terrorist sympathizer. “We cannot allow it to become normalized,” he said during a scathing six-minute takedown during his "Closer Look" segment.

When the Washington Post merely reported what Trump said, the presumptive GOP candidate quickly revoked the paper's press credentials.

“As long as the Washington Post is banned from Donald Trump’s campaign," Meyers said on Tuesday, turning to the newest entrant to Trump's infamous press blacklist. "Donald Trump will be banned from ever coming on this show.”

"We here at 'Late Night' believe in freedom of the press so therefore we have decided to stand in solidarity with them," Meyers said.

“To be fair he wasn’t coming on anyway, let’s be honest. He isn’t interested in being here,” Meyers later acknowledged.

The "Late Night" host went on to predict that by the time of the election, the only news outlets still allowed to directly cover Trump’s campaign events will be the National Enquirer and Rich Pricks Monthly: 

And in a shock to no one, Trump responded to the ban from the "Late Show" Wednesday.

“He has begged me to do the show for the last two years. I have told him emphatically ‘no,’” Trump said in a statement, referring to Meyers. “I only like doing shows with good ratings, which as everybody knows, I only make better (by a lot).”

"There’s just one problem with The Donald’s latest blowhard-y statement," The Wrap's Tony Maglio points out. "Meyers’ TV ratings are actually pretty good."

Year-to-date, “Late Night” is actually up 5 percent in total viewers (1.58 million from 1.51 million), and flat in the three main demographics: 18-49, 25-54 and 18-34.

Those may not sound like huge numbers, but remember, this is 12:35 a.m. ET we’re talking about.

Plus, Meyers is still beating his main competition, James Corden‘s “Late Late Show,” despite that guy’s move from unknown to beloved.


By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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