The Federal Communications Commission is investigating Stephen Colbert’s controversial joke about President Donald Trump, said the chairman of the agency.
Ajit Pai revealed on Thursday that the FCC has received “a number of complaints” following Colbert’s joke earlier this week and that the agency plans to review it within the context of Supreme Court laws, Talk Radio 1210 WPHT reports.
“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,” Pai told radio host Rich Zeoli.
“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,” Pai added.
The chairman said that if Colbert’s rant is found to be in violation, the most common penalty for such cases is a “fine, of some sort.” Earlier in the day, Pai reportedly told Fox Business Network that the FCC flags speech it considers “indecent” before 10 p.m., and looks for “obscene” content beyond then. The Late Show airs at 11:35 p.m. ET.
“The only thing your mouth is good at is being Vladimir Putin’s c‑‑‑ holster,” Colbert said of Trump. The joke was bleeped by the network and Colbert’s mouth was blurred.
The late-night host defended his comments Wednesday after a #FireColbert hashtag began trending across social media.
“I don’t regret that,” Colbert said. “[Trump], I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it’s a fair fight.”