Fallon faces social media backlash after Trump interview

NEW YORK (AP) — Some “Tonight Show” viewers aren’t laughing after Donald Trump’s appearance on the show last night — during which the roughest treatment he got from host Jimmy Fallon was a head rub.

In this image released by NBC, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, appears with host Jimmy Fallon during a taping of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, in New York. (Douglas Gorenstein/NBC via AP)
In this image released by NBC, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, appears with host Jimmy Fallon during a taping of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, in New York. (Douglas Gorenstein/NBC via AP)

Fallon noted that the next time Trump is on the show, he might be president — so that this would be the last chance to do something non-presidential. With Trump’s reluctant permission, he rubbed a hand over Trump’s famous hair — sending it flying out of control in every direction.

The tweets that flew afterward were not favorable. One said, “Jimmy Fallon just pulled in a 35 share among white supremacists 18 to 49.” Another declared, “Humanizing a xenophobe is not okay.”

Another tweet excused Fallon for not drilling his guest as a journalist might — but it still faulted him “for his willingness to serve as hell’s court jester.”

A GQ magazine critic called the interview “embarrassing” and “fawning” — “like watching a dictator be ‘fun’ on state-run TV.”

Fallon’s nice-guy style has helped make him the late-night ratings leader. Hillary Clinton, scheduled as a guest on Monday, will likely be expecting the same kid-gloves treatment.

 

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