Stephen Colbert challenges Chris Hayes on elites: ‘I have a television show. People chant my name!’

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msnbc host Chris Hayes got the Stephen Colbert treatment Thursday night when he appeared on the comedian’s Comedy Central show to discuss his new book: Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy.

Colbert poked fun at Hayes’ intellect, lack of tie knotting skills, and “populist” stance as msnbc host chuckled throughout the segment.

“How do you define elite,” Colbert asked. “What’s an elite to you? You’re a media elite. Is this a cry for help?” 

“Guilty as charged,” laughed Hayes, who then tried to describe his theory in more seriousness. “I mean the people who tell themselves they’ve earned their place in our meritocracy.”

“Nobody gave me anything other than my parents who gave me the fortune I used to go to school,” Colbert deadpanned. 

“Right. Yeah, that’s basically the book’s argument in one sentence,” Hayes returned. 

He added that the “level of inequality that we have seen produces elites who cannot help but fail.”

“What do you mean? I have a television show. People chant my name!” bellowed Colbert. “Am I failing in some way?”

Anyone who has watched Hayes’ early morning weekend show, Up with Chris Hayes, knows his vocabulary is hard to match. Colbert had a little fun with that one as well, paraphrasing a line from the book, he read: “Building a trans-ideological coalition that can actually dislodge the power of the post-meritocratic elite by being able to marshal insurrectionist sentiment without succumbing to nihilism.”

“I wish Woody Guthrie were alive to set that to music,” Colbert chuckled. “Well, good luck with the revolution Comrade Hayes.”

 

 

Stephen Colbert challenges Chris Hayes on elites: 'I have a television show. People chant my name!'

Updated