is an intentionally apolitical figure. He tries as hard as possible to be liked by everyone, and so he avoids taking any hardline stances he doesn’t absolutely have to. On Thursday night, Fallon, The Tonight Show host who just wants everyone to like him, made a lot of people hate him.
It’s likely by this point that you’ve heard something about this story. Jimmy Fallon asked Donald Trump fairly softball-esque questions for ten minutes on The Tonight Show, and then ended the interview by messing up Trump’s hair. All of this is incredibly innocuous, but it’s behavior that infuriated many watching.
The uproar came largely because of Fallon’s willingness to normalize a figure who many see as potentially ruinous. His soft treatment of Trump suggests that he is, in many respects, a completely normal candidate, when many do not believe that to be the case. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that Fallon should have pressed Trump on the issues.
In a piece for The Atlantic, David Sims suggests that Fallon could have asked Trump something substantive. “He had hundreds of different issues he could have called Trump on,” Sims writes. “He decided to mess up his hair.”
Fallon, of course, is not a journalist, and his role as an entertainer does not require him to press candidates with substantive questions. Fallon simply treated Trump like he would any normal candidate, the problem being, of course, that Trump clearly deviates in many ways from the norm. Fallon tried desperately to be neutral in this interview, but neutral may not exist in this election season. In fighting to keep from choosing a side, Fallon did just that in the eyes of many. Check out the clip of the controversial hair tousle above.