"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert admitted that Monday’s now-infamous, foul-mouthed anti-Trump rant that passed for a monologue was cruder than it should have been, in terms of language, but said he has no regrets and refused to apologize. That did nothing to cool the rising calls for his firing from both Trump supporters and those who think his filthy sexual comment involving Trump and Vladimir Putin was homophobic (it’s interesting how many people are outraged that he might have shown disrespect for a gay sex act but don’t care at all that he spent 10 minutes of CBS network air time spewing blatant disrespect at the President of the United States).

Like Sean Hannity, I’m not calling for Colbert to be fired. I think there’s too much capitulation to easily-offended mobs over saying the wrong thing as it is. That’s not to say I excuse what Colbert did, which was ugly, inappropriate and unfunny. I just look at him more with sorrow and pity than anger. Stephen Colbert is a talented man who seems to have lowered himself to the gutter for ratings. Many people questioned CBS handing over a mainstream network franchise to a polarizing political satirist. His sliding ratings bore out those concerns, and there were rumors that CBS regretted not giving the show to the popular and apolitical James Corden.

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But then came Hillary’s surprise loss. Liberals, furious at being turned out of power and with few places left to massage their bruised egos other than late night TV shows, flocked to Colbert. The late night audience having diminished greatly since Carson’s heyday, that was enough to boost him to #1, and he seemed so grateful for the lifeline that he started giving angry left viewers just what they craved: nightly anti-Trump assaults. It worked for a while (even the affable Jimmy Fallon was under pressure to attack Trump more to compete). But I predicted that it wouldn’t last. You can only swallow so much arsenic every night, even in tiny doses, before it eventually poisons your system.

As Colbert kept feeding the hate-filled crowd, they demanded more blood every night, until he inevitably crossed the line with that ugly, offensive rant. This was the same man who was on live TV on election night, and although shocked that Trump won, said this:

“So how did our politics get so poisonous? I think it’s because we overdosed, especially this year. We drank too much of the poison. You take a little bit of it, so you can hate the other side. And it tastes kind of good. And you like how it feels. And there is a gentle high to the condemnation, right? And you know you’re right, right? You know you’re right…Politics used to be something we thought about every four years, maybe two years if you didn’t have a lot of social life. And that’s good that we didn’t think about it that much, because it left room in our lives for other things, and for other people. Now politics is everywhere. And that takes up precious brain space that we could be using to remember all the things we actually have in common.”

It’s hard to believe that’s the same man who gave Monday’s vicious, obscene rant on national TV, sending his viewers off to bed with their brains filled with hatred for their own President, then claimed to have no regrets. I sincerely hope he will pull back from the abyss and remember that some things are more important than ratings, reflect on his own words, and stop drinking the poison.