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By Amber Randall
“The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon has apologized for a “lighthearted” interview with President Donald Trump, after facing outrage from the media for not treating the president more harshly.
“They have a right to be mad,” Fallon told the New York Times Tuesday. “If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it.”
Fallon, whom the New York Times described as “chastened” in the writeup, interviewed Trump last September on his show and asked him simple questions about his presidential run and his desire to be president. Fallon ruffled Trump’s hair at the end of the interview.
People were outraged over the exchange and criticized Fallon for not being more critical of Trump. “Who wouldn’t Fallon interview with such fawning, giggly acceptance? Where would he draw the line?” Sonia Saraiaya wrote in Vanity Fair.
Fallon was devastated by the comments, he told the New York Times.
“I’m a people pleaser. If there’s one bad thing on Twitter about me, it will make me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun,” Fallon went on.
The #RESISTANCE taught Jimmy Fallon what constitutes acceptable entertainment. How enlightened. https://t.co/DZm9gXM0sr
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) May 17, 2017
You did it everyone. You showed him what's funny and what isn't. #ToleranceMob https://t.co/wFid39RCz8
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) May 17, 2017
Other journalists and media personalities pointed out that Fallon was just caving to pressure.
“You did it everyone. You showed him what’s funny and what isn’t #ToleranceMob,” Stephen Miller with Heat Street tweeted.