On Thursday, The Tonight Show host, 41, conducted a characteristically lighthearted interview, including playfully tousling Trump’s hair. By early Friday, viewers had begun to question Fallon’s treatment of the polarizing Republican presidential nominee.
Beyond the head rub, Fallon is also facing accusations of letting Trump, 70, off with an easy interview and allowed him to dodge hard-hitting questions about his campaign. And others feel Fallon’s choice to amuse and entertain is humanizing a candidate whose opinions have been decried as sexist, racist and xenophobic.
Below are some of the responses to the interview.
Some detractors had fun imagining how Fallon might conduct interviews with historic villains, including Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler.
“I think you have a lot of negativity in these questions,” Ivanka told the reporter. “So I don’t know how useful it is to spend too much time with you on this, if you’re going to make a comment like that.”
Beyond Fallon, though, interviews with this year’s presidential candidates have been under heightened scrutiny as this increasingly contentious election cycle nears its conclusion on election day.
The longtime anchor was accused by some Democrats of spending too much time on Clinton’s email scandal and failing to fact-check Trump for several claims – including that he had always opposed the Iraq War. Shortly after, the hashtag #LaueringTheBar began trending on Twitter.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights (11:35 p.m. ET) on NBC.