Michelle Wolf, the guest host on The Daily Show, didn’t hold back in her criticism of Henry Kissinger after his death at the age of 100. The controversy surrounding Kissinger persisted even in death, as opinions on his legacy varied from admiration for his mastery of global politics to condemnation for his alleged war crimes.
During a segment on Thursday night’s show, the late diplomat was even referred to as the “war crimes GOAT” (Greatest of All Time). Michelle Wolf stated, “Yes, Henry Kissinger is dead, which just goes to show you that if you have zero morals, you’ll lead a long, stress-free life. He committed massacres and lived to be 100, while the rest of us are dying at 47 stressing over trivial matters.”
Wolf, joined by The Daily Show correspondents Ronny Chieng and Michael Kosta, debated whether Kissinger deserves the title of America’s “greatest” war criminal. Chieng unequivocally asserted that Kissinger holds that dubious honor, listing various instances of alleged atrocities committed under his watch. Kosta, on the other hand, suggested former vice president Dick Cheney as a contender for the top spot, citing his infamous incident of shooting a friend in the face.
The debate heated up, with Chieng emphasizing Kissinger’s role in historical atrocities, and Kosta pointing out the irony of a Nobel Peace Prize winner being labeled a war criminal. In the closing remarks, Kosta humorously advised viewers to express their feelings to any war criminals in their lives promptly, as unexpected longevity seems to be a common trait among them.
Kissinger’s legacy remains controversial, with some remembering him positively for his impact on American foreign policy, while others criticize his involvement in campaigns such as the bombing of Vietnamese communists in Cambodia and support for repressive regimes like Pinochet’s in Chile. Even former President George W. Bush acknowledged the divisive nature of Kissinger’s legacy, describing him as one of the most distinctive voices on foreign affairs, albeit a polarizing one.
Watch the exchange below.