The joke is on Stephen Colbert.
In his “Late Show,” the comedian accused Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon of fabricating a story about a Democratic voter who changed his party affiliation to the GOP because of his frustration with “pornographic” material in libraries.
But it turns out that the supposedly fictional man is real.
Khalil Othman, 41, a former candidate for Dearborn City Council, introduced himself as the man Dixon referred to during a debate against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Oct. 25, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“To claim that I am not here, that I do not exist, that I am not human, is utter ignorance,” Othman told the newspaper.
In Colbert’s monologue the day after the debate, the comedian joked about voter concerns about finding sexually explicit materials in libraries.
“Dixon isn’t the only one worried about this problem. So this guy she totally made up,” Colbert said.
Colbert then played a clip of Dixon recounting how she was approached by father-of-five Othman about his frustration with Democrats.
“I had a gentleman come to me a few nights ago and he said, ‘I found some stuff in my school library describing how to have sex with my son,'” Dixon said. in the debate clip.
“He said ‘just a few weeks ago, not only was I a Democrat, but I was running for office as a Democrat.’ Essentially, “I’m quitting the Democratic Party,” Dixon added.
In her monologue, Colbert described Dixon as an “anti-choice MAGA Republican” and mocked her story about the Democrat-turned-Republican.
“OK, fine, it happened,” he said sarcastically, using air quotes to drive home his skepticism.
During a campaign stop in Dearborn on Sunday, Dixon fired back at Colbert.
“I told his story (during the debate),” she told the hundreds in attendance, according to the Free Press.
“And Stephen Colbert takes it over. …And they’re doing this whole skit about how it never happened. That’s what he said, that thing never happened. This is where the Democrats are right now. You don’t exist, your stories don’t matter,” she added.
Meanwhile, Othman shared a video on Facebook of his first encounter with Dixon at an Oct. 21 rally in Flat Rock.
“My name is Khalil Othman. Came all the way from Dearborn, Michigan. I’m here with two parents, concerned parents…against these sexually explicit books,” he said to cheers from the clip.
“I am a proud American Muslim who voices my values and concerns all the time,” Othman continued. “Dearborn has been voting for Democratic Blue for a decade or two. But not anymore. On my behalf and on behalf of my family, I guarantee you that my family and friends will vote Republican.
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Othman criticized Colbert for suggesting the candidate’s account of him was false.
“If that person does their due diligence and starts to do some research or has their team do a little research to find out who this person who attended the Dixon rally is, they will be able to find my name right away easily on social networks. Just google it,” Othman said.
CBS did not immediately respond to request for comment.