Stephen Colbert and Oliver Stone spar over Vladimir Putin

“Let’s talk about Vladimir Putin.”

And thus began what ultimately became a sometimes tense conversation between Stephen Colbert and Oliver Stone on Monday’s “The Late Show.”

The “JFK” and “Platoon” filmmaker was on to discuss his new Showtime series, “The Putin Interviews,” which began airing Monday night. The four-episode series distills more than 20 hours of conversations that Stone had with the Russian president over the course of two years.

Colbert noted that Stone has gotten some criticism for being too “cozy” with his subject. Stone demurred that it was politeness to an extremely busy man and curiosity about such a captivating figure. It was important, Stone said, that Putin “believed I would give him a fair hearing.”

But when it appeared in a clip from the series that Stone was taking at face value Putin’s dismissal of the notion that the Russians interfered with the presidential election, Colbert pushed him on the point, wondering why he didn’t ask any follow-up questions.

Stone said that later in the series, which continues the next three nights, that he did ask about the hacking specifically and cyber warfare in general.

But as Stone went on to talk about how he was surprised that Putin didn’t seem angry given how he has been “abused” in the press, the audience began to react with groans and laughter. Colbert wondered if it was possible for Stone to be critical of Putin or “does he have your dog in a cage some place?”

Given the director’s ardent support of free speech, Colbert appeared genuinely befuddled by Stone’s seemingly uncritical take on Putin. Stone stressed that watching the entire series would be illuminating.

Just Posted

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline in close vote

CALGARY — Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route… Continue reading

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

TORONTO — One of Canada’s high profile weather forecasters is warning Canadians… Continue reading

Nebraska set to vote today on fate of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

CALGARY — Five commissioners in Nebraska are set to vote today on… Continue reading

Hippie cult leader Charles Manson dead at 83

LOS ANGELES — Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the… Continue reading

Tie new affordable housing money to outcomes, former watchdog tells Liberals

OTTAWA — Parliament’s first budget watchdog is warning the federal government to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month