Chris Hayes did not get an easy pass from Stephen Colbert, who jokingly hit him for being an "elite" on Thursday night.
Hayes appeared on "The Colbert Report" to discuss his new book "Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy." First, Colbert scrutinized him for not wearing a tie. "You're a newsman now," he stressed. "It's called gravitas."
Then, the two got down to business about Hayes' book. The MSNBC host criticized "elites," whose behavior he said was responsible for the Iraq War, the failed response to Hurricane Katrina, the financial crisis and the housing bubble.
Colbert, who called himself an elite, took umbrage at this. "What do you mean by elite? You're a media elite," he pointed out. "Is this a cry for help?"
"Guilty as charged," Hayes answered, laughing. Later, Colbert called him a populist. Hayes agreed with that characterization.
Then, the comedian quoted a sentence from his book that included the phrases "transideological coalition," "insurrectional sentiment," and "succumbing to nihilism."
"It doesn't get any more populist than that," Colbert concluded, cracking Hayes up.