Late Night Goes All-Liberal

Ben Shapiro is a Senior Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. He is the author of the new book "The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration" (Threshold Editions).


seth-meyerThis week, NBC announced that when Jay Leno departs late night in 2014 to make way for the eminently unfunny Jimmy Fallon, Fallon will be replaced by the even more  unfunny Seth Meyers,  had writer of Saturday Night Live. Like Fallon’s new show, Meyers’  will air from New York, leaving Los Angeles in the dust.

Where Leno was evenhanded in his humor, Fallon despises conservatives and lets it be known widely. That’s why he allowed his bandleader, Questlove, to play “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” when Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appeared on the program. That’s why he allowed President Obama to stop by during campaign season to “slow jam” the news – read a stump speech over some percussion.

Meyers, if anything, is even tighter with the Obama administration than Fallon. When he MCed the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011, the entire routine was an ode to the greatness of President Obama. His hardest hitting joke was about Obama’s whitening hair – and ended up being directed at the Tea Party:

May I say [Mrs. Obama], for as beautiful as you looked [in 2008], you look even more beautiful tonight. Now you, on the other hand, Mr. President, have aged a little. What happened to you? When you were sworn in, you looked like the guy from the Old Spice commercials. Now you look like Louis Gossett Sr. I’ve never said this to anyone, but maybe you should start smoking again. If your hair gets any whiter, the Tea Party is going to endorse it.

In an interview with Maureen Dowd, Meyers liked, “Comedy writers are incredibly promiscuous, and we want as many targets as possible.” This is the same Meyers who said, “there’s something funny about a candidate [Mitt Romney] with all these fully grown adult sons. When it comes to an adorable competition, they certainly don’t beat Sasha and Malia.” Meyers’ most famous SNL routine about Obama involved him “getting his mojo back” after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. And in January, he nominated then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for GQ’s “100 hottest women of the 21st century.” He said, “I think somebody who is getting sexier every year is Hillary Clinton. Every year she seems better at whatever she’s doing. By the end of the millennium, she’s gonna have it locked down.”

This was less than three months after Hillary botched the Benghazi terror attack of September 11, 2012, then blamed a YouTube video.

NBC ranks last among the major networks in just about every demographic category. But instead of broadening their appeal by reaching out to Republicans – who still constitute half the nation – NBC has decided to go full-out in its pursuit of young liberals. This isn’t unlike ABC’s strategy back in the early 1970s, when, trailing in every demographic category, ABC tried to pitch advertisers on the proposition that young liberals from big cities were the only audience that mattered. Now NBC is microtargeting rather than broadcasting.

That means there’s an open market for whichever network is willing to mine it. CBS’ late-night lineup is now David Letterman, a wild leftist who hates conservatives with ae fiery passion, and Craig Ferguson, who is a less offensively liberal host. ABC’s late-night guy is Jimmy Kimmel, who is certainly liberal, but who comes closest to imitating the cross-political abilities of Leno.

But overall, there is not a single moderate late-night host on the air. That matters. Americans – particularly older Americans – still want to watch late-night programming. And they don’t want to be smacked in the face with over-the-top politics. NBC doesn’t understand that, and will pay the ratings price for it. The network that realizes that truth will benefit.

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  • pierce

    The last time I had anything to do with late night television Johnny Carson was the host. He was funny. This current crop are a waste of my time. Leno is the most entertaining, and Lettermen, what a waste.
    I would rather watch the reruns of Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity, at least then I would learn something.
    So ABC, CBS, and NBC don't put some caustic, trite comedienne on to entertain me because they are not very entertaining, they are boring, boring, boring.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Firstly SNL was the best when it started in 1976, but since 1980+ hasn't been funny in DECADES.

    Watch a DVD of the first year or two of SNL and contrast that to current shows. Current SNL SUCKS.

    It follows that the low brow "comedy" of SNL now infiltrates the Prime Time show. TV viewership is dropping because the programming sucks. Unfunny class clown Conan O'Brien (SNL alumni) sucked at the Tonight Show and was replaced.

    Craig Furgesson SUCKS too. What American thinks that a scot babbling incomprehensibly is funny?

    • Questions

      Nonsense. The last decade had some absolutely brilliant writing and comic acting, especially with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell. The 1981-86 period, with Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Joe Piscopo, also ahd stellar casts.

    • ziggy zoggy

      "What American thinks that a scot babbling incomprehensibly is funny?"

      I do. He's hilarious and his show is easily one of the best on T.V.

  • guest

    Nothing like a self-hating Jew who licks Obama's a-s-s while he s-h-i-t-s on them.

    All of them, Obama, the mangy mutt Clinton, Bozo Biden, the Glenn Frey clone Kerry, all Democrats, and especially the JINO dems like Schumer, Boxer, Feinstein, Franken-stein, et. al., who voted for the anti-Semite Hagel deserve a one-way tix to Benghazi with no protection and no chance of being helped should their own Islamist friends decide to kill them.It's called poetic justice. With a vengeance.

    • ron

      Streisand is Jewish and will sell them out.

  • Guest

    "But overall, there is not a single moderate late-night host on the air"

    There's Greg Gutfeld, but he's more early morning than late night (except for Saturday nights.) Red Eye is the only talk show worth watching and one of the funniest shows on tv.

    • Questions

      Gutfeld is snarky, not funny. I watched "Red Eye" three times about a year ago. Not once did I laugh at anything he or his guests said. He's just not a good comic.

      • ziggy zoggy

        Gutfeld scares you more than Palin does, eh?

  • patron

    I usually watch boxing reruns late night and recently NHL. The post fight interviews are funnier than anything on late night, but that meltdown by Toronto was downright hilarious.

    Funniest guy on broadcast is Jim Parsons, then Gordon Ramsey.

  • murray goldstein

    Ha! what a funny article…
    What nobody wants in a late night talk show host is some boring liar like shapiro spouting racist crap… and praising israel for being an apartheid state. this approach = no viewers. LOL!

    • Lan Astaslem

      who do you think you're fooling with the Jewish sounding name? get lost acccchhhhhhmed.

  • tanstaafl

    If it's late at night, I go to sleep.

  • Natalie

    Late night tv is not funny, its pathetic. Stop watching it and get some sleep people!
    ____________________________________________________________________________________ http://www.thecookwareadvisor.com/

  • Evans Tibetsy

    What is late night television?

  • nick

    “Craig Ferguson, who is a less offensively liberal host” ???
    He is a strong conservative, has made honorary citizenship – before he finally landed the real one – by Sarah Palin in 2007.
    Governors Jon Corzine (New Jersey), John Hoeven (North Dakota), Mark Sanford (South Carolina), Mike Rounds (South Dakota), Rick Perry(Texas), Sarah Palin (Alaska) and Jim Gibbons (Nevada) sent letters to him that made him an honorary citizen of their respective states.
    All renound lefties. I hope the rest of the article is a bit more factual.