I’ve always argued there’s nothing wrong with late-night television that can’t be fixed without simply playing a short clip before the show: “We’re the Democrats, and we approve this message.”
Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel regularly engage in who can give the most unpaid advertising to the left, and a good episode will appear, from the moment the comedian arrives on stage to the moment the credits roll, as if it were directed as an attack ad against the Republicans.
Jimmy Fallon seems to lag a bit in public perception, if only because he once “humanized” Trump by tousling his hair, but now the only material difference seems to be that he seems a bit more wooden when delivering jokes about how the president is definitely Vladimir Putin’s bedfellow.
You get the feeling that if Letterman were still on, “Stupid Pet Tricks” would involve a cat who could meow vulgarisms about Trump and a dog who knew to only use fire hydrants with pictures of Republicans on them.
One of the recent trends in these political spots seems to be Democrats using Colbert’s show as a jumping-off point for political campaigns.
All in all, comedian Michael Loftus is a bit sick of it.
Loftus was a writer and producer on the CBS sitcom “Kevin Can Wait.” In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” last week, one night after Gillibrand’s announcement, he lamented late night’s cozy relationship with the Democrat Party.
During the appearance, Loftus said that politicians appeared on the show because they’d get “softball” questions and that late-night in general was “a big, giant safe space” for the left.
“They know that Stephen Colbert and the rest of late night is putting the ‘pro’ back in ‘propaganda,’” he said. “It’s going to be a softball interview, you’re gonna look good. I mean, look at the way he fawns all over these guys.”
You can watch the full interview here.
In fact, Gillibrand’s announcement sounded less like a talk-show appearance than your standard campaign kick-off, only with another person occasionally intruding to give the candidate a prompt on occasion to talk about how awesome she was. (And, in fairness, probably a bigger television audience.)
“I’m going to run for president of the United States because, as a young mom, I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own. Which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege,” Gillibrand said. (She’s 52, by the way. That’s a little outside the traditional “young mom” demo.)
“It’s why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn’t matter what block you grow up on. And I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way into the middle class.”
If this were anything other than “The Stephen Colbert Democrat Hour Sponsored by the DNC,” one might have asked her to give some sort of adumbration on how she intended to pull this off. But then, this was Colbert — as Loftus pointed out.
“How bad do you have to fail as a Democratic candidate on Colbert?” Loftus said. “It’s such a softball thing. If you fail on Colbert, get out of the race. I don’t trust you to negotiate with anybody if you can’t do good on that show.”
He added that “it’s all just the advertising arm of the Democratic Party.”
“They’ll announce on Colbert, then they’ll do Kimmel, then they’ll do Fallon. The entire late-night arena … it’s a big, giant safe space for them,” he said.
And as for election meddling, Loftus joked that “Stephen Colbert and the late night shows are worse than Russia. There, I said it. Come get me.”
I know it’s a joke, but I wouldn’t necessarily go that far. Not because it’s not funny, but because I can see Colbert demanding the special counsel investigate Loftus — posthaste.
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