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Late-Night Comedians Line Up With the Dump-Biden Democrats

Tim Graham on

Does anybody remember the gentle days of political humor when Johnny Carson was the King of Late Night? Today's late-night environment is largely a nasty gang of hardened leftists (with Jimmy Fallon being the closest to the Carson model).

A new Media Research Center study by Alex Christy found the political tilt of guests (with a political opinion) over a nine-month period was 137 to 8, or 94% liberal. That would also suggest the tone of the hosts when they have politics on the brain.

In the fervid public dispute over whether President Joe Biden's disastrous debate performance should cause him to quit the campaign, the comedians are not-so-subtly suggesting they are on Team Quit. "It's not for me to say," but get out.

Let's start with Jon Stewart, king of the new snarky late-night landscape. Biden told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that if he lost, he'll know he did his "goodest" to beat Donald Trump. Stewart shot back: "That is not what this is about! There are no participation trophies in 'endgame democracy.' Yes, I remember FDR saying, 'Well, if the Nazis take over Europe, at least both teams had fun."

The Trump-equals-Hitler bit is a constant. Trump's daughter converted to Judaism, and his policies were very pro-Israel. It's pretty wild stuff from Jon Leibowitz "Stewart," the guy who once hosted what he called a "Rally to Restore Sanity." He failed.

NBC's Seth Meyers also offered a wild-eyed lecture on how Biden isn't good enough. "A wildly dangerous criminal and pathological liar is leading a radical movement to dismantle American democracy and he's within striking distance," he said. So "it would be nice to have a Democratic candidate who could competently articulate those stakes, instead of whatever the hell this was."

Meyers couldn't handle Biden's promise to do fewer events after dark and get more rest: "If you truly believe American democracy is at stake, and it is, then you have to act like it. You can't claim to be the last bulwark against fascism and also have a 'more sleep' plan."

On CBS, Stephen Colbert complained, "Biden's shakiness allowed Trump to get away with 90 minutes of lies, racism and weird golf brags, which is why a lot of people are saying this was the worst debate performance of all time."

 

In an interview with CNN host Abby Phillip, Colbert asked why there should be any debates. Naturally, the journalist thought there should be debates. Colbert shot back: "Why? You know he's going to lie and the other guy is the president of the United States, who should not be dignifying this criminal who tried to overthrow democracy and does not believe in the process."

This is today's anti-Trump fervor. Democracy is best served when debates aren't held.

Colbert later concluded Biden is displaying a battle of two virtues, perseverance and self-sacrifice. "And self-sacrifice takes a particular kind of courage, and that is a courage I believe Joe Biden is capable of." Keep hope alive, Steve.

Since Jimmy Kimmel took the summer off at ABC, this week's fill-in host Kathryn Hahn proclaimed: "I would vote for a skeleton over Donald Trump. In fact, I may literally be voting for a skeleton over Donald Trump."

Behind all this nastiness is sincerity. The "comedians" aren't striking a pose to play the rebel. These people really believe their own spiels about democracy ending if they lose. But just because they're sincere doesn't mean they don't sound like they need medication. They don't get to lecture the rest of us about having a calm grip on reality and a reasonable view on what happens next in America.

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Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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