Not that any of us here could possibly be surprised -- I say that to head off the inevitable comments asking how we could be -- but a new study from the Center for Media and Public Affairs finds that late-night comedians attack Republicans far more than they do Democrats. In fact, the CMPA found a lopsided 7 to 1 ratio of Republican compared to Democrat jokes. "The total: Republicans, 286. Democrats, 42."
Fox News reported that the CMPA's Donald Rieck found that this current election was "driving it off the charts" with the preponderance of jokes directed at Republicans on late-night TV.
"Generally the Republicans get targeted much more often than Democrats, but this election is driving it off the charts," said CMPA Executive Director Donald Rieck.
The CMPA has a running total going on its website for those interested in the complete breakdown. There you'll find the count from the late-night shows “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”
Letterman and Leno told 106 jokes about McCain and 180 about Palin in the 25 shows that aired between Aug. 29, when McCain chose her, and Oct. 2, the date of the vice presidential debate.
Barack Obama, who may be Leno's guest next week, was targeted only 26 times -- barely once a night. His gaffe-prone running mate, Joe Biden, who is scheduled to appear on Leno Thursday night, was hit only 16 times, not even one-tenth the number of jokes told about Palin over the five-week period.
Our own Tim Graham is quoted in the Fox News story, too.
Tim Graham, director of media analysis for Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, said the comedians' tendency to avoid mocking Obama comes from a fear of being called racist.
"There is a racial minefield that they're trying to avoid," Graham said. "I think they see Obama as a historic figure, and because he's a historic figure it's like making jokes about Martin Luther King."
Like I said, we aren't surprised a bit but it is interesting to see the hard numbers to prove it.
(Photo credit: Fox News)