As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, late night comedians make fun of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney more than twice as much as they do Barack Obama.
CNN's Howard Kurtz defended this on Sunday's Reliable Sources saying, "Obama is just not that easy to ridicule... Whereas jokes about a rich guy with a 1950s lingo -- well, gosh, golly, gee whiz, isn't that hard to make people laugh" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Late-night comedians have a dramatic bias in favor of Barack Obama. Los Angeles Times media reporter James Rainey passed along that The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University catalogued jokes about public figures told from August 27 to October 3 by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, and Craig Ferguson. (No Kimmel? No Conan?)
The monologues of the top nighttime talk shows have targeted Romney with 148 jokes since the political party conventions this summer, compared with 62 jokes aimed at Obama. Guess whose act tilted the most against Romney?
As NewsBusters readers are well aware, vulgarian comedienne Kathy Griffin spends a lot of time bashing the Palins.
On Thursday's "Late Late Show," she told Craig Ferguson, "Half the fun is knowing I will irritate Elisabeth Hasselbeck and then maybe the other ladies at “The View” as well as hopefully Fox News's Bill O'Reilly (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe - formerly of Newsweek - appeared as a guest on Wednesday’s Late Late Show on CBS, after Wolffe conveyed his left-leaning take on the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, host Craig Ferguson asked, "You’re a Democrat, aren’t you?" as he stared at the MSNBC contributor for comedic effect, inspiring audience laughter.
After Wolffe responded, "I am a journalist," Ferguson smiled and quipped, "Much the same thing, isn’t it?"
Ferguson had turned the discussion to President Obama’s role in the recent tax agreement, and Wolffe asserted that it was "embarrassing" for Obama that he had to break a campaign promise, although the MSNBC political analyst also suggested that doing so was necessary in the current economic climate. He then claimed that the deal limits the ability of the GOP to effectively criticize the President in the future because Republicans "are in bed with him." Wolffe:
For two years, the Republicans have said this guy is a socialist, he’s unacceptable, he's a freak. And now it’s very hard for them to go back and do that because they are in bed with him - not literally - but they’re in bed with him and they’ve made the deal, and he’s now acceptable. He’s acceptable to polite company and Republicans.
After Ferguson argued that Obama can be attacked for breaking a "big" campaign promise, Wolffe continued:
Liberal comedian Robin Williams waded into Pope Benedict-bashing again on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson – just hours after millions of American Catholics celebrated Holy Thursday and the commemoration of The Last Supper, and in the wee hours of Good Friday morning.
The talk began as Ferguson and Williams talked about how the Scottish ask you which soccer team you favor, which is a roundabout way to ask about religion. They chewed over the phrase "some sort of Catholic," and Williams said: "Some sort of Catholic. Same religion, less pedophilia." Then he kicked into gear:
WILLIAMS: It’s going to be an interesting Easter for the pope. Everyone else is hiding eggs. He’s hiding priests. [In comic voice] ‘Find the pedophile! Find the pedophile! Find the pedophile! Where’s the pedophile? [Gibberish and laughter] Oop! There he is! Here’s a hundred thousand dollars! Replace the pedophile!"
During an interview on Wednesday’s Larry King Live on CNN, actress Betty White recounted a controversial joke from October 2008 when she called Sarah Palin a "crazy b****" during an appearance on CBS's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson as she pretended to be then-presidential candidate John McCain’s speechwriter for a skit. Her recitation of the line inspired laughter from host King, as he praised the actress as having "good delivery." White also informed King that the line had been written by Ferguson or his writers as it was part of a pre-planned sketch.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, March 17, Larry King Live on CNN, followed by a transcript of the relevant clip of the Late Late Show on CBS from October 2008:
On Wednesday night’s Late Late Show on CBS, when host Craig Ferguson asked guest Wolf Blitzer of CNN’s The Situation Room if he thought Sarah Palin is "gone" now, Blitzer cracked that Palin would provide Ferguson with "a lot of material" as she will still be active publicly. After the two were talking about whether the CNN anchor sometimes finds something "really funny" while he is doing the news, Ferguson cracked that the former Alaska governor is "quite funny," evoking audience laughter, and asked about her future. Ferguson: "Hey, what about Sarah Palin, talking about "quite funny"? Do you think she's gone? Do you think that's it?"
Blitzer responded: "No, she’s not gone. We’ll be seeing a lot of her. She’s going to be writing a book. She’ll be doing speeches. She’ll be on TV. You’re going to have a lot of material. ... If you need material, you’ll have it."
Below is a complete transcript of the discussion of Palin between Blitzer and Ferguson from the Wednesday, August 5, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS:
[Update, 7:30 pm Eastern: Audio and video clips added.]
On CBS’s Late Late Show Tuesday night, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour again claimed that she was a nonpolitical entity: “I know it’s very fashionable and trendy to wear your politics on your sleeve right now, but I just don’t.” When host Craig Ferguson favorably compared her to the late Walter Cronkite, Amanpour gushed, “He was so special. I think we really will miss him” [audio clips from the interview are available here].
Towards the end of the interview, at about 22 minutes into the 1 am Eastern hour, Ferguson asked her if she about her political stance, specifically in the context of her native Iran: “What about you and politics though? Do you find yourself in accord with Ahmadinejad?” The CNN chief international correspondent tossed a question back at him: “What do you think?” When the CBS host joked that he didn’t view her as “a big Ahmadinejad-i,” Amanpour replied with her claim of objectivity: “You know...I know it’s very fashionable and trendy to wear your politics on your sleeve right now, but I just don’t.” Ferguson complimented her, but she continued that “I feel- to be very honest with you, that- that if I went and- and treated every story through my own political lens, then how is anybody to know what’s- what’s true? Or at least as close to the objective truth.”