The Trump administration has given late night TV new life. But for all their digs at the president, Stephen Colbert and his ilk aren’t doing much better than POTUS at bringing the country together.
In an article for Huffington Post, Entertainment Editor Sara Boboltz highlighted what we’re all feeling – “America has never been more obsessed with late-night political comedy.”
In February, Variety reported that SNL had hit a six year ratings high, and since the election, Colbert is outpacing fellow hosts with better than ever ratings. But as it turns out, late night hosts aren’t changing people’s minds with their caustic commentary. They’re either preaching to the liberal choir or alienating conservatives.
While Boboltz did note that late night hosts are targeting Donald Trump, she blamed the president for exacerbating the divide with his tweets.
“His repeated comments have wedged a line,” she wrote. “You are either with Trump, and against late-night, or with late-night, and against Trump.”
But there are plenty of “Never Trumper” conservatives who dislike the president and are still bothered by the vociferous and virulent barrage against him. For example, Samantha Bee has called POTUS everything from a “Demagoguing bag of candy corn” to a “Backfired wish that Republicans made on a cursed monkey’s paw.”
Colbert recently got into hot water for a crude joke about Trump and Putin's relationship, and instead of apologizing, he doubled down on his snideness. “You are the Presi-dunce, but are turning into a real prick-tator. Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine,” the host laughed. “You have more people marching against you than cancer.”
If nothing else, this leads us to wonder whether all the liberals were listening when Michelle Obama declared: “When they go low, we go high.”
So is it any wonder that conservatives are turned off?
Boboltz also quoted Heather LaMarre, an educator who studies the intersection of politics and media at Temple University, who shed more light on the issue.
“The people who were already anti-Trump are going to become more anti-Trump,” LaMarre weighed in, “and the people who are pro-Trump are not going to walk away from him just because of something a political comedian said.”
However, both women failed to clearly articulate an important point: Every late night host leans left, reinforcing the common conservative belief that entertainment media is a liberal stronghold. And when news media hype shows like SNL, it only compounds the problem.
But diversity advocates don’t touch the glaring issue of ideological uniformity across the late-night slate. And that’s a shame, because the lack of dialogue is really what’s at the root of the problem of national division.