THE REAL REASON STEVEN COLBERT IS FAILING ON “LATE NIGHT”

Ken Berwitz


As you may be aware, Stephen Colbert (he pronounces it coal-BEAR….but I have a feeling he grew up being COAL-bert) has taken over CBS\’s “Late Night” show from David Letterman.

As you also may be aware, since he did so, “Late Night” ratings have dropped considerably.  While David Letterman usually found himself in second place versus “Tonight” with Jimmy Fallon, but ahead of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with…well, you know who, it has spent the last couple of weeks in 3rd place.

Why do you suppose?

Well, don\’t bother supposing.  You don\’t have to.  Sophia A. McClennon\’s article for salon.com has the answers for you.

The answers, according to Ms. McClennon, are that Democrats are far more likely to watch Colbert than Republicans, and the reason is that – this is the title of her article:  “Republicans just don\’t get Stephen Colbert:  Why the Fox News-watching, climate-change denying crowd can\’t understand complex satire.”

In other words, it\’s not that Stephen Colbert does snide left-wing comedy which turns Democrats and the left on a lot more than Republicans and the right.  It\’s that Republicans are a bunch of neanderthal morons.

In her article, Ms. McClennon works very hard to show that, while Mr. Colbert may have been hard left on his Comedy Central show, he\’s much more mainstream now…and while he still can go after Republicans/right wingers, he goes after Democrats/left wingers too.

(FYI:  Anyone who has actually watched a few of Colbert\’s interviews probably finds this review of the show a lot more amusing than the show itself.)

And to “prove” that Republicans have left “Late Night” in droves, Ms. McClennon puts up data showing that a lot fewer Republicans watch Colbert than either Fallon or Kimmel.  

(A little research insight for you – and her:  unless there are comparable data for when David Letterman was hosting the show, those numbers are meaningless, because they provide no evidence that the skew for Colbert is any different than when Letterman was the host).

Now for the funniest part (maybe Colbert can do a skit about it):  several paragraphs after claiming that Colbert has mainstreamed, and goes after both sides, Ms. McClennon puts this paragraph up:

So why don\’tRepublicans like him?  According to Callum Borchersin the Washington Post, the problem is that Colbert takes positions that willenrage the GOP on topics like gay marriage and Syrian refugees.  When hegoes after these issues he tends to skewer the GOP, exposing the flaws to theirlogic, mocking their twisted so-called values, and revealing their penchant forre-writing history.  Borcher tells us “Colbertknows how to bring down the house by painting conservatives as a bunch ofbackward xenophobes. He\’s one of the best at it.”

And her next words?  “Borchers is right, of course”.  

In other words, Callum Borchers tells us that Colbert remains a hardline leftist who goes directly after Republicans, shows (in his mind) that they are exactly the neanderthal morons Sophia A. McClennon\’s headline describes.  This completely debunks the claims McClennon then spent paragraphs making, that Colbert, as the host of “Late Night”, had largely given up his left-wing tilt.

Maybe there are two Sophia A. McClennons, and each one wrote a different part of the article.

If not, then maybe this is a pretty ridiculous article.  Maybe the real reason Stephen Colbert\’s ratings have sunk to their current status is not that Republicans and conservatives are too dumb to understand his brilliance, maybe it\’s because he is crapping on them even more than Letterman did (which takes some doing, by the way), and they prefer to go where they\’re not being crapped on.

You decide.

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