If CBS allows Stephen Colbert to take "The Late Show" to the left, then NBC "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon will end up being the "luckiest guy in New York City," talk show host Joe Scarborough said while predicting that was unlikely to happen.
CBS revealed Thursday that Colbert would take the helm at the late-night talk show after David Letterman retires in 2015. The announcement promptly led conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh to say that CBS had "declared war on the heartland of America."
Limbaugh called Colbert a "partisan so-called comedian" on his radio show Thursday, and said the assault of CBS on "traditional American values" was now "wide out in the open."
Scarborough countered Limbaugh, saying "most comedians on the national stage are liberals."
"I think most conservatives, like myself, grew up listening to music and singing along to songs and laughing at comedians' jokes who had never voted for a Republican once in their life," Scarborough said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.
The "massive success over the past 10 years" of the network under CBS President Les Moonves, Scarborough said, was because CBS played to the heartland of the country.
"People that know TV understand you win nationally, and broadcast networks and certainly Les Moonves and CBS understands this, you win when you win the Central Time Zone.
"If Stephen Colbert decides to go far left, and he won't on CBS, then Jimmy Fallon's going to be the luckiest guy in New York City, because NBC is going to get massive ratings," he said.
Peter Lattman, media editor of The New York Times, predicted Colbert, as a "practicing Roman Catholic" and "family guy," would "appeal to both sides of the aisle" on "The Late Show." He said Colbert understood "as well as anybody in America" that he would be working to appeal to a different audience from his "Colbert Report," which is telecast on Comedy Central.
"Colbert is a comedian. He's done this act for nine years. He said in an announcement right away yesterday that he was losing it. So, I think you're just going to see a whole new Stephen Colbert next year," Lattman told "Morning Joe" Friday.
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