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Social Media, Late Night Should Disclose Left Leanings

 Social Media, Late Night Should Disclose Left Leanings

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By Thursday, 29 October 2020 04:33 PM Current | Bio | Archive

I have spent a good share of my career writing comedy for the biggest names and networks in show business particularly in radio.

My political satire has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh for over 20 years.

While writing comedy for Rush, I wrote pop culture material for every major radio comedy network so your favorite morning radio program may have featured it.

A new study shows two of the biggest names in Late Night TV (and presumably this is true across the board) make Donald Trump the target of jokes 97% of the time. Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert delivered 455 jokes about Donald Trump and only 14 about Joe Biden.

The unsurprising study was conducted by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.

"When Trump’s onstage, everyone else is blacked out," said Robert Lichter, a communication professor at George Mason. Four years ago, the skew was not quite as lop sided with Trump getting made fun of 78% of the time compared to Hillary Clinton’s 22%.

The material I have written for Rush is decidedly political and leans right as his show does. His listeners expect it, and he delivers. Late night TV is not like a political radio show in that it is not explicitly political in its title or mission statement. Unfortunately, we have seen a quantum shift leftward with not only late night but Comedy Central and even SNL.

This sort of bias would be much more acceptable provided the shows were honest with viewers like Bill Maher’s "Politically Incorrect."

He is a "proud" Liberal, although, I don't know how one could be as modern day Liberalism is nothing to be particularly proud of. (joke) There is no doubt where Bill Maher lies on the political spectrum, and because of this, I can choose whether or not to tune in.

This is the same dynamic at play with big social media.

We were all led to believe they were neutral. At first, Facebook was a neat place to post family pictures or photos of your feet on a lawn chair on a beach, or to reunite with high school friends.

Twitter was slightly more opinionated, but we all thought we could post thoughts or articles of any political persuasion so long as they didn’t promote violence.

Now we find that political opinions and news stories are actively shut down by Facebook and Twitter and certain political videos are banned or channels shut down on Youtube most generally when they’re conservative.

It would be fine if big social media and late night were upfront about their leftward leanings, and therefore people could avoid them, but they have a monopoly.

Google Inc controls 90% of internet searches, and Facebook, Youtube and Twitter control 61% or so of all online revenue worldwide.

Late night used to be the purview of the broadcast networks and were subject to FCC regulations including "Community Standards." They had to have broad appeal, and so they were not implicitly biased, although the big three evening news gradually lurched left.

Political satire can be brilliant as it not only entertains and provokes laughter, but it makes a point. When I wrote "Capital Hill Bank," "Taxula,"  "The Lying King," "The Clintstones," "Democrat Skyfall" and hundreds of other bits for Rush, that was my goal, and it paired perfectly with the Limbaugh mantras, "Use humor to make a point" and "use absurdity to point out the absurd."

Those who host late night are temporary stewards on some of these shows before passing them on to a new generation as is the "Tonight Show" and the "Late Show."

Steve Allen, Jack Parr, Jack Benny, Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson (my namesake) are spinning in their graves like a table leg on a lathe. Comedy is an art. Comedy is a skill.

Comedy is universal.

Unlike journalism, comedy doesn’t have to be unbiased, but I would much rather know ahead of time of a bias rather than gradually find out over time that these shows do not care to appeal to me and my political ilk.

Rob Carson is a talk radio host who’s done time on the biggest talk shows in places like Chicago, Washington, D.C. San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Nashville, Phoenix, Minneapolis, New York City, and Baltimore. Rob is a nationally syndicated comedy writer whose political satire has been a staple on the Rush Limbaugh Program or over two decades, through five presidential administrations. Rob’s show "What in the World?"runs on Newsmax TV, Saturdays 5:00pm Eastern, and Sundays 2:00pm Eastern. Rob also is an accomplished video an audio podcaster who talks politics, pop culture, comedy, and oddly enough, food! He also has extensive experience as a cooking/lifestyle video host and amateur chef. Read Rob Carson's Reports — More Here. 

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RobCarson
Comedy is universal. Unlike journalism, comedy doesn’t have to be unbiased, but I would much rather know ahead of time of a bias rather than gradually find out over time that these shows do not care to appeal to me and my political ilk.
facebook, fallon, maher, twitter, youtube
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2020-33-29
Thursday, 29 October 2020 04:33 PM
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