In 2016, Late Night Stars Backfired: ‘Propaganda For Conservatives’

Posted on Fri 04/21/2017 by


By Tim Graham ~

The liberal media spent the entire campaign warning Donald Trump that bashing the media would be his undoing, but instead, Trump is president and the media further deepened the public’s disgust with their flagrant hostility. The same goes for TV’s squad of “satirists.” Liberals write their biting humor inside a liberal bubble, and just assume everyone will be persuaded to share their take.

The liberal magazine The Atlantic has published an article exploring “How Late-Night Comedy Fueled the Rise of Trump: Sneering hosts have alienated conservatives and made liberals smug.” (In contrast, the magazine’s cover promotes a fawning article about Alec Baldwin’s Trump skits on Saturday Night Live by asking “Can Satire Save the Republic?”)

Caitlin Flanagan cleared her throat for her liberal audience and insisted “Trump has it coming, and so do the minions pouring out of his clown car.” But “somewhere along the way, the hosts of the late-night shows decided that they had carte blanche to insult not just the people within this administration, but also the ordinary citizens who support Trump, and even those who merely identify as conservatives.”

She wrote Trump voters could easily sense that the comedians viewed them as “a bunch of trailer-park, Oxy-snorting half-wits who divide their time between retweeting Alex Jones fantasies and ironing their Klan hoods.”

Exhibit A was Samantha Bee, (pictured at right) who traveled to the Western Conservative Summit and interviewed an earnest young boy who talked about going to church on Sundays and Bible study on Wednesdays, and about his hope to start a Children for Trump group. Flanagan was dismayed that this boy — “who spoke with the unguarded openness of a child who has assumed goodwill on the part of an adult” — was mocked as “Jerry Falwell in blond, larval form.”

Flanagan wrote: “Trump and Bee are on different sides politically, but culturally they are drinking from the same cup, filled with the poisonous nectar of reality TV and its baseless values, which have now moved to the very center of our national discourse. Trump and Bee share a penchant for verbal cruelty and a willingness to mock the defenseless.”

Exhibit B was HBO’s John Oliver, (pictured at right) who told viewers that if they opposed abortion in all cases, they were “excused” until the last minute of the program, when they would be shown an almost “violently delightful” bucket of sloths. Then in the last minute, he asked abortion opponents “What the f— is wrong with you?”

Flanagan concluded Oliver “perfectly encapsulated the tone of these shows: one imbued with the conviction that they and their fans are intellectually and morally superior to those who espouse any of the beliefs of the political right.”

Flanagan argued this backfires into “propaganda for conservatives,” because they don’t just see comedians trashing them. “They see HBO, Comedy Central, TBS, ABC, CBS, and NBC. In other words, they see exactly what Donald Trump has taught them: that the entire media landscape loathes them, their values, their family, and their religion. It is hardly a reach for them to further imagine that the legitimate news shows on these channels are run by similarly partisan players — nor is it at all illogical.”

None of this will message sink in on the Left. They will prefer the viewpoint of Vox blogger Carlos Maza, who recently gushed “Late night comedians have become rock stars in the Trump era…These comedians are doing a really good job of covering Trump, sometimes better than serious news networks. That’s because political satire has something that TV news lacks: a really low tolerance for [BS].”

That’s right: the Left literally believes that Fake News is better at covering Trump than Real News.

Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters. He is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.

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