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Wednesday, November 23, 2022
MRC Whines About Late-Night TV Not Being Fox News-y Enough
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserarch Center loves to whine about late-night TV hosts who won't be right-wing suck-ups like Fox News' Greg Gutfeld (whom it adores). And as the midterm elections approached, the MRC continued to be mad at them for not sounding like they work for the MRC (like Gutfeld does). Tim Graham gushed over a Fox News PR piece in an Oct. 8 post:

Joseph Wulfsohn at Fox News reports that audiences are leaving the Old Media late-night "comedy" shows now the Trump era is over, but the #Resistance model of partisan hot takes remains. 

CBS star Stephen Colbert was the king of late night as "The Late Show" became the most-watched late night show in the Trump era, averaging roughly 3 million viewers from 2017-2019.

But with Trump out of office, Colbert's liberal audience has shrunk to a 2.1 million viewer average in 2022, shedding 27 percent of his peak audience and losing his title as King of Late Night in recent months to Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, whose show "Gutfeld!" has edged out the CBS rival with 2.2-2.4 million viewers as of late.

Graham neglected to point out that Wolfsohn works for the same organization that airs Gutffeld, meaning that this is not legitimate reporting -- he made no effort to obtain comment from the hosts he's attacking -- but, rather, a biased Gutfeld promo that has no business being presented as "news."

Alex Christy spent a Nov. 8 post complaining that late-night hosts exercised their First Amendment rights:

From literal alarms over abortion to satirical Christmas songs to the typical anti-Republican diatribe, the men of the late night comedy shows used their Monday programs to deliver one last pitch to voters on why they should vote Democrat.

On ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the host’s wife, Molly McNearney, interrupted his anti-Herschel Walker ramblings with a literal alarm and siren, “Because tomorrow is Election Day. And abortion rights are gone or in danger in 26 states. Even though the overwhelming majority of this country supports a woman's right to choose.”


Over at The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert kicked off his Election Day Eve program with a video of satirical Christmas songs. The assortment of singers then preformed, “Have yourself a gerrymandered district,” “I'm dreaming of a white turnout,” “I saw mommy kissing Herschel Walker, then he gave her 700 bucks”, and “It's beginning to look a lot like fascists.”

Also included were “Oh Q-anon, oh Q-anon, Joe Biden is a lizard” and “Here comes Dr. Oz, here comes Dr. Oz talking about crudité” along with a promotion to get a free copy of “How the Grinch Stole Democracy.”

No word if Someone Got Run Over by John Fetterman or if Mandela Barnes preformed O Little Town of Moscow and the spinoff, O Little Town of Tehran.

Looks like someone lacks a sense of humor -- or is auditioning for a job at the Babylon Bee.

Christy returned for a whining post-mortem in a Nov. 14 post:

The late-night comedy scene has been reliably liberal for a long time, but the 2022 midterm election was a regular messaging machine for the Democrats, a NewsBusters study has revealed.

MRC analysts found that during the fall campaign, from Labor Day through the Monday night before Election Day, liberal guests outnumbered conservative guests 47 to 0. It was 100 percent liberal and/or Democrat.


Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke were the guests who appeared multiple times during the length of the study.

Interviews were typically very friendly. Jimmy Fallon joked with the Clintons about how Trump was terrible about keeping documents secure (completely avoiding Clinton security scandals). Seth Meyers began his Kamala Harris interview with this tribute: “You, as an administration, you have accomplished a great deal despite only having a 50/50 Senate.”

After noting the affiliation of guest, Christy huffed: "No one is surprised that Fox News had zero." He shouldn't be either; afer all, he specifically states in his methodology that "Fox's Gutfeld! was not included.

Christy didn't explain why he excluded Gutfeld -- perhaps he was afraid that the numbers wouldn't look so stark if he included that right-wing shill. But if you're purporting to make a blanket judgment about all late-night television, wouldn't you include a show whom your employer has bragged has better ratings than the other shows you included?

That's shoddy "media research." But then. we expect nothing less from the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EST

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