More than a decade after Leno and Letterman slugged it out to succeed Carson, and four years after the Leno/O’Brien feud, the late night TV wars are back. This time right-wingers are bringing the hostility and hilarity.
Late night television is experiencing a changing of the guards with a host of fresh, new (white, male) faces giving America a few laughs before bedtime. Jimmy Fallon took the helm of “The Tonight Show,” after Jay Leno’s retirement. Seth Meyers left “Saturday Night Live” to fill Fallon’s old spot on “Late Night.”
Everything was humming along nicely, until CBS announced that Stephen Colbert, of “The Colbert Report,” will host “The Late Show” following David Letterman’s retirement. Right-wingers promptly lost their minds.
Rush Limbaugh and Ben Shapiro weren’t the only ones. Naturally, Bill O’Reilly had to weigh in, since Colbert has spent years masterfully skewering O’Reilly’s television persona. True to form, O’Reilly lashed out, calling Colbert an “ideological fanatic” for mocking O’Reilly’s latest ridiculous pontificating on inequality.
Colbert responded with the kind of wit that shows why he got the “Late Night” job.
Progressives suffered giggling fits in 2006, when Colbert’s performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents dinner left conservatives scratching their heads, because it was clear that conservatives didn’t get the joke — that Colbert’s whole act was a satire of right-wing ideology. A 2011 survey showed that conservatives were more likely to think Colbert only pretended to be joking, and generally meant what he said.
It took them long enough, but right-wingers finally get the joke. Here’s the rest of the best of the worst in wingnuttia this week.
- Life really does imitate art. Two days after Saturday Night Live spoofed Fox News getting the NCAA and the NAACP mixed up, “Fox & Friends” host Heather Childers referred to the UConn Huskies as the “NAACP national champs.”
- Proving once again that he can’t take it as well as he can dish it out, New Jersey governor Chris Christie could not handle being roasted by comedian and former “The View” co-host Joy Behar. And it showed. But he’s not a bully.
- How soon they forget. After Mitt Romney tanked in 2012, the GOP’s own “postmortem” report called for support for comprehensive immigration reform and better outreach to Latinos. But 2016 wannabe Jeb Bush’s show of compassion for undocumented immigrants sparked a backlash from right-wing media. Mark Levin even called Jeb, “the dumbest of the Bushes.”
- The National Review and the New York Post become the latest right-wing media outlets to be sued for libel. The Post joined Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” in the docket, for labeling two men as “Bag Men” in the Boston Marathon bombing. The National Review is being sued by a professor the magazine portrayed as manipulating his research to find evidence of global warming, as part of its “Climategate” coverage.
- Iowa Republican Senate candidate Sam Clovis thinks the main reason Barack Obama has not been impeached is because he’s black.
- If Congress won’t do it, maybe the Almighty will? Pat Robertson asked God to “deliver” the U.S. from President Obama, after (again) implying that the president is a secret Muslim.
- Minnesota Republican Aaron Miller is running for Congress just to make sure his daughter won’t have to learn about evolution.
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R, TX) was on the receiving end of a brutal takedown by Attorney General Eric Holder — who warned Gohmert “You don’t want to go there buddy, alright?”, after Gohmert brought up that the House GOP held Holder in attempt over the “Fast and Furious scandal” two years ago. Holder even got in a subtle diss about Gohmert, accusing him of “casting aspersions on my asparagus.”
- Naturally, Glen Beck accused Holder of “threats against a congressman.”
- Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint stepped out to the veranda of the plantation in his mind to tell us that the federal government of the United States did nothing to end slavery. That is, except for the Emancipation Proclamation, the Thirteenth Amendment, and the whole Civil War thing.
- Glen Beck responded to the stabbing rampage at a Pennsylvania high school by warning that America is headed for mass starvation for abandoning “universal principles.”
- Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer said “the clock has run out” on Benghazi, for Republicans to get the answers they want. But Rep. Michele Bachmann (R, MN) went on “The Janet Melford Show” to announce that Hillary Clinton “bought and paid for” testimony that undermined right-wing conspiracy theories.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that Mississippi Tea Party Senate candidate Chris McDaniel once said the he won’t pay taxes if African-Americans get reparations for slavery.
- George W. Bush’s portraits of world leaders came from Google Image search results. Let the copyright infringement lawsuits begin.