This (below ) is a strange headline on Politico. Suggesting by the headline that my comments on GretaWire yesterday (in red below) are some sort of political statement or conservative agenda is odd.
Frankly….I thought I was just blogging about old fashion decency and good manners – is that political? If you note, I didn’t take a side in the dispute (that is what I wrote) between NBC and Leno but noted that I thought it could be handled better — that Jay Leno be treated with respect.
Building a new set 3000 miles away in New York and letting rumors fly about a long term successful employee is tacky and rude. Don’t you? Does Jay Leno deserve that? I don’t think so. It could be handled better – that is what I wrote. That is not politics. That is decency.
But what I don’t understand is Politico reading a political message in my blogged comments or even going so far as to ask if Jay Leno is the conservative hero. I think it is weird.
Politico didn’t expressly say my comments were political but I think you can read that suggestion from the headline, the other text and my blogged comments quoted in the article. By the way, since I have been at Fox, the “right” calls me “left” and the “left” calls me “right” …go figure!
Sometimes the media is so desperate for a controversy that they read weird stuff into simple statements.
By the way, I had no idea what any of my colleagues at Fox or anyone else thought about the NBC / Jay Leno story. I never spoke to them about it. I only know what I thought after first reading about the construction of the set and felt like blogging my thoughts.
And as for whether Jay Leno ever ends up at Fox Broadcast (not Fox News) as suggested in the Politico story, that is so far above my pay grade that I have no information about that and never would. Politico flatters me if they think I am in the know about the inner workings of Fox Broadcast. I don’t even know the inner workings of Fox News Channel where I work!
Let me confess to one thing….I do admire Leno’s wife Mavis who I have never met. She was one of the first to call attention to the horrible treatment of women at the hands of the Taliban. She was way out front on that issue in the 90′s. In 1997 she was chair of Campaign to Stop Apartheid in Afghanistan (part of the left, not right, Feminist Majority Foundation) and I remember thinking, ‘what’s that all about?’ Well….I learned…we all learned…but Mavis Leno was miles in front of all of us.
Right bemoans possible Jay Leno exit
By: Patrick Gavin
March 22, 2013 11:34 AM EDT
Could Jay Leno become a new conservative hero?
In the bitter and gossipy duel between Leno and NBC (the “Tonight Show” host is set to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon, according to reports), some see political fallout in Leno’s fall from grace.
“Left cheering Leno exit typical, he dared to entertain and offer jokes for the other 50% of country. Unacceptable in ‘New America’…” tweeted Matt Drudge this week in the wake of news of Fallon’s ascension. And Jezebel touched on Leno’s rough relationship with the coastal elites, describing him as “Middle America’s favorite late-night host.”
Fox News’ “The Five” speculated, if slightly in jest as is the show’s wont, that Leno was suffering for his barbs against President Barack Obama.
“Clearly he pushed it too far,” said Greg Gutfeld said, half joking, on Thursday. “The network will send him to a reeducation camp for required therapy,” adding that Leno should poke more fun at Sarah Palin if he wants to keep his job.
Fox News’ Greta van Susteren wrote in defense of Leno on her blog.
“In the last few hours I have read about NBC and Jay Leno. I don’t know if what I read is 1/2 true … all true … or even false … but I do think this could be handled better. Jay Leno deserves to be treated better — he has accomplished much and done a great deal for the network. I don’t know if it is NBC or the media but Jay Leno deserves better treatment than he appears to be getting. What do you think?”
Perhaps conservatives will be cheering when they hear this — Leno could land at Fox.
This from the New York Post on Friday: “The head of Fox’s powerful affiliate board — who represents the majority of the 206 Fox stations around the country, said yesterday he favors building a new late-night show — starting at 11 o’clock — around the departing ‘Tonight Show’ host. ‘If Fox were to present the right business plan, the affiliate board would be interested,’ Steve Pruett, the board chairman, told the Post.
Matt Towery wrote on the conservative Town Hall website that Leno — despite being a liberal — is like “Barry Goldwater” when compared with David Letterman.
“… I know that Jay Leno, like most on network TV, is a self-proclaimed ‘liberal,’ but I could care less. Next to David Letterman, he looks like Barry Goldwater,” Towery wrote.
Towery described Leno as an “equal opportunity offender” comic, who doesn’t back away from poking fun at Democrats when it’s warranted.
“The critics generally hate Leno, because, to them, he’s too much a part of ‘average’ America. He doesn’t have the endless — and I mean endless — sarcasm of Letterman and actually refrains from attacking people. He’s not cutting edge. He’s too much the Apple Pie American. Oh and he’s too funny to a majority of Americans,” Towery wrote.
He continued: “What Leno does is make even us folks in our late-40s, 50s, or older take an hour to forget how hard we have worked. He takes our attention away from how much liberty and personal resources we have lost through the idiotic moves of both Democrat and Republican leaders. And when he does focus on these matters, he brings us together for a laugh. He is an equal opportunity offender with his humor, but one with a heart.”
And Breitbart’s Christian Toto noted that Fallon had come under fire in November 2011 for playing “Lyin’ Ass B*tch” as the entrance music for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), then a GOP presidential candidate.
“Fallon’s regular guy charm is legit, but so is his willingness to peddle conservative insults. His show’s use of the song ‘Lyin’ Ass Bitch’ to greet tea party favorite Congresswoman Michele Bachmann remains one of nastiest moments in recent pop culture history,” Toto wrote.
The only late night talker who sees fit to mock the president is being shown the exit door. … Leno is far from a perfect late night host,” Toto added. “His interviews can be maddeningly by the book, and his sketches are as uneven as his predecessor, the great Johnny Carson. Yet Leno has always stuck to the basics — you’re a late night comic, and that means you poke fun at the president no matter the party. He’ll be missed for that quality as well as his sturdy monologues, leaving the late-night field wide open for a center-right talent with the guts to do his or her job.”
While Leno may not have as much street cred among New York and Los Angeles elites as his other late-night counterparts (Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, Stewart/Colbert, etc.), it’s not as though Leno is actually easy on Republicans. On Wednesday, he poked fun at the party’s attempt at image restoration.
“After losing two presidential elections in a row, the Republican Party now has outlined a plan to attract minorities,” said Leno, previewing a fake ad from the “new” Republican Party. “We’ve adjusted our position on just about everything,” the narrator says. “We’ll raise taxes on everyone who makes more money than you. Also, we’ve decided that we’re A-okay with same-sex marriages. In fact, we’ll even pay for the honeymoon!”
But Leno is less focused on ribbing Republicans. Although an October 2012 study revealed that Leno, like his competitors, skewered Mitt Romney more than they had Obama (although less than Letterman), an earlier study from that year showed that Leno made fun of Obama twice as much as did Letterman.
— Kevin Cirilli contributed to this report.