Politico: Leno's Departure Hurts Conservatives On Late Night TV

Letterman decidedly more biased, Fallon less political

In a comprehensive look at the shifting politics of late night television, Politico essentially admits what conservatives have long been saying: late night comedians skew left. According to the article, Jay Leno, the notable exception to the rule, leaves a void for Republicans looking to connect with late night's audience:

The curtain rose this week on a new era of late-night TV — altering the terrain for politicians who frequent the shows and complicating life for Republicans, who have lost their most comfortable seat in front of the camera.

But while describing Fallon as less political than his predecesor, Politico did note one of Fallon's first guests, and the subject matter surrounding their visit:

Fallon, who is eyed a bit warily by some Republicans, had first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday — they have a chemistry between them — after launching his new show on Monday. He said recently that his show will not be the place to go for in-depth interviews with politicians and candidates.

Obama and Fallon’s only foray into politics during her appearance was a pitch about Obamacare’s provision that allows children to stay on their parent’s health insurance until age 26, with a quick quip from Fallon about the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov finally working.

“(The website is) working now. It’s so much better when it’s working,” Fallon said.

Fallon's chemistry with the First Lady aside, non-political may be better for Republicans than biased, a charge data indicates that Leno's longtime rival, David Letterman, deserved. According to analysis done by Robert Lichter, director of Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, Leno's jokes were evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans, unlike Letterman:

“Letterman particularly in recent years has gotten very one-sided, so if conservatives want to complain about late-night media bias, it’s Letterman and not Leno they had to worry about,” Lichter said. “I’m sure conservatives thought of Leno as more balanced, and our data bear that out to some degree.”