Starting with David Letterman in the 90s, late night TV has become one of the largest platforms for political comedy. Late Night with David Letterman has expanded to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and many other shows. Late night comedy has been targeted towards millennials and younger generations.
These shows are typically humorous. They have performances, interviews, and talk about daily news in a laughing manner. However, they have left that realm and become propaganda. All late night shows are liberal. There is essentially no major late night cable show that features a conservative host. This has always been the case. Nevertheless, it isn’t that the programs are bias that makes them propaganda. Its the material.
David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and John Stewart have been reckoned as the great comedians after midnight. Although not everyone liked their humor, most people agreed that they are masters of their craft. Yet, the rise of a new conservative movement has pushed late night shows to use their influence in order to spread political ideas. With Donald Trump as the leader of the pack, new conservatives have had more influence on popular culture than ever before. The oppositions response has been to push back at all costs.
Every late night show follows the same pattern. The host will give an argument for a topic. They will recite a couple quick facts. Then they will make a snarky joke about the subject. Rather than inspecting the argument, the audience is preoccupied with laughing at the witty joke. This outline is decent for comedy, but more and more people are substituting late night shows for actual research about current events.
One of the lesser political shows, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon decided to have President Trump on for an interview. After a playful interview, Fallon was torched by his audience for “normalizing Trump.”
Hey, remember when Jimmy Fallon normalized Trump? I call it, why I won’t watch the Golden Globes.
These comedic late night shows are not substitutes for actual political research, yet some younger individuals continue to use it as such. Just this week, Bill Maher had Milo Yiannopoulos on his HBO show.
Just like late night comedians do, Maher gave a small arguement, told a witty joke and his audience laughed without giving Milo an opportunity to rebut. Milo and Maher were talking about free speech, and Milo himself even told Maher respectfully “you and I both agree about [free speech].” Maher then responded with a one-two punch by replying “You should get off the Trump-train because for a guy who loves free speech, you’ve chosen a weird boyfriend.” “No, no, no-” Milo stated. However, the audience laughter was too large and Maher went as far as to go straight to break without letting Milo respond.
To make matters worse, professors and teachers across the nation are showing their classes videos of these comedians to help teach content. They believe it makes learning fun and enjoyable, especially since many college students agree with the liberal shows. With universities promoting this “news source,” it is becoming harder and harder for young generations to avoid this type of propaganda.