Late Night Comics and the Election
John McCain returned to "Late Show With David Letterman" Thursday night, appologizing for canceling an appearance three weeks ago, but should the onetime media favorite have been preparing for an ambush?
A study shows the Kings of Late Night are not equal-opportunity destroyers this year when it comes to telling jokes about the candidates for president and vice president -- they're hammering Republicans a stunning seven times more often than they skewer Democrats.
The Center for Media and Public Affairs, a media analysis group, kept a tally of jokes told about the presidential contenders on the "Late Show" and "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" in the five weeks after McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate and vaulted the little-known Alaska governor into the national spotlight.
The total: Republicans, 286. Democrats, 42.
"Generally the Republicans get targeted much more often than Democrats, but this election is driving it off the charts," said CMPA Executive Director Donald Rieck.
Letterman and Leno told 106 jokes about McCain and 180 about Palin in the 25 shows that aired between Aug. 29, when McCain chose her, and Oct. 2, the date of the vice presidential debate. . . .