Accuracy in Media

Late-night television hosts have a long history of skewering politicians for laughs, but a recent study shows their bias against Trump is at historic levels when compared to past presidents.

According to the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a whopping 97% of the jokes Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon told about the presidential candidates targeted President Donald Trump.

That equates to 455 jokes about Trump and just 14 about his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden. That does not include about 64 jokes made about Trump’s family or his administration.

“When Trump’s onstage, everyone else is blacked out,” Robert Lichter, communications professor at George Mason, told the Associated Press.

Lichter has been studying late-night humor and politics since 1992. And while Republicans are usually targeted more than Democrats by the comedy writers, the difference has never been as stark.  The next closest was during the 2016 campaign when Trump was targeted 78% of the time to 22% for Hillary Clinton according to the center.

If Biden wins the presidency Lichter thinks that Trump will still be the butt of most late-night jokes owing to the lack of material on Joe Biden as evidenced by the lopsided nature of the jokes currently.

“I think they will find a way to keep making jokes about Trump, even after he leaves office,” Lichter said.

In 2001, late-night comedians made former President Bill Clinton the subject of more jokes than his successor, George W. Bush, Lichter said.

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