A new study out of the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA), a non-partisan research organization, will have conservatives up in arms -- and rejoicing -- simultaneously. The report finds that Republican candidate Mitt Romney has been the butt of late-night jokes two times more than President Barack Obama.
On one hand, Republicans will likely be frustrated by the findings. On the other, they'll be pleased to have research on hand that corroborates their long-held contention that the media and Hollywood are biased against conservatives. The data examined stems from August 27 (the day that the GOP convention was slated to commence) through October 3. Of all the jokes told, 148 were aimed at Romney, with just 62 waged against Obama.
In this photo provided by NBC, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks with Jay Leno during his appearance on The Tonight Show in Burbank, Calif., Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Romney cracked Tuesday night that he'd pick Leno rival David Letterman as his vice president, talked at length about health policy and said he'd be happy to have a rival of his own, Rick Santorum, serve in a Romney administration. Credit: NBC
The programs included in CMPA's analysis are Jay Leno (“Tonight Show”), David Letterman (“Late Show”), Craig Ferguson (“Late Late Show,” and Jimmy Fallon (“Late Night”), according to CMPA.
Among all late-night shows, "The Late Show " was the most notable offender, with a total of 44 anti-Romney jokes and only nine aimed at Obama. The disparity in this case, rather than being a two-to-one margin was startlingly five-to-one. On a grander scale, 290 jokes were told about Republicans (quips that weren't necessarily Romney-specific). As for Democrats, the four late-night comedians considered in the study only poked fun at them 138 times.
US President Barack Obama and David Letterman speak during a break in the taping of the 'Late Show with David Letterman' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on September 18, 2012 in New York, New York. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
While some may be surprised, right-of-center Americans have been clamoring about this inequality for decades. In 2008, as CMPA notes, Obama was treated even more favorably, coming fourth in line of all politicians teased during late-night programming. John McCain came in first place with 658 jokes, Sarah Palin was second with 566, George W. Bush came in third with 244 and Obama was fourth with 243.
Aside from providing Romney and Obama's standing during the 2012 campaign, CMPA offered up a complete top-1o list of politicians who were targeted during the comedians' monologues. Here it is:
1. Mitt Romney (R) – 148
2. Barack Obama (D) – 62
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- 39
4. Bill Clinton (D) -- 28
5. Paul Ryan (R) -- 20
6. Prince Harry -- 19
7. Clint Eastwood (R) - 18
8. Joe Biden (D) -- 16
9. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – 15
10. Chris Christie (R) - 14
Read more about the study here. What do you think? Are you surprised by the inequality in jokes aimed at Republicans versus Democrats? Let us know in the comments section below.
(H/T: USA Today)