CLAIM: Jimmy Fallon is Paying the Price For Interviewing Trump


Written by DML

Jimmy Fallon was the king of late night, or so the rating claimed.  But he is no longer the king, according to those same ratings.

Today, the Huffington Post (HuffPo) published an article by Maxwell Strachan highlighting the decline of Jimmy Fallon’s late night viewership ever since he interviewed Trump in September 2016.

According to Strachan, during the week in which the interview aired, Fallon’s shows over those five days averaged 3.2 million viewers.   That’s 1 million more viewers than “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” which averaged 2.16 million, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” which averaged 1.92 million viewers.

During the interview with Trump, who at that point was struggling in the polls against Clinton, Fallon was very polite and often funny.  He and Trump showed great chemistry and the two made several jokes.  Fallon was laughing so hard at times that he could hardly catch his breath.

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 5.16.10 PMBut Strachan says Fallon’s time with Trump hurt him with viewers.  Strachan writes, “in many people’s eyes, it [the interview] was not just embarrassing, but dangerous, normalizing the views of a seemingly unstable man who was threatening the central tenets of the country, all in exchange for a few cheap laughs and maybe a slight ratings bump.”

Strachan goes on to point out that Fallon’s drop has helped Colbert to rise sharply.

Strachan writes, “Colbert didn’t air original episodes in the week after Trump’s inauguration last month. But every week since then, he has surpassed Fallon in total viewership. The first week, Colbert’s margin of victory was infinitesimal. But the week after that, his shows averaged about more than 100,000 more viewers than Fallon’s. Last week, his lead grew once more.

Nielsen reported this week that the average episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” pulled in 3 million viewers over the week of Feb. 13 to 17, while “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” pulled in 2.71 million.”

Having checked the numbers, Strachan is correct, Fallon has seen a drop.  However, I disagree with Strachan.  I don’t think Fallon is paying for his friendly demeanor when interviewing Trump.  I think it has more to do with Colbert’s vicious nightly attacks on Trump.  In the same way conservative talk show hosts kept people listening for eight years by ripping on Obama each day, Colbert is feeding the liberals who want to see Trump thrown into the lions cage.

Strachan supports my theory with his closing remarks: “it is also hard to ignore that Fallon has lost an average of 500,000 viewers a night between the week of Fallon’s interview with Trump and this last one, just as it is hard to ignore that Colbert has gained 850,000.

Over that time, Colbert has found his identity, appropriately enough, as something comparable to what his friend and former colleague Jon Stewart did during George W. Bush’s presidency ― providing a moral counterweight to a U.S. president. It is what many people need in uncertain times like these: someone to help them digest the chaos around them before they go to bed.”

So, although Strachan got the numbers correct, he misses the point.   Fallon isn’t paying the price for being nice to Trump.  Colbert is getting the rewards for spewing hate towards Trump.  The left loves to hate Trump.  There’s no other way of saying it.

By the way, I don’t read HuffPo, but I do monitor Rosie O’Donnell’s Twitter page. One can always count on her when monitoring the haters. She led me to the article.

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