Late-night TV comedians want you to laugh at Republicans, and especially at Mitt Romney.
A study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University found that late-night comedians overwhelmingly target Republicans in their comedy routines:
Latenight TV talk-show comedians have told more jokes about Mitt Romney than about all Democrats combined since the party nominating conventions, according to a new study of political humor by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA). Overall, the study found that Republicans were the targets of jokes more than twice as often as Democrats, with the greatest disparity occurring in David Letterman’s monologues.
The CMPA analyzed the opening routines “of the highest rated late night talk show hosts on the broadcast networks—Jay Leno (‘Tonight Show’), David Letterman (‘Late Show’), Craig Ferguson (‘Late Late Show’), and Jimmy Fallon (‘Late Night’)”—between August 27 and October 3.
Mitt Romney was the target of 148 jokes on latenight talk show monologues, over twice as many as President Obama. Obama finished second with 62 jokes.
The disparity was greatest on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Letterman told 44 jokes about Romney and 9 about Obama, a five to one margin. But all four comedians told more Romney jokes than Obama jokes.
There were 290 jokes about Republicans, more than twice the 138 jokes about Democrats. The Top Ten joke targets included 5 Republicans and 3 Democrats.
One other notable finding: Paul Ryan was the butt of more jokes than Joe Biden, despite Biden’s well-documented propensity to say funny things.
The study also noted signs of a liberal bias.
For Barack Obama, being bypassed by TV’s humorists is nothing new. In the 2008 general election, CMPA found that he finished fourth with 243 jokes, behind GOP candidates John McCain (658), Sarah Palin (566), and outgoing president George W. Bush (244).