Late-Night TV Void Hurting Politicians on Both Sides

The lack of late-night talk show television due to the ongoing Hollywood writers and actors strikes is having a chilling effect on political discourse and interest, The Hill reports.

The stars of the “Big Three” networks’ late-night television block, including NBC host Jimmy Fallon, CBS host Stephen Colbert, and ABC host Jimmy Kimmel, have taken their shows off the air in solidarity with striking writers and actors, and the Hill reports that this could have a detrimental effect for Democrat and Republican politicians who relied on talk show coverage as a way to connect with young people and non-typical voters.

“If this continues into 2024, this is very bad news for Democrats, not just because the narrative tends to be more critical of Republicans than Democrats, but also because late-night television is a key vehicle for getting younger people interested in politics,” said University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Farnsworth, who co-wrote the 2019 book “Late Night with Trump: Political Humor and the American Presidency.”

“We’ve seen in survey after survey that late-night comedy is sort of a gateway drug to political involvement for some 20-somethings or those not naturally interested in politics,” he added. “The absence of Colbert, and Fallon, and Kimmel and others will mean the Democrats will have to work double time when it comes to engaging the turnout of younger voters.”

Farnsworth added that the negative effects may be easy to miss now, but will become more apparent if the strikes continue through the election season.

“It’s OK for the top shows to run reruns during much of the summer, when the hosts might be taking vacations or the audience might not be there, but as the election cycle draws closer, their absence at 11:30 p.m. will be sorely missed by millions of viewers who had gotten used to tuning in.”

Theodore Bunker

Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.

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