Wingnut Week In Review: Return of the Late Night TV Wars

More than a decade after Leno and Letterman slugged it out to succeed Carson, and four years after the Leno/O’Brien feud, the late night TV wars are back. This time right-wingers are bringing the hostility and hilarity.

Late night television is experiencing a changing of the guards with a host of fresh, new (white, male) faces giving America a few laughs before bedtime. Jimmy Fallon took the helm of “The Tonight Show,” after Jay Leno’s retirement. Seth Meyers left “Saturday Night Live” to fill Fallon’s old spot on “Late Night.”

Everything was humming along nicely, until CBS announced that Stephen Colbert, of “The Colbert Report,” will host “The Late Show” following David Letterman’s retirement. Right-wingers promptly lost their minds.

Rush Limbaugh and Ben Shapiro weren’t the only ones. Naturally, Bill O’Reilly had to weigh in, since Colbert has spent years masterfully skewering O’Reilly’s television persona. True to form, O’Reilly lashed out, calling Colbert an “ideological fanatic” for mocking O’Reilly’s latest ridiculous pontificating on inequality.

Colbert responded with the kind of wit that shows whyhe got the “Late Night” job.


Progressives suffered giggling fits in 2006, when Colbert’s performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents dinner left conservatives scratching their heads, because it was clear that conservatives didn’t get the joke — that Colbert’s whole act was a satire of right-wing ideology. A 2011 survey showed that conservatives were more likely to think Colbert only pretended to be joking, and generally meant what he said.

It took them long enough, but right-wingers finally get the joke. Here’s the rest of the best of the worst in wingnuttia this week.

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