Amidst all the focus on the poor treatment Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been receiving from mainstream media outlets, the pounding she's been taking from the "Tonight Show's" Jay Leno has up until now slipped below the radar.
An analysis of recent monologues by the late night comedian has identified a rather aggressive attack against the Alaska governor.
This coincides with an August Center for Media and Public Affairs study which showed television comics shying away from jokes about Barack Obama while they regularly pounded John McCain.
According to TV Barn, now that the Arizona Senator has chosen a running mate, she's fair game, too, beginning with most of the political jokes Leno made during Monday's monologue:
Did you all see Sarah Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson? In fact, John McCain was watching it at home and at one point he turned to his wife and said, "She looks really familiar."
As you know, the Republicans are still keeping her away from the mainstream press. ... Actually, Sarah Palin is going from her interview with Gibson on ABC to one with Sean Hannity on Fox. That should be hard hitting! That's like going from hardball to tee ball, isn't it?
Sarah Palin said she is ready for Sean Hannity. In fact, she spent all day today writing out the questions he's going to ask her.
If you saw the big interview with Gibson, Sarah Palin quoted Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln said, "Let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side." Here's the amazing part. You know who Abraham Lincoln said that to? John McCain. [Ronald Reagan used to tell a version of this joke on himself.--AB]
In the Gibson interview, a lot of people thought Charlie Gibson was unfair to her. They thought he was talking down to her. That was one of the comments. Like when he asked her about the so-called Bush doctrine. Most people aren't familiar with the Bush doctrine. I mean, we are, but we know it by another name: "Murphy's Law."
Here's something I mentioned last week. For some reason the Secret Service revealed this. Sarah Palin's Secret Service code name is "danali." Turns out danali is an old Eskimo word that means Dan Quayle.
TV Barn found the same pattern in other recent Leno monologues leading it to conclude:
As of right now, the juiciest target for his humor are the people who are spinning Sarah Palin's vice presidential ambitions. Notice how he returns to the same topics night after night: Bush's incompetence. McCain's irrelevance. Palin's handlers' spin. [...]
Leno, in the service of a good laugh, is planting ideas in the minds of the uncommitted. He's doing what the spin machine is trying to keep the mainstream news media from doing: namely, express doubts that are on people's minds about the newest star on the national political scene.