Penn State prof Sophia McClennen, a Bernie Sanders backer, really dislikes Hillary Clinton. “We are literally watching the Clinton campaign drain any claim to nuance, critical thinking, reasoned logic, and attention to facts from the Democratic party,” alleged McClennen in a recent screed for Salon. “The fact that Clinton is now the favorite of many on the right...should be evidence enough of a real merging of the right and the ‘left.’”

In other words, McClennen suggested, Hillary’s almost an honorary Republican, given that her campaign, much like the GOP’s campaigns starting with the 2002 midterms, has in many ways been “dominated by binary thinking, irrationality, and panic…The number one reason that Bernie Sanders supporters are told they should vote for Hillary is to stop Trump…If the primary argument to vote for Hillary is out of fear—then the Democrats have now joined with the GOP in promoting a politics of hysteria.”


You’ve probably heard the phrase “too smart for the room.” Penn State professor Sophia McClennen thinks that Stephen Colbert is too smart for America, or at least a huge chunk of it, and that consequently he’s fallen to third place in late-night television’s ratings race. In a Monday Salon piece, McClennen argued that even though Colbert has “moved his satire into a more centrist mode” since joining CBS, that hasn’t increased his appeal to conservatives, since their dislike for his comedy has as much to do with form as content.

“Satire,” wrote McClennen, “uses irony, sarcasm, and parody to encourage critical thinking…[I]t is the sort of humor that is much less likely to appeal to Republican viewers because it depends on questioning beliefs and criticizing the status quo…[I]t is not just a question of who Colbert targets in his joke; it is also a question of how he makes the joke itself.  Nuance, irony, and layered thinking may be…the problem.”


One year ago, a British newspaper published a list of President Obama’s ten favorite television shows (the top three, in reverse order: Breaking Bad, The Wire, and M*A*S*H). Not on the list was The Daily Show, on which Obama guested yet again this past Tuesday, but Penn State's Sophia McClennen thinks that if Obama had been more of a TDS fan, he long ago would have realized how irrational his conservative opposition was.

In a Friday article for Salon, McClennen asserted that Stewart and Stephen Colbert “had insight into U.S. politics Obama never seemed to understand. ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ were one of the main sources of truth telling about U.S. politics and the nature of the Republican Party before and during the Obama presidency.” Those programs, wrote McClennen, illuminated “the twisted thinking, hubris, disdain for large segments of society, and closed-mindedness that forms the common, core mind-set of Fox viewers.”


Sonia Saraiya suggests that Stewart “is one of the most influential political figures of our era” and claims that “as difficult as it has been to advance a progressive agenda over the last 16 years, it would likely have been impossible without Stewart’s ability to connect to millions of viewers and remind them that they weren’t alone in hoping for something better.”


Elias Isquith criticizes the “shallowness of Stewart’s politics” and “his tendency to fall prey to the trap of blaming 'both sides.'" Isquith declares that “if liberals want to see more of the kind of direct action that’s characterized the Occupy Wall Street and #blacklivesmatter movements…they’re going to have to embrace a political vision that has grown beyond the idiosyncratic limitations of Jon Stewart.”


Leslie Savan writes that “as a character, and not merely a critic, of the right, [Stephen] Colbert held a unique key to the riddle of modern conservatism: How do they keep getting away with it? Why have so many conservatives turned into such small-minded haters and deniers of science, of reality?”


"Not once can I remember him being truly mean" when doing his shtick, Hardball host Chris Matthews gushed of Stephen Colbert during the "Let Me Finish" closing commentary for his December 18 program. Matthews was effusive in praise as he noted Thursday night would see the final edition of The Colbert Report before the comedian takes over the reins at CBS's Late Show from David Letterman.

Does Matthews not recall the 2006 White House Correspondents Association dinner which Colbert emceed? The liberal comedian savaged President Bush and conservatives in a decidedly hard-nosed comedy routine that violated the cardinal rule of WHCA dinners: the night is about poking fun and ribbing both sides of the aisle, not shoving a knife in the president and twisting it.


During Monday night's edition of The Colbert Report on the Comedy Central cable channel, the faux conservative host celebrated the fact that “no one’s going to pay me to watch” the host of The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel “anymore, so f**k that noise!”

That comment was made during the final edition of a segment entitled “Formidable Opponent,” in which the blue-tied version of Colbert debated an imaginary, red-tied incarnation of himself.


Penn State’s Sophia McClennen praises Colbert for “remind[ing] us that you could care about your nation and simultaneously find American exceptionalism disturbing” and comments that conservatives have “controlled the idea of patriotism for so long that it is easy to forget that there is no logical reason to think that Rachel Maddow loves her country any less than Glenn Beck.”


Never let it be said that Jon Stewart allowed a chance to slam the Fox News Channel slip through his fingers -- even when to do so, he has to apologize for making a blunder on The Daily Show on the Comedy Central cable television channel

During his Monday evening edition, the liberal host said he was sorry for including Dante Parker of San Bernardino County in California in a list of black men who were recently shot and killed by white police officers.


On Monday night, President Obama appeared on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report for a friendly interview with the liberal comedian, and Tuesday morning the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks predictably promoted the president’s late night stop. CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King hyped how Obama “was a guest on Comedy Central Colbert Report last night. It was his first visit to the show as Stephen Colbert gets ready to end that program. At one point it appeared the president may have been auditioning for his next job.”


During Thursday evening's edition of The Colbert Report, Comedy Central's faux conservative turned his attention to the latest problems confronting the Affordable Care Act, including comments made by Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber that ObamaCare only passed due to a “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter.”

Of course, Stephen Colbert was only joking when he said that “Professor Gruber just delivered a death blow to ObamaCare,” which the host claimed he never liked because it “put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor,” and “the next thing you know, the doctor and the bureaucrat are hanging out all the time. … Thanks, Obama.”