NewsBusters Podcast: On TV, All Is Fair in Comedy and Nazi Analogies?

November 1st, 2023 10:17 PM

Two recent NewsBusters studies identify patterns of liberal political communication. In the first 3 weeks after the writers strike ended, late-night comedy shows exploded with anti-Trump jokes. Over the last year, MSNBC has been especially egregious in making Nazi analogies about Trump and Republicans. Overall, conservatives using Nazi analogies are condemned, while liberals using them are routinely unchallenged.

The author of these two studies is NewsBusters media analyst Alex Christy, who joins the show to explain the results and how they emerged. A study of late-night comedy shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Comedy Central found the men of late night told 247 jokes about Donald Trump over the course of 42 shows, but President Joe Biden was the target of 45 jokes, mostly about his age. That equates to 85 percent of the jokes between the top two presidential candidates being directed towards the Republican.

They told 72 jokes about freshman Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), and just two about Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). 

Alex's study of a year of Nazi and Hitler analogies on TV found that not only did MSNBC "excel" in Nazi excess, but the top three abusers of the Nazi analogies were MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, and leftist historians Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Michael Beschloss. Overall, there were 192 Nazi analogies. Eighty-eight were attacks from the right, of which 80 (90.9 percent) were condemned.  

By contrast, 104 were attacks from the left and only 29 (27.9 percent) of which were condemned. But if you remove reports on statements made by presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on COVID-era mandates and vaccines, only 4 of 79 (5 percent) left-wing attacks were condemned.

We start with a look at the Tuesday evening newscasts, which underlined that these "objective" networks are allergic to soundbites of Republicans questioning or criticizing President Biden and his appointees. 

Enjoy the podcast below, or wherever you listen to podcasts.