Comments and observations on social and political trends and events.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jay Leno's Unknown Politics

Last week I caught Jay Leno on Bill Maher's show. At one point a panel member said that she couldn't tell what Leno's politics were. He said, "And you never will." He went on to say that he strived to make sure he made fun of both Republicans and Democrats. That's one of the reasons I liked Leno when he was on the air and why I miss him now that he isn't. I also liked that he did something that other comics didn't do. For instance, when he made fun of Obama, Leno hit on Obama's policies like the healthcare web site rollout fiasco, not just his personal foibles.

Why is this noteworthy? Because over the years when I've seen other comics poke fun at Democrats like Bill Clinton or Obama they hit upon mostly their personal quirks, not their policies. Yet when these same comics aim their sights at Republicans they target both the Republican's personalities and their politics. When accused of bias these comics claim they're make fun of both sides. They do but the nature of their poking differs drastically depending on the politics of their targets. (Jon Stewart will take on the policies of Democrats but it seems only when he disagrees with that policy.)

As an aside what I find interesting is that Leno is friendly with a leftist like Maher and with a conservative like Dennis Miller. I'm also not saying that Leno is a closet conservative. He could be a liberal for all I know. I suspect he is. When he had a conservative like Ted Cruz on his show Leno seemed to ask tougher questions than he did of his Democrat guests. At least that's how it seemed to me! Regardless of his true politics I respect his attempt to make fun of both sides.