"How about this, you stop being terrible, we'll stop pointing it out, okay?" Jimmy Kimmel suggested helpfully to the president.
Donald Trump is so over the "one-sided hatred" of late-night talk shows.
Confused? You may not be alone as Twitter certainly was, and it seems Trump may have misunderstood what Leno was saying, too. Or maybe he misunderstood what 'Fox & Friends' misunderstood about what Leno was saying. The former "Tonight Show" host was talking about how much things have changes since he stepped away from the desk in 2014.
"I don't miss it. You know, everything now-- everyone has to know your politics," Leno told the "Today" show. "I tried to use Johnny [Carson]'s model, people couldn't figure it out ... I would get hate mail from both sides equally and thought, 'Well that's fabulous, that's exactly what I want.'
"But when people see you as one-sided, it makes it tough. And, you know, I did it when Clinton was horny and [George W.] Bush was dumb, and it was just a little easier."
He went on to suggest that it's not necessarily the late-night hosts dictating this focus, either. "Now people just want to be on the news all the time, you just have one subject, one topic every night," he said. "It makes it very tough. All the comics -- Jimmy, Colbert, everybody else -- it's tough when that's the only topic out there."
As evidence that this is what audiences want, Colbert's politically charged "Late Show" has surged ahead of Jimmy Fallon -- who generally stays away from politics on "The Tonight Show" -- in overall ratings, beating him in the coveted 18-49 demographic for a full week for the first time ever, as reported by The New York Times.
"Fox & Friends" took Leno's "one-sided" quote to be a statement on how anti-Trump the late-night landscape has become, with Brian Kilmeade calling it a "series of anti-Trump jokes. I've never seen anything like it."
And Trump just took that message and ran with it in his tweet:
"Jay Leno points out that comedy (on the very boring late night shows) is totally one-sided. It's tough when there's only one topic." @foxandfriends Actually, the one-sided hatred on these shows is incredible and for me, unwatchable. But remember, WE are number one - President!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2019
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
"The president was tapping his little fingers to weigh in on, of all things, late-night comedy shows this morning," Kimmel said, sharing Trump's tweet with his audience. He then went on to say it's not like they're given much choice in the matter.
"I don't want to talk about Donald Trump every night," he said. "None of us who host these shows do, but he gives us no choice. If he sat in the White House all day quietly working on things, I would almost never mention him because it's not interesting."
He then went on to break down, as an example, what's gone on in Trump's world just on Wednesday morning. "Before 10 o'clock this morning, his former campaign chairman was sentenced to prison for the second time in a week, he called himself the most successful president in history and he tweeted to let people know his wife hasn't been replaced with a body double.
"I'm not supposed to mention that? Obama wore mom jeans one time, we made jokes about it for six straight years."
But that doesn't mean there isn't a solution to get them to move on from Trump as a constant talking point. "How about this, you stop being terrible, we'll stop pointing it out, okay?" Kimmel suggested helpfully.
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"
Stephen Colbert was quick to point out that Jay Leno was getting an unfair shake in the whole debacle. According to the "Late Show" host, "It was 'Fox & Friends' deliberately taking a Jay Leno quote out of context. And Trump took their out-of-context quote out of context."
He then went on to emphasize that he doesn't hate Trump at all. "I just don't trust him," he said. "Like I don't hate the [Boeing] 737 Max 8, but I'm not getting on board."
But Colbert also couldn't help noticing that Trump followed up his late-night bashing tweet with two more tweets in quick succession.
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2019
KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2019
He also pointed out that these two tweets, which show a narrative progression, were blasted out within less than 30 seconds of one another, "which means, obviously, that in between those two tweets was the exact moment when America became great."
Colbert went on to note, "That's just science. So the question is, what did Trump see on Fox News at 7:17 a.m.?"
Thanks to the power of modern technology, Colbert and his team were able to find out exactly what it was. "It was an Arby's commercial."
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