By Tim O'Brien
Digital Journalist, Digital Journal
Now, a study to ponder and discuss among friends. When watching the late night talk show hosts deliver their monologues, ever wonder if the jokes are heavy in one direction, politically? George Mason University has released a report about who was the subject of the most jokes among late night talk shows on the networks (CBS, NBC and ABC) in 2011. In a story by U.S. News and World Report's Washington Whispers columnist Paul Bedard, it turns out President Obama bore the brunt of the most jokes, but by a 3 to 1 margin, the jokes zinged Republicans the most.
Meanwhile, Even though George Bush and Dick Cheney, who have been out of office for some time now, still got mentioned by the late-nighters 26 and 66 times, respectively. Sarah Palin, on the other had, seemed to have been the subject of more, is No. 11, while Michele Bachmann is No. 7. Obama got the treatment from the likes of David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno 342 times while Rep. Anthony Weiner got roasted 220 times. They were followed by Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Osama bin Laden.
Robert Lichter, president of the school's Center of Media and Public Affairs noted, "Republicans took the top title because so many of them were speared by Fallon, Leno, and Letterman."
Lichter even brought the discussion into present day and Iowa. He said Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum appeared further down the list, but added, "This shows that it's hard to vote for somebody while you're laughing at them." On Obama, Lichter said his overall totals are lower than when President Bill Clinton and Bush occupied the office. "Obama is substantially lower than any other president," said Lichter.
Of the late night circuit, the study reports that Leno was the hardest on the president and then Fallon, with Letterman following them. The complete list: 1. Barack Obama - 342 2. Anthony Weiner - 220 3. Herman Cain - 191 4. Rick Perry - 186 5. Osama bin Laden 172 6. Arnold Schwarzenegger - 142 7. Michele Bachmann - 128 8. Donald Trump - 122 9. Muammar Gaddafi - 121 10. Newt Gingrich - 110 11. Sarah Palin - 109 12. Joe Biden - 82 13. Mitt Romney - 79 14. Chris Christie - 71 15. John Boehner - 69 16. Dick Cheney - 66 17. George W. Bush - 36 18. Rupert Murdoch - 30 19. Rod Blagojevich - 24 20. Tie Michael Bloomberg and Hosni Mubarek - 22
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