Howard Kurtz Defends Leno from Provincial Media Elites
Big Journalism regularly criticizes media writer Howard Kurtz, but he's 100% correct on this one.
It's the way that television critics despise Leno, and how that colors the coverage of the late-night wars.
When The New York Times' Bill Carter broke the story last week that NBC is ready to hand "The Tonight Show" to Jimmy Fallon in 2014, there was this line buried deep in the piece: "Another complicating factor has been Mr. Leno's success in the ratings." …
Time's James Poniewozik writes that "Jay 'It's just a business' Leno deserves no man's pity however this plays out." The Atlantic complains about his "groan-worthy jokes."
But here's the thing: Leno doesn't appeal to anyone but the viewers. At least those who live west of the Hudson River and east of the Santa Monica Mountains. He does broad comedy and hardly wields the kind of cutting-edge style favored by the bicoastal elites. But much of America likes him.
Does the 62-year-old comic skew old? Well, he's been beating Kimmel and David Letterman even in the coveted 18-to-49 demo.
This same elitism colors more than the media's coverage of Jay Leno.
It colors everything.