Executives at CBS thought they were geniuses for hiring Stephen Colbert to host the Late Show when David Letterman retired but boy were they wrong.
The problem is that most Americans can see that Colbert is still every bit the leftist he was on Comedy Central.
Mark Hemingway writes at The Weekly Standard:
Stephen Colbert’s Show Is Failing
The New York Times has a lengthy report about what’s going on at The Late Show on CBS since Stephen Colbert took over for David Letterman nearly a year ago. The Times’s write-up bends over backwards to put a brave face on it, but Colbert’s show thus far has been a pretty big failure. CBS just hired a new executive producer to fix the show, and the ratings aren’t good:
Things could be worse. Mr. Colbert still places second in overall audience — behind Jimmy Fallon on NBC, and ahead of Jimmy Kimmel on ABC. But Mr. Kimmel has been beating Mr. Colbert among the younger viewers advertisers covet. And as Verne Gay of Newsday wrote, Mr. Colbert is lagging in the new currency of viral videos shared through social media. Beyond that, there is the growing consensus that things just aren’t clicking.
It’s worse than that sounds when you consider how much CBS has invested in Colbert and how profitable The Late Show was when Letterman was at the helm. Of course, Times media critic Jim Rutenberg has nothing but wonderful things to say about Colbert, which leads to a lot of cognitive dissonance in attempting to explain why the show isn’t, in his words, “clicking”:..
Before he came to CBS, The Colbert Report on Comedy Central was little more than an extended bit of performance art that did little but caricature conservatives and did so in a way that wasn’t nearly as clever as the New York Times’s newsroom thought. Where Rutenberg talks of Colbert’s “integrity, grace and wicked intelligence,” he’s glossing over the fact that much of his potential audience saw what he was doing as unbridled sanctimony in the service of a narrow political agenda.
Maybe the next time Colbert has Elizabeth Warren on the show he shouldn’t beg her to run for president.
That might improve his ratings.