Jimmy Fallon, Like Most Americans, Prefers Pop Culture to Politics
Unlike his late night competitors, Jimmy Fallon just doesn’t care for politics. NBC’s “Tonight Show” host told his network’s “Sunday Today” that he hasn’t gone after President Donald Trump because, “It’s just not what I do.”
Lest you think Fallon is side-stepping to protect a secret conservative identity, the Hill reports he also said, “I think the other guys are doing it very well,” but he thinks “it would be weird for me to start doing it now. I don’t really even care that much about politics.”
You can almost hear the response the Left will make to this statement, as silence is now complicity in…something. It will feel about the same as the Right’s complaints when late night hosts failed to take former president Obama to task for his many and sundry missteps.
The difference, of course, is that over 96 percent of journalists’ presidential campaign contributions went to Hillary Clinton. The press as an organism is more inclined to be critical of Jimmy Fallon now that Trump has won.
“I’ve got to be honest. I love pop culture more than I love politics. I’m just not that brain,” he said. And why not? Most Americans are not that brain. This does not mean that they’re unintelligent, or even uninformed. What they lack in political savvy might be made up for in surgical skills or parenting chops.
The truth is, most people don’t care about politics as much as your more vocal friends on Facebook, and if we want to get very honest, people who are actually working in politics and shaping government don’t have time to engage in hashtag activism, anyhow. The people who do have time to share Colbert videos are not presenting policy to Congress. They are being comforted by seeing their own feelings reflected in their entertainment choices.
While people self-report a greater interest in politics since Trump won the election — and it certainly seems to some of us that previously dormant relatives and friends are suddenly experts on gun safety and women’s advocacy — the fact remains that 19 percent of folks of either party report having attended a political event this year. This means 80 percent do not want to spend their weekend fighting traffic when they can easily retweet or share someone else’s “brilliant take down”.
The ubiquitous Fallon will continue to find and retain an audience of people who don’t want to be preached or snarked at right before they fall asleep. He’s managed to find a sort of bland and inoffensive modern take on the carefully nonpartisan late night entertainment of yore, and that’s going to suit a large number of people just fine. Not everybody wants to be inundated with wailing and gnashing of teeth every hour of the day.