By Kyle | September 28, 2009
The Atlantic Wire is a new service that is a bit like The Week in that it attempts to summarize what left and right are saying about a given topic. They’re doing an excellent job puzzling over the politics of the nation’s reigning President of Comedy Jay Leno at the moment, comparing his interview with Michael Moore (favorable to fawning) with the tough one he did with Rush Limbaugh. Various commentators try to read the Leno leaves to figure out whether he’s liberal or conservative. Liberals seem to assume he’s a Republican solely because he does what all comics did until this decade–make fun of left and right in more or less equal portion. (Though he is a bit more likely to make fun of the left, it seems to me.) John Nolte quipped that Jay could improve his critical reception by removing the American flag pin from his lapel.
I have always assumed he’s a liberal (come on people, he’s from Boston, he’s in show business, he’s lived in LA for the last few decades) who is canny enough to know that liberal humor often comes across as snarky and elitist. Leno himself backs this up when he talks about playing the road to gauge national sentiment — and to learn that what people love on the coasts falls flat in Indianapolis.