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OPINION: Late night television hosts: the voices of America
It’s fair to say that we are living in a divided nation. We are slowly becoming less and less of a united states and more of a bickering old couple, fighting the same dispute to no end. It has come to a point where we are looking towards late night talk show hosts to justify what is going on in the country.
Shows like Saturday Night Live (SNL) have seemingly endless amounts of material, so much so that they sprung an impromptu run of Weekend Update episodes this past summer, as to not miss out on any creative punchlines strung from the daily proceedings of our government.
Co-anchor Colin Jost made the following quip in regards to the quick removal of White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci from his position.
“How did we at SNL miss Anthony Scaramucci?” Jost said. “He was like Christmas in July. Actually he was like Hanukkah in July because he was around for about a week and it’s a miracle he lasted that long.”
Although humorous, the joke sheds a light on the very real issue of retention that is present in the White House administration.
Trevor Noah and The Daily Show went beyond making a simple joke and took it upon themselves to create a game titled “The Celebrity Appresident,” in which they eliminate a White House official from a bingo scorecard when they are removed from their position or resign.
Above the surface, the game may come across as an innocent joke, but it masks the more serious problem that lies beneath; we are not a united nation and we haven’t been for a while.
Hosts like Jimmy Kimmel use the platform they have to speak directly to the public. Fox News has even dubbed him the “self-professed moral conscience of America,” and Kimmel took to speaking on political issues that affect both the country, and his personal life.
In wake of the Trump administration looking to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Kimmel gave an emotional monologue about learning his son had been born with a heart defect. He has made it a point to use his show to address political issues since.
Tomi Lahren, the 25-year-old former host of Tomi on “The Blaze,” spoke out on her constitutional conservative views and gained a huge following because of it. During the 2016 election, it was impossible to scroll through social media without her videos popping up exclaiming the reasons for the fissure in the country, and precisely how we should go about solving it.
Recently, GOP Senator Bob Corker referred to the White House as an “adult day care center.” Now, how are we as citizens of this nation supposed to react when the very people from within the administration are telling us that they are not functioning to the best of their ability?
It makes sense that we turn to late night television hosts for answers, because quite frankly behind their humor lies the hard truth.
During the Great Depression, the country turned to TV and film stars to divert their attention from the dark era they were living in. Shirley Temple became the light during that time, and it seems as though late night television hosts have taken the same position.
Unfortunately, their jokes and punch lines are only momentarily funny until we take a moment to think about how crushingly true their statements are.
I’ll be honest. I don’t have a solution for this issue I’ve presented, and I don’t believe that there is any quick fix for issues that have been brewing beneath the surface of our country for years upon years.
The direction we are moving in can only be resolved when we choose to put aside our differences and become a united nation once again; and until we figure out how to do that, the jokes will keep coming from within our country and around the world.
When we choose to look past the jokes and see what they’re actually telling us and decide to do something about what is being said about our country, late night television hosts will continue to be the voice of America.