Mitt Romney sat down with Jay Leno during the GOP primary season. (Photo: Paul Drinkwater, AFP/Getty Images)
Hey, have you heard David Letterman's latest zinger about Mitt Romney and his money?
A new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs
finds late-night TV hosts target the GOP presidential nominee in their
opening monologues more than twice as much than they do President Obama.
Since Aug. 27 (when the Republican National Convention was
supposed to begin officially) through Oct. 3, there have been 148 Romney
jokes to 62 about the Democratic incumbent.
"Romney is leading
in the humor race, but being the biggest joke is a race nobody wants to
win," said Robert Lichter, president of the media and public affairs
center, located at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
out Letterman -- who hasn't had Romney as a guest since last year --
did the most wisecracking about Romney. Letterman mocked Romney 148
times in his opening monologue, compared to 62 Obama jokes during the
study's time period.
The study reviewed jokes by Letterman, Jay
Leno, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon, hosts of the highest-rated,
late-night talk shows on broadcast TV.
Howard Kurtz writes in the Daily Download
that the center's study shows a "comedic bias," in part because Obama
is "hard to mock." Kurtz notes that late-night comedians loved to skewer
Bill Clinton because his "lip-biting, babe-seeking persona" was a joke
writer's dream during the Democrat's two terms in the White House.
made reference to the late-night talk show circuit in that now-famous
secretly taped video, in which he was heard saying nearly half of
Americans were dependent on the government. He also told his donors this
spring that Letterman "hates" him because he's been on Leno's show more
often. Letterman extended Romney an open invitation to appear on Late Show, but we're guessing that won't happen with less than a week to go before the election.