pecaspers: a Blog in transition

January 26, 2010

Late Night TV and Three Party Politics

Filed under: Culture,Politics — pecaspers @ 12:00 PM
Tags: , ,

Through the years, there have been two parties struggling for power. Some will tell you that this is the way it was always meant to be, that it can work no other way. Could this system be on the verge of breaking? FOX hopes so.

No, I’m not talking about FOX News–not yet, at least. I’m talking about the FOX broadcast network which will likely be picking up NBC’s cast-off Conan O’Brien. FOX has been effectively out of the late-night talk-show game since Arsenio’s fall in the early ’90s. Mr. Hall is the one shining star in FOX’s after-the-news talk-show sky of dim bulbs.

But now… ooooooo. Conan O’Brien, who rejected FOX a few years back because NBC execs were promising him The Tonight Show, who has always appealed to a younger demographic than Leno or Letterman, he has now been rejected by his native NBC and is again being wooed by the younger-tilting FOX network.

So the denizens of PM talk are about to get shaken up. Instead of having Leno and Letterman dukin’ it out with Jimmy Kimmel picking up the towels, we may soon have a three-way battle to be king of late night–with Jimmy Kimmel still picking up the towels.

My question is this: Does this herald the possibility of a shift–logically connected or not–in the political possibilities of a third party making a legitimate run at the presidency? In my twenty-nine years on this planet, I’ve noticed that shifts in our entertainment industry usually portends what will come in US culture. Hollywood and NYC are “forward thinking” places producing entertainment in keeping with their thinking which we all consume. Have you ever noticed that when you watch an 80s movie now, you see attitudes portrayed in it that you don’t remember being popular THEN but are NOW widely held? And I’m not only talking about moral issues. Remember that in the movie Demolition Man (1993 with Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, and lots if Taco Bell) Arnold Schwarzenegger was President because he had been California’s governor (which he didn’t become until 2003) and they amended the Constitution so even foreign-born citizens could serve. (No one is suggesting that the Governator WILL become the Presinator, but the discussion of allowing a naturalized citizen access to the presidency has been circulating for years.) I’ve observed parallel events in pop-culture are often followed by occurrences in other totally unrelated areas. For example: Halle Berry, raised by her white mother, became the first–and thus far only–black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for Monster’s Ball in 2001; in 2008, Barack Obama, raised by his white mother, was elected the first black US President.

Here is my prophecy, mark it down: IF CoCo can cut out close to a third of the late night market-share and hold it, THEN within the next ten years we’ll see a presidential election that has to go to a run-off between a third party candidate (not an independent, but a full-fledged party) and a candidate from one of the two we currently have. In this, the opinion-show hosts of FOXNews will likely be a major cheerleader, since the third party candidate will most likely be a small-government social-conservative fed up with the big-government social-moderate machine the GOP has become. And, if he(/she?) doesn’t win in either 2012, 2016, or 2020; then he(/she?) will win in 2024 or 2028.

Why? Because I’m not voting against the liberals again. I’m voting for somebody from here on out. And I think there will be a growing number of voters who will only “throw away” their vote on a GOP/DNC candidate once or twice more before they too raise their cup of tea and stop drinking the Kool-aid.

[completely unrelated: I happened to look at the contact page for the White House, and the text image used to verify that an actual person is entering the information said “cowering always.”]

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