Concerns Rise at ABC as ‘Roseanne’ Spin-off Debut Draws Near

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Executives at ABC are reportedly feeling somewhat remorseful and perhaps a tad guilty about the removal a few months back of lead star Roseanne Barr from the hit series “Roseanne” over a controversial tweet that she had posted.

The apprehension currently taking place is due in part to the imminent first episode airing of what is essentially the “Roseanne” television show minus its lead star Barr.

Renamed “The Conners,” the sitcom keeps intact most of the same characters, settings, and storylines of the original, but the revised version has a major missing element, that being Barr herself, who in addition to being the show’s main character served as executive producer and co-writer.

Even prior to her career-changing tweet, media figures were criticizing the show because Barr’s character, like Barr herself, was an avid supporter of President Donald Trump.

It was only a few hours after news of her tweet went public that Barr was summarily dismissed. The termination occurred in May 2018, just three months following the show’s hugely successful premiere.

The UK Daily Mail recently quoted two senior ABC executives, who indicated to the newspaper that some doubts and trepidation exist regarding “The Conners” and acknowledged that terminating Barr was a rushed decision by Ben Sherwood, Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman and President of Disney-ABC Television, and Channing Dungey, President of the ABC Entertainment Group.

“We didn’t think it through properly,” one of the executives said. “What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben and Channing who should have launched an investigation.”

According to the executive, an investigation “would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers, and cast members to determine the best decision.”

After the network announced the cancellation of Barr’s series, the mainstream media and liberals en masse praised ABC for acting quickly. However, many entertainment business professionals raised questions about why alternatives to complete termination were not offered, such as a temporary hiatus from the show.

“They could’ve suspended her from the first few episodes without pay and had her return later on in the season. I mean the season finale saw Roseanne going to the hospital for knee surgery,” an ABC executive said.

The exec noted that Barr’s fate could have been determined during the period in which her television character faced serious health complications and was struggling to survive. This would also have given Barr the opportunity to restore her career and personal reputation with select media appearances.

According to an ABC executive, on the day that her tweet made headlines Barr had “offered to publicly apologize and do the rounds of every show, but Ben and Channing weren’t having any of that and wanted her gone.”

“Roseanne kept saying on the call before she was fired, ‘What can I do? What can I do?’”

The source indicated that the writers could have written the Twitter controversy into the sitcom to allow the show and star to obtain public forgiveness.

“Fans of her show have watched her character confront prejudice and racism – we could’ve made this a storyline for her to save the show and redeem her publicly.”

Based on feedback from marketing and publicity professionals who are working on “The Conners,” ABC executives may have good reason to be apprehensive about the show’s fast-approaching debut.

The marketing and PR people for the show are apparently “horrified” since, as one of the ABC executives revealed, “No matter what promotional material is released…Roseanne’s fans come out in force stating that they won’t watch the show.”

According to the Daily Mail, top brass at ABC are also aware that posts on social media platforms align strongly against the idea of viewing a show without Barr.

“The comments on social media tend to skew in favor of Roseanne and slam ‘The Conners’ and the cast members who came back. Even dedicated fans of the Conner family feel conflicted about supporting a show that so swiftly eliminated the show’s matriarch and creator,” an ABC executive said.

Upon her exit, Barr agreed to have no creative or financial ties with the new series.

It is likely that ABC executives are experiencing regret over another hasty decision that was made by the television network, this being the one made to cancel Tim Allen’s hit comedy “Last Man Standing” after six successful seasons. Interestingly, Allen’s character, like Allen himself, is also a supporter of President Trump.

With a lateral shift to the FOX television network, “Last Man Standing” currently enjoys even better ratings than it had at ABC. In fact, the sitcom is FOX’s most-watched comedy in almost seven years.

Typically, a change in networks fails to give a television show an increase in its audience size. However, FOX’s premiere of “Last Man Standing” drew 8 million viewers, with an astounding 1.8 rating among adults 18-49.

“Standing”‘s season 7 premiere came in at much bigger numbers than the show’s season 6 premiere last fall on ABC, when it was only able to draw 5.9 million viewers and snag a 1.1 rating.

For three weeks straight now, the FOX comedy has dominated the difficult Friday prime time ratings and holds a commanding 1.4 rating for the coveted younger demographic.

Meanwhile ABC and its senior executives have had to endure abysmal ratings for the network’s entire Friday prime time lineup, which consists of soon-to-be-cancelled sitcoms “Fresh Off the Boat” (0.5 rating), “Speechless” (0.5 rating), and “Child Support” (0.4 rating).

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Les Moonves’s Career at CBS Comes to an End

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In July of 2018, the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow completed a detailed investigation, centering on sexual misconduct allegations from six women against CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves.

The women claimed that Moonves had propositioned and/or had forcible physical contact with them, threatened retaliation against those who had rejected him, and otherwise maintained a workplace in which sexual harassment went unabated.

Allegations put forth by the women suggested that a toxic culture existed at CBS. When the allegations went public, Moonves responded at the time with an acknowledgement that he was responsible for making “some women uncomfortable.” However, he denied claims that he had harmed the careers of those who had resisted him.

It looked as though Moonves was on his way to weathering the #MeToo storm. CBS had launched an investigation into the allegations in Farrow’s report. However, Moonves was allowed to remain on the job while the investigation of sexual misconduct proceeded, unlike many other figures who had been accused of sexual impropriety.

Then, like a series of aftershocks after an earthquake, an additional six women stepped forward, via reporting by Farrow, with accusations against Moonves.

The most recent alleged incidents of sexual misconduct purportedly took place over a span of 30 years from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

The additional claims against Moonves by the second group of women contain more serious allegations than those reported by Farrow earlier in the year. This latest set of allegations includes incidents in which the entertainment executive is alleged to have forced victims to engage in sexual activity, exposed himself to alleged victims, or used physical violence and intimidation against them. Some of the women also claim that Moonves retaliated against them professionally after they refused to comply.

Some of the more recent accusers have chosen to go on the record and shed their anonymity, including a television executive whose claims date back to the 1980s and a former assistant who recounted an incident from 1994.

In a statement to the New Yorker, Moonves acknowledged that three of the encounters occurred and claimed they were consensual. He flatly denied using his position in a retaliatory way to interfere with the careers of the women.

Under the circumstances, options appear to be limited in this case. The relevant statute of limitations does not allow a proceeding using criminal law, and obtaining witnesses and/or documents from thirty or forty years ago poses a great deal of difficulty.

What really caused Moonves’s tenure at CBS to end, prior to the conclusion of the investigations, were reports in numerous media outlets that negotiations were taking place concerning a proposed exit package for the television executive that involved a large dollar amount.

The most recent accusers were prompted in part to come forward due to the public reports of Moonves’s exit package, which was said to be valued at approximately $100 million.

“Many of the women found that very, very frustrating,” Farrow told CNN. “They felt this was a board that has let a powerful man who makes a lot of money for this company, in the words of one person, ‘get away with it.’”

The end result is that six weeks after Farrow published the first allegations against him and twenty-three years after he first joined CBS, Moonves has been forced out of the network.

However, the previously reported $100 million payment package to Moonves is likely to be eliminated or drastically reduced, due to the increased potential culpability relating to the allegations of the second group of women as well as the cumulative effect of the allegations of all twelve accusers.

CBS’s leverage against Moonves has been significantly increased because the company is now able to claim that the executive may be terminated “for cause.”

Significantly, the exit agreement reportedly also includes a settlement of the litigation between Moonves and Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of both CBS and Viacom. Moonves and Redstone had been in a heated legal battle over whether to combine CBS and Viacom, with Redstone urging a merger and Moonves resisting such a move.

With Moonves gone, the merger is highly likely to take place in the very near future.

Sexual Misconduct Allegations against Les Moonves Stun Hollywood

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Ronan Farrow, who already won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the Harvey Weinstein story, has now unveiled another detailed account, which involves alleged sexual misconduct on the part of the singular most powerful and influential media executive in the world, Les Moonves.

According to Farrow’s New Yorker article, six women accuse the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation of various forms of sexual harassment and intimidation, and dozens more claim that they suffered abuse at the company as well.

Farrow’s piece also documents a culture of sexual harassment at CBS, focusing specifically on CBS News, the former employer of another figure who had a career end due to sexual misconduct allegations, Charlie Rose.

The account by Farrow includes allegations of physical intimidation and threats to derail careers, which took place during the mid-1980s through 2006.

Among the accusers is actress Illeana Douglas, who claims that, when she attended a 1997 meeting with Moonves, he “violently” kissed her while holding her down.

“The physicality of it was horrendous,” Douglas said.

The CBS board of directors indicated in a statement that it would investigate any allegations of misconduct and further indicated that the claims would “be taken seriously.”

Moonves himself acknowledged in a statement that he “may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances.” He expressed immense regret for what he characterized as “mistakes.” However, he otherwise denied all of the claims in Farrow’s story.

Farrow’s article also contains sexual harassment allegations against a group of CBS News executives, including the former head of the news division and current executive producer of “60 Minutes” Jeff Fager. According to Farrow, CBS News executives were promoted, despite allegations of sexual misconduct that ended in settlements. Fager also responded that the allegations against him are false.

Moonves, according to Forbes, has a net worth of $700 million and is one of the highest paid CEOs, with a yearly compensation of close to $70 million.

The CBS head has been in a public tug-of-war with Shari Redstone, who has been urging CBS to merge with Viacom following the current media consolidation trend. Redstone owns a controlling 80 percent stake in CBS and Viacom via her family company.

Moonves has resisted Redstone’s proposal and has done so in court. In May 2018 CBS filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent a merger of the network with Viacom, accusing Redstone of breaching her fiduciary duty to CBS shareholders. The case is set for trial in October 2018.

From Redstone’s perspective, as well-heeled tech firms have bought into the entertainment space, studios have sought to merge with telecommunications companies, including ATT/TimeWarner and Comcast/Universal, and other entertainment media concerns, e.g., Disney and Fox.

Moonves has led CBS to a number one spot with regard to a broadcast network and a transformed it into a very profitable company. The success is primarily due to Moonves’s uncanny ability to pick winning television programming. He is, after all, the individual who when serving as president of Warner Bros. Television, green-lighted “Friends” and “ER.” And during his tenure at CBS, “Big Bang Theory,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Survivor,” and “CSI” were launched.

The CBS head is concerned that revenues at Viacom have been headed downward and a move to combine companies would hurt earnings.

The litigation as well as the outcome of the trial, coupled with the sexual misconduct claims, are placing Moonves’s career in jeopardy. If the allegations are deemed by the board to be genuine, it is highly likely Moonves will be asked to step down, which, in turn will make it more probable that Redstone will be able to obtain her goal of a recombined CBS/Viacom.

Some media outlets have questioned the timing of the sexual misconduct charges, which have occurred not only in the middle of the company’s public legal dispute but two weeks ahead of the annual shareholder meeting and mere months before the trial begins.

This has led to Redstone’s representative releasing a statement, which puts forth a denial that Redstone had any involvement with the release of Farrow’s report.

“The malicious insinuation that Ms. Redstone is somehow behind the allegations of inappropriate personal behavior by Mr. Moonves or today’s reports is false and self-serving,” the statement read.

Ironically, Moonves has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement and is a founding member of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, which was formed in late 2017 and is headed up by Justice Clarence Thomas’s chief accuser, Anita Hill.

Roseanne Is Back with an Unfiltered Internet Show

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Samantha Bee used a terribly profane pejorative to describe the president’s daughter, and Whoopi Goldberg treated an established legal professional and Fox News host in a reprehensible manner.

Neither television personality suffered any real fallout for their inappropriate and offensive behavior.

In stark contrast, as a result of a single tweet posted during personal non-working hours, Roseanne Barr had her television series taken away from her.

As a testament to her resilience, Roseanne has decided not to abandon her audience or surrender the opportunity to speak her mind.

The comedic actress is coming back, and she has a brand new way to reach out to her fans. She is working on a new talk show with son Jake Pentland, who told Radar Online, “We are doing our own stuff for now.”

Pentland has his own production studio where he has been filming interviews with mom-host Roseanne.

For the time being, Rosanne’s guests consist of family and friends, but she plans to bring in a variety of interesting people to discuss certain eclectic topics about which she herself is passionate.

In early July, Barr revealed that she had been given offers for new television projects. With the record ratings that her show had achieved and the prominent name recognition she enjoys, it makes sense that entertainment companies would be interested in featuring her in some sort of TV project.

“Inside every bad thing is a good thing waiting to happen,” Roseanne said in an interview on a podcast hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

“I feel very excited because I’ve already been offered so many things and I almost already accepted one really good offer to go back on TV, and I might do it,” she added.

ABC recently greenlighted a spinoff titled “The Conners,” which is essentially the “Roseanne” reboot without the show’s headliner.

Roseanne told Boteach that she gave up her contractual rights to the show to ABC and, in an unusual move for a Hollywood personality, did not ask for any money as compensation.

“I thought signing off of my own life’s work and asking for nothing in return, I thought that was a penance,” Roseanne said.

Wanting to keep the cast and crew working, she essentially sacrificed her own interests to do so. She had previously canceled what was to be a television interview during which she intended to discuss the loss of her show.

“After a lot of thought, I decided that I won’t be doing any TV interviews, too stressful & untrustworthy 4 me & my fans,” Roseanne tweeted.

“I’m going to film it myself & post it on my youtube channel in the next week-the entire explanation of what happened & why! I love you all-sign up & get ready,” she added.

Roseanne wrote that she was planning to post video footage, which would explain “what happened and why,” and how a single tweet caused Disney/ABC to cancel her highly successful reboot.

She also hinted that her show would be free of the usual entertainment company bureaucracy that filters out controversial content.

“I’d like to speak directly to you, the people, and cut out any middlemen who use for clickbait/ad revenue while seeking to divide rather than unite,” Roseanne wrote, asking her fans to email questions to be answered by her on her YouTube channel.

She is now posting videos on her revived channel, filmed in a facility that she refers to as “my own studio, where I’m able to speak for myself to my fellow and sister Americans without the filter of the biased media.”

In one of her recent video posts, she speaks about the tweet that led to her losing her show, ranting during the footage, “I’m trying to talk about Iran! I’m trying to talk about Valerie Jarrett about the Iran deal. That’s what my tweet was about.”

Indicating that she thought Jarrett “was white,” Roseanne used a common hip hop term for a woman in reference to the former White House aide under President Obama. After repeating the statement, Roseanne ends the segment by defiantly smoking a cigarette.

Roseanne follows this up with another video in which she explains what she believes is the real reason that she was fired by Disney/ABC. She indicated that she made an offer to the ABC brass that she would appear on daytime TV shows such as “The View” to explain her tweet.

According to Roseanne, within about 40 minutes her “show was canceled before even one advertiser pulled out” and she “was labeled a racist.” Consequently, she was denied the chance to publicly apologize.

Roseanne proceeded to reveal what tens of millions of people already knew, but still needed to hear.

“Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. It’s because I voted for Donald Trump and that is not allowed in Hollywood,” Roseanne said.

Hollywood Has a Meltdown over Roe v. Wade Film

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“You can’t handle the truth!”

The memorable line by Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men” fits like a glove.

When it comes to subject matter that is outside the leftist box, Hollywood just can’t endure any factual information coming to light, as witnessed by the massive overreaction by the entertainment elite to a pro-life project that is currently in production.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film, which deals with the backstory of the landmark decision that legalized abortion in America, Roe v. Wade, is being shot in Louisiana. Its working title is “1973,” a reference to the year of the Supreme Court decision that polarized the nation.

The left is particularly rattled over the abortion issue right now since President Donald Trump is naming a conservative nominee to the Supreme Court.

Nick Loeb, a banking heir who formerly dated actress Sofia Vergara, is directing the movie and began filming in mid-June. He told the Hollywood Reporter that his court battle with Vergara over access to the couple’s frozen embryos prompted him to do the film.

“I have my own pro-life issue going on with my fight over embryos, but no one has really told the whole truth about Roe v. Wade in a film,” Loeb said.

Aware of the disdain that the entertainment industry has for the pro-life perspective, Loeb initially attempted to be low key about the project, cast and crew so as to forestall the backlash that would inevitably come.

However, when Loeb told LifeNews about his motivation behind the film, he left subtlety behind. “This is the untold story of how [abortion activists] lied and manipulated Jane Roe, the media, and the courts into the decision to allow abortion in 1973,” Loeb said.

In knee-jerk fashion, the entertainment press began trashing the film, despite the project not having been completed, edited, or screened.

–The Daily Beast published a piece with the headline “‘Roe v. Wade’ Script Leak: Pro-Life Movie Pushes Conspiracy Theories and Lies.”

–A Huffington Post headline read “Anti-Abortion Movie About Roe v. Wade Is Pushed By Nick Loeb.”

–The New York Daily News used the following title for an article on the movie: “No one wants to help Nick Loeb make his anti-abortion film ‘Roe v. Wade.’”

Particularly snarky was the Daily Beast’s characterization of the project as a “movie in chaos,” describing cast and crew departures due to the nature of the subject matter. And the Hollywood Reporter indicated that a costume maker, electrician, and director had walked off the project.

The subject matter also created difficulties for Loeb’s choice of filming locations. Loeb shared the following about a request that was made to shoot at Louisiana State University: “We were told we were rejected due to our content, even though it will be a PG-rated film. They refused to put it in writing, but they told us on the phone it was due to content.”

Even after the production was permitted to use a local synagogue, the crew was kicked out after the leaders found out about the movie’s message.

“Once they found out what the film was about, they locked us out. We had to call the police so that the extras and caterers could retrieve their possessions,” Loeb told the Hollywood Reporter.

Facebook blocked crowdfunding for the film, but it is still ongoing at GoFundMe and IndieGoGo.

The Daily Beast obtained a copy of a leaked script that reportedly showed the project’s “severe anti-abortion stance.” The Beast is apoplectic that the narrator of the story is Dr. Bernard Nathanson (portrayed by Loeb). Nathanson happens to have co-founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL). However, after having witnessed the details of an abortion procedure via ultrasound, he became a dedicated pro-life activist.

Nathanson became an archenemy of the left after having narrated the profoundly compelling 1984 pro-life film “The Silent Scream.”

The cast of the upcoming pro-life movie includes many openly conservative Hollywood residents including Stacey Dash, who portrays Dr. Mildred Jefferson, a founder of the National Right to Life Committee; Jon Voight, Robert Davi, Corbin Bernsen, John Schneider, William Forsythe, Wade Williams, Richard Portnow, and Jarrett Ellis Beal, who portray Supreme Court justices; and Jamie Kennedy, Joey Lawrence, and Greer Grammer (daughter of Kelsey Grammer) are also cast members.

Adding to the left-wing discomfort are some cameos courtesy of commentators Tomi Lahren and Milo Yiannopoulos.

The film’s executive producer is pro-life advocate Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“This big screen movie is the real untold story of how a mountain of lies led to an injustice that deprived millions of people of human dignity and human rights,” King says in the trailer.

The untold story includes Planned Parenthood’s scheme to recruit a pregnant girl to file a lawsuit that would create a right to an abortion. According to the film’s description, Nathanson, Betty Friedan and Planned Parenthood searched “the country to find a pregnant girl” that they could “use to sue the government for her right to have an abortion.”

The film also takes on the forbidden facts concerning the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. Despite the left’s attempts to minimize Sanger’s fondness for eugenics, Sanger solicited eugenicists’ writings for her conferences, asked them to testify in congressional hearings, and gathered them together to advance the cause.

Sanger also urged state-imposed compulsory sterilization and segregation of people with mental or physical disability, those in poverty, and those considered illiterate. She sought out eugenicists to become board members of her American Birth Control League, the predecessor organization to what is now known as Planned Parenthood.

Back to the Future for the AT&T-Time Warner Merger

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U.S. District Judge Richard Leon recently greenlighted the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger, while failing to impose any conditions or restrictions upon the massive media consolidation.

The merger, about which reports have circulated since late 2016, was publicly opposed by President Donald Trump as well as by the Department of Justice, which in the fall of 2017 went to court to stop the transaction.

After a six-week trial, Judge Leon ruled that the merger could move ahead, belittling the government’s legal arguments.

In an unusual expression for a jurist, Leon, who also presided over the Comcast-NBC-U mega-merger in 2011, went so far as to urge the government not to appeal the decision.

Antitrust law exists to prevent monopolies that could potentially stifle competition and harm consumers. When the same company owns the means of media production as well as the means of distribution of media content, antitrust issues arise.

This is not the first time that media companies have been met with legal challenges over simultaneous ownership of content and the means by which the content is delivered. In the 1940s, Hollywood studios produced motion pictures while owning the theaters in which the very films were being displayed.

In a 1948 decision, United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., the Supreme Court ruled that Hollywood studios would be required to sell off movie theater holdings.

The landmark decision essentially ended the studio system of the “Golden Age” of movies, while fundamentally altering the way in which Hollywood movies were produced, distributed, and exhibited. It also fostered the idea that “vertical integration” should be restrained by courts and, based on antitrust principles, barriers should be put in place between corporate ownership of both distribution and content.

With regard to the AT&T-Time Warner merger, the Trump administration had argued that the resulting conglomerate would create the same vertical integration-dual ownership issue that the old Hollywood studio system faced, and as a negative consequence consumers would end up paying more for their television viewing.

This was the same position with regard to the proposed merger that then-candidate Trump held during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In addition to potential risk to consumers’ pocketbooks, the entertainment business will be significantly affected by the AT&T-Time Warner combination. Allowing the merger to proceed in its present fashion will have profound ramifications for the manner in which entertainment companies compete with one other.

Owners of news, movie, and/or entertainment cable television channels, who wish to be well placed on the AT&T-Time Warner system, will be beholden to a company that has control over the delivery system while simultaneously owning competing channels.

Producers of content that competes with that of AT&T-Time Warner may need to have the content distributed via the merged company’s delivery system.

It is certainly within the realm of possibility that the merged company would advertently or even inadvertently favor channels and content which the enterprise owns.

The court’s decision in approving the merger may also embolden other Hollywood studios to pair up with telecommunications companies in order to effectively deal with the cash-rich tech companies that have invaded the entertainment space of late, e.g., Apple, Amazon, Google, and Netflix.

One relevant case in point is that of Comcast, which has jumped into the bidding for 21st Century Fox’s assets that Disney had already been in the process of negotiating to purchase.

Consumers generally have very few options when it comes to cable, satellite, and broadband services. AT&T provides broadband and television via a cable media delivery service, U-verse. It also owns a major satellite television provider, DirecTV.

By acquiring Time Warner, the company obtains a major movie and television studio, which includes the DC Comics’ franchises, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, along with television programming on TBS, TNT, CNN, and HBO.

By owning content and delivery, the newly merged company has the same kind of vertical integration that the Court broke up years ago, when it forced movie studios to divest in the Paramount case.

 

Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and the Death of Late-night Comedy

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With liberals targeting for destruction one cultural institution after another, it was inevitable that late-night comedy was going to have its turn.

Ironically, late-night comic hosts, many of whom were trailblazers in the laugh industry, have slowly but surely morphed into lemmings, substituting smug political claptrap for comedy.

Rather than entertain, the ones who are lucky enough to have actually made it into comedy’s top echelon are now catering to a flimsy fan base of enraged resisters and hate-driven hypocrites.

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” is the latest example. He recently let it be known how bitter leftists view President Donald Trump’s economic track record.

Recognizing the phenomenal economy under President Trump’s leadership, Maher stated that he believes it is critical for the U.S. economy to collapse in order to rid the country of a president with whom he disagrees.

“I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point, and by the way, I’m hoping for it because I think one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy,” Maher said. “So please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people but it’s either root for a recession, or you lose your democracy.”

The left is so steeped in hatred it is willing to let the best interests of the nation take a back seat to spite. And like far too many others in his industry, Maher is more than willing to see his neighbor harmed than to see President Trump succeed.

It is hard to fathom how late-night comedy allowed itself to descend to such a pitiful depth. Late-night television was created and branded by the pioneers of the medium – Jack Paar, Steve Allen, and of course the man who defined the forum, “The King of Late-Night” Johnny Carson.

Carson was the guy who dropped in unannounced but you never wanted him to leave. No matter what had transpired in the course of the day, he could make you forget in a single quip. He was simply a friend that taught you how to smile yourself to sleep.

The current crop of late-night hosts could benefit from the master in more ways than one. A single show of Carson’s could bring in as many as 9 million viewers. By comparison, CBS’s “Late Show,” hosted by Stephen Colbert, is currently the highest-rated late-night program, but a good night for Colbert is typically a third of the viewers that Carson had, in part because Colbert’s program generally consists of Trump trashing and partisan punches.

Viewers today admittedly have a lot more options when it comes to the late-night timeslot. In addition to broadcast networks’ offerings of Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon, there are numerous cable offerings, which include TBS’s Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah, HBO’s John Oliver, and BET’s Robin Thede, along with broadcast networks’ very late-nighters James Corden and Seth Meyers.

Late-night writers generally cater to viewers who use social media to watch highlight video footage from previous programs. Shows with late-night content that stream to viewers include Hulu’s Sarah Silverman and Netlix’s Joel McHale and Michelle Wolf, who is best known for her embarrassingly unfunny performance at the most recent White House Correspondents Dinner. Weekly late-nighters such as Comedy Central’s Jim Jeffries and TBS’s Samantha Bee are also part of the mix.

Virtually all of the shows specialize in targeting the president, and Bee is one of the hosts who clearly illustrates the lowlights of today’s pathetic programming. Referring to the daughter of the president in the crudest of ways, Bee incurred a deserved backlash, which prompted defections by a number of sponsors. Both Bee and TBS later apologized, but the comic was not fired or suspended. In another humorless incident, there was a young man who had attended the Conservative Political Action Conference and was bashed with a comment about “Nazi hair.” It turned out that the young man was actually suffering from Stage 4 brain cancer, and Bee was again forced to apologize.

It is painful to have to say that in this sorry state of late-night comedy, television’s most visible hosts have turned into boring political preachers and in the process have themselves become the joke.