We've already seen audiences fleeing MSNBC, the network that religiously carries the Obama administration's water, as a number of scandals rock the White House.Now, it looks like the long-running battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman is also being affected by the toxic headlines swirling around the president.
During this year's May sweeps, "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" posted a 39 percent lead over "Late Show With David Letterman" in the advertiser-cherished 18-49 demographic -- the widest May sweep margin over "Late Show" since 2004, and a 12 percent increase over last year's May sweep....
In total viewers, Leno also widened the lead over Letterman compared to last year, averaging 3.515 million versus 2.767 million for Letterman. That's a 27 percent advantage, up 16 percent from last May.
So, what changed?
Leno continues to hammer President Obama for his connection to several political nightmares, from the IRS hounding Tea Party groups to the Department of Justice eavesdropping on high-profile journalists. Meanwhile, Letterman is still focusing his comic firepower on the GOP, all but ignoring Obama as a target of mockery.
Audiences apparently want their late night hosts to do their job rather than protect the powerful.