Do They Make A Difference?

Political Candidates and talk shows
Political Candidates and talk shows

We’re talking about the various talk shows and talk show host that play “their” own special part in the Election 2008 process.  Many have seen the presidential candidates and their wives take part as guest on talk shows from the Tonight Show, Late Night, The View, The Daily Show, Colbert Report, Ellen DeGeneres Show, Regis and Kelli, and the list goes on.  On some shows, candidates (and their wives) know what they’re going to get whether for light-hearted or more serious natured, chat about life, campaign issues, or your basic question and answer session. 

Many of the talk show host, at the risk of staying impartial have voiced their opinions and backed or endorsed a political candidate as well.  We all have heard how early on in the election season, likely the most popular of all talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, has put her political backing behind Barack Obama, and she has since been a huge supporter.  On the other hand you have a show like the View with their variety of host who have a range of opinions on the candidates, including Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s strong conservative views.

But lately, these issues are starting to become more prevalent in the race for the White House.  Oprah recently announced after the selection of Sarah Palin as Republican nominee for vice-president, that she refuses to have Palin on her show.  Citing that she didn’t want to harm Obama’s campaign and that Palin would be a great interview, but after the election. It would seem natural that many would be outraged, especially those on the conservative republican side.  The Florida Federation of Republican Women are calling for a boycott of Oprah’s talk show host and her magazine in retaliation.  A move that could clearly hurt her image to many. 

Also at the risk of getting more involved, last week The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck made an appearance at the Republican National Convention at a luncheon for Cindy McCain.  She was apparently a big hit, even taking a shot from comparisons of the candidate’s wives as the appeared in her show.  Her comment directed at Michelle Obama saying that she has things that she didn’t want to talk about, as opposed to Cindy McCain who was open to talk about anything that was brought up and didn’t have anything to hide.  Now many are crying for her removal or some type of punishment.

Not for nothin’, but if this is the type of behavior you get, then maybe talk show host should stay away from politics and their opinions.  Personally I prefer if my talk show host want to be involved then their is much in the political realm to be made fun of, such as in the likes of what you’ll see from The Daily Show or Real Time.  Or even a straight question and answer session in the form of a Larry King.  We’ll see more and more of the candidates on talk shows in the up coming two months, and we’re likely to get our dose of talk shows on candidates too.  But I contend, if Oprah didn’t make her political opinion known she’d likely had Palin on and we’d all get to see what she was about on another level.  At the same time, Hasselbeck’s comments probably went a little far with her criticisms and her “view”.

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