The Atlantic

The Conversation

Readers respond to articles in the May issue.

The Politics of Late-Night Comedy

Caitlin Flanagan’s May article, “How Late-Night Comedy Alienated Conservatives, Made Liberals Smug, and Fueled the Rise of Trump,” provoked responses from, among others, Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, and Trevor Noah, the host of The Daily Show.

“Trump and Bee,” Flanagan argues, “are on different sides politically, but culturally they are drinking from the same cup, one filled with the poisonous nectar of reality TV and its baseless values … Trump and Bee share a penchant for verbal cruelty and a willingness to mock the defenseless.”

It is far more consequential, of course, when Trump does the mocking. But Flanagan is correct that the attitude of late-night television gets mixed up in the public mind with the mainstream media and appears to many as a monolith of cruel, establishment bias.

On the whole, people can better tolerate being shouted at than being sneered at. And the sneer of the knowledge class was

Estás leyendo una vista previa, regístrate para leer más.

Más de The Atlantic

The Atlantic7 min. leídosAmerican Government
How to Undo One of Trump’s Worst, Most Despicable Policies
As President Joe Biden takes office, his administration will get to work reversing some of the Trump administration’s most controversial and destructive policies, including the elimination of key environmental protections, the creation of new immigra
The Atlantic6 min. leídosMedical
Why Kids Might Be Key to Reaching Herd Immunity
A few days after Christmas, Molly Hering, 14, and her brother, Sam, 12, got their first shots as part of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trials for kids. Their mom had heard about a clinical trial being conducted at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Mo
The Atlantic3 min. leídosAmerican Government
‘Unity’ Is Not What America Needs Right Now
President Biden’s pursuit of solidarity is well intentioned. But without concrete plans to hold bad actors accountable, his efforts will be useless.