Hollywood weighs impact of election

Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:20pm EDT
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By Steven Zeitchik and Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Jay Leno and David Letterman are rooting for the Republicans.

That's not a comment on their political beliefs, which late-night hosts play close to their vests. But if comic fodder is any factor, after-hours hosts will benefit from a John McCain administration: During a survey in September, the Center for Media and Public Affairs counted seven times as many jokes about the Republican ticket than the Democratic one.

The outcome of the battle for the White House will have consequences far beyond entertainment. But next week's election will also impact Hollywood, influencing culture and policy in crucial ways.

In redefining the pop cultural zeitgeist, it could indirectly affect which movies are made and how much media regulation conglomerates face as well as have an impact on digital development and cable-news ratings.

And it will vault some personalities to popularity and doom others to obscurity.

The principle: What's good for one category of entertainers under one administration is bad for another.

"If McCain wins, late-night hosts would have a field day," CNN pundit and Hunter College professor Karen Hunter said.

And if Barack Obama wins?   Continued...

<p>Supporters of U.S. Democratic Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) raise their hands during an election rally in Columbia, Missouri, October 30, 2008. Obama is campaigning in Florida, Virginia and Missouri on Thursday before the November 4 presidential election. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>