Giving a decidedly more generous take on the news that Comedy Central comedian Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman than, say, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly doubted whether Colbert will be able to attract the conservative audience he said makes up almost half of Americans.
“Traditionally late night has been light and breezy, with a minimum of political posturing,” the Fox News host said at the end of his program Monday. He characterized CBS’s decision to tap Colbert as the next host of “Late Night” “interesting,” then sniped that “Colbert has made an entire career on pleasing the left.”
“So he has to compete with Fallon and Kimmel, who are basically high-energy guys who like to have a good time on their shows,” he continued. “It’d be hard to fathom that 40 percent of Americans that describe themselves as conservative will watch Colbert.”
But O’Reilly, who feuded with Colbert over the past few weeks about efforts to reduce income inequality, seemed to give his rival the benefit of the doubt.
“But Colbert will have good writers and surely he knows his challenge,” he concluded.
Mediaite has video of the segment.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.