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A fascinating little story here, folks, a column by Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post. It is headlined: “Why No One Should be Surprised that Jay Leno Asked President Obama ‘Real’ Questions.”

Now, yesterday on this program, about 24 hours ago, I observed that I think this was the first time in my lifetime that a president of the United States had gone on a late-night comedy show to address the American people about something of potentially great consequence. Shutting down 21 embassies for a week in the Middle East is not an insignificant thing. And I pointed out the Jack Paar show did not feature John F. Kennedy. JFK did not go on the Jack Paar show to tell the American people about the Cuban missile crisis. And it just seemed to be emblematic of the plunge that the country is making in its devotion to the pop culture, the low-information segment of our country.

Now, nothing against Leno. I mean, I want to stress again, good get for him, to get the president. That’s cool. This is a White House decision. I’m not being critical of Leno at all. And I was not at all surprised that Leno would ask better questions than the White House press corps does. I’ve been a guest on The Tonight Show and when Leno had his primetime show. And I know when I’m there, all he does is ask tough questions. There isn’t any comedy, unless I interject it. I know he’s capable of it and I wasn’t surprised that he did it. But, usually in the past, when presidents have gone on comedy shows, not during moments of great import, but just a casual appearance, which by the way is relatively new in and of itself. I don’t think George H. W. Bush went on any of these shows. Clinton, I think, playing the sax on Arsenio Hall, might have been the icebreaker, certainly in the modern era. Which is not surprising. I don’t know if W. went on a comedy show or not — George W. Bush, don’t remember.

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