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Facing the Primaries without the Daily Show

Desiree Cooper

Angela Kim

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Travis Daub
(Travis Daub)
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Desiree Cooper: Who does that benefit if people are checking out and not seeing those campaign ads?

Travis Daub: I think it helps the people, the candidates, that are currently drawing very low in the polls. Those campaign ads helps the frontrunners to just continue to sort of pound their names home.

What about those late night talk shows? That's always a place where candidates can come in and sit on a couch, show that they have a sense of humor, and show that they have a different side. What's the absence of Leno and Letterman -- how is that playing in on the election?

The late night talk shows, they're the first place that people is feeling this. Jay Leno and David Letterman's monologues every night rely heavily on what happens on the campaign train. And we don't' have anyone commenting on $400 haircuts. In the same way, the late night shows help to develop popular caricatures of the candidates. Amy Poehler has nailed Hilary Clinton on "Saturday Night Live" and it's not a very appealing portrait of Hillary Clinton and it's kind of unfortunately that we won't have another seven or eight months for her to develop that character. It might be fortunate for Hillary Clinton certainly that she won't be there.

You know, I remember when "West Wing" was out, people had to be reminded: Martin Sheen is really not the president. I think on 24 , people are kind of getting caught up with security issues. And it makes Americans even more afraid perhaps of biological threats or if someone's going to blow up Los Angeles or whatever the plot du jour is. Does that actually play into which candidates get favored?

I think it does. I think that "24" for instance, paints the world into a very black and white sort of way. The way that the Bush administration is often been criticized for viewing the world. It's kind of nice how things conveniently wrap up at the end of the season or at the end of the episode. And I think many people look at the legal system the same way through Law and Order. It's kind of a three-step process and you get a conviction at the end.

Do any other shows come to mind that you think could affect the election if it did get back into swing on time?

One thing I was wondering and that I kind of joked about in this post -- will the candidates take advantage of the other shows available now. I wonder if we'll see Hilary Clinton cooking with Rachel Ray. Or Mike Huckabee doing a guest appearance on "The Biggest Loser" talking about his weight loss experiences. So in terms, it's very difficult to predict which sort of fiction TV show that could come back and have a major impact. I was trying to boil down this entire exploration of what a world without TV writers means to politics. And I think it means that the smaller issues become more important because we can dissect more carefully during the debates because more people will be watching. We can dissect them more carefully more on television news programs because there will be more of them. And it will be harder for candidates to steamroll the other candidates via a huge television ad campaigns or even via the collective conscious of people all tuning into a program like "24."

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