World Curling Federation extends ban on controversial brooms to entire season

22 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ has become propaganda for Democrats.

After an initial burst of interest spurred by CBS’s big-bucks saturation advertising campaign for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” the show’s ratings have tanked and it is now running third in late night behind NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, who rarely has managed second place before.The expectation was laid out, plain as can be, in the first reports of Stephen Colbert’s hiring by CBS to succeed David Letterman as host of “The Late Show.” The news of Mr. Colbert’s appointment inflamed conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh, who said CBS had “declared war on the heartland of America.” But CBS executives made it clear that they expected Mr. The survey, conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland, comes five years after the entertainment glossy first polled viewers about a very different late-night lineup that included Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jon Stewart.

Having evolved in recent years from its beer-drinking, chain-smoking, down-at-the-local-club roots, the friendly sport of curling suddenly has a debate on its hands that in some quarters has seen the civility – and even some gloves – dropped. A whopping 47 percent of the viewers polled said they would opt for The Tonight Show, which Fallon took over in February of last year, if all of the late-night shows aired at the same time. Nearly twice as many Republicans are watching Kimmel as Colbert, who has turned “Late Night” into a sort of wannabe MSNBC show. “Because comedy doesn’t work unless the underlying premise rings true, just about no conservative finds Colbert funny,” a Post columnist opined on April 11, 2014. “So, though he will be dropping the faux-con shtick when he takes over Letterman’s chair, millions of conservatives won’t be watching.

The use of so-called directional fabric in broom pads is the latest escalation in an arms race among manufacturers, whereby the world’s best curlers could guide the 44-pound stone around a sheet of ice as if it were controlled by a joystick. CBS is essentially writing off half the potential audience before the first show even airs.” Ratings show that 47% of Colbert’s viewers identify as Democrats, 17% as Republicans. That’s what Colbert — famous for his satirical portrayal of a conservative commentator on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” — is supposed to be going for in his new job. Concerned that it just was not curling anymore, many of the sport’s top athletes – but not all of them – signed an agreement last month not to use the newest brooms.

Kimmel’s audience is evenly split — 33% Democrats, 32% Republicans, while Fallon’s is nearly so (36% Democrats, 31% Republicans). “Colbert Nation is filled with wealthy, socially liberal men who overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana and want Bernie Sanders to be president,” pollster Jon Penn explained to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s important because, even on an average night on CBS, Colbert is playing to a bigger audience (more than 3 million viewers) than he did on his best night on cable (2.5 million for his curtain call last December).

But with few regulations on the books and Olympic qualifying tournaments underway this month, the World Curling Federation stepped this week and issued new rules that set severe restrictions on the types of brooms that can be used. There aren’t many earth-shattering revelations in this year’s survey – Fallon’s dominance has held strong even after the much-hyped Late Show debut of Stephen Colbert – but it’s an interesting look into what each host brings to the table. Some 30% of Colbert viewers report that they are atheists, which is the No. 1 “religion category” choice for “Late Show” viewers. (Memo to the US Marine Corps: Don’t bother advertising on Colbert.

It is not going back to hog’s hair, but it is close – banning fabric that had been waterproofed and requiring all brooms to be available for purchase at a retailer. “There’s definitely some anger over it,” Dean Gemmell, a former US champion and the author of “Brush Like a Badass: A Curler’s Guide to Great Sweeping,” said of the controversy. “In curling, we’re generally known for being pretty friendly with most of your opponents. Fallon has a broader appeal in many respects – he was more popular with women than any other host and was the top pick when viewers were asked who they’d want to grab a beer with. Manufacturers of pastel capri pants for men, on the other hand, should not miss out on this opportunity.) Of course, CBS could spin this by saying that Colbert’s viewers are the sort desired by advertisers. He admitted during his time at the “Daily Show” that he had discovered his liberal politics there, but even some conservatives seemed to respect his brand of comedy, and there was actually relatively little backlash against a guy whose faux conservative alter ego was hardly flattering for the right side of the political spectrum. Viewers were more likely to associate the words “authentic,” “cool dude” and “party animal” with the Saturday Night Live alum, than with Kimmel or Colbert.

But when BalancePlus last month unveiled prototypes of its new broom, which dwarfed the advances made by the IcePad, there was an outcry that the new brooms had made redirecting the stone too easy, thus diminishing the value of a skilled thrower and the strength and athleticism of the sweepers. In the opening week of November, for the first time since his Sept. 8 debut, Colbert fell to third place in the critical 18-to-49-year-old ratings demographic. Now, at least 40 have signed on. “This is nothing other than corporate bullying,” Manavian said. “The bottom line is we have not changed anything on the IcePad the last three years. Consider The Atlantic’s summary of his recent political interviews: “Even by Colbert’s standards, his interview with [Ted] Cruz featured much tougher treatment than any of his other political interviews to date . . . Colbert’s CBS audience is 47 percent Democrat and just 17 percent Republican, according to the findings of D.C.-based polling firm Penn Schoen Berland.

Compare Colbert’s partisan breakdown with the nearly even splits of Fallon (36 percent Democrat/31 percent Republican) and Kimmel (34/33), and it’s apparent that Colbert’s competitors do the whole broad-appeal thing better than he does. Our broom is the best one out there, there’s no question about it, and sales started to skyrocket.” Scott Taylor, the president of BalancePlus, said: “I can’t really respond to his comments. And when Bernie Sanders appeared on the show last week, Colbert gave him space to deliver his campaign talking points with little interruption.” Almost as if he was trying out a third personality — a parody of a know-nothing liberal pundit — Colbert made a complete ass of himself in front of Cruz by suggesting that the senator, being religious, necessarily equated his opponents with Satan. “You’re a religious man, right, you’re a religious man? . . . What about your opponents politically, are they diabolical?” Colbert then attempted to argue the Constitution with Cruz, which is a bit like giving chess tips to Garry Kasparov. Cruz reminded the baffled comic of the existence of something called the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states those powers not specifically granted the federal government, and in so doing actually won a round of applause from Colbert’s audience.

They need to step up and say, ‘Here are the rules.’” Gushue noticed last year that teams using an IcePad had significantly more control over the rock than his team did, so after his sponsorship deal expired with Goldline, another major manufacturer, he signed with Hardline. Colbert is so unremittingly hostile to Republicans that he will shortly find conservative invitees declining to appear. (Except Ted Cruz, who would argue with a tree stump.) That means the Colbert show risks turning into an echo chamber in which viewers doze off as Colbert and his liberal guests beam lovingly at each other like a mother and child.

That’s what we in the comedy business call courage, and it pretty much sets the tone for the rest of this memoir, in which Ferguson admirably avoids wisecracks and instead goes for something like wisdom.”

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