The Jay Leno vs Conan O’Brian feud raged for months with fans on either side lobbing bombs at every given opportunity. The inner workings of NBC were aired for all to see and a nasty political war broke out between corporate executives, talent, and the public. Leno had promised years ago to hand over the ‘Tonight Show’ to Conan, but when his time was up, decided he wanted to stay instead. O’Brian was ultimately let go from his gig at NBC taking with him a horde of angry followers and the broad support of the public. Leno’s image has taken a huge hit both inside the industry and with the regular viewers, yet he still has his show and still has his millions.
While this is all very interesting to a media culture obsessed with conflict, watching two grotesquely rich white men fight about hosting a chat show is, at the end of the day, fairly offensive.
Both Leno and O’Brian are multi millionaires who can and will command absurd salaries for anything they are involved with. They have achieved what 99.99% of the population will never come close to and are financially set for the rest of their lives. The constant bickering, Oprah Winfrey appearances and ridiculous assertions that they ‘got screwed’ do nothing to enhance their images as egotistical monsters (and I’m talking mostly about Leno here). O’Brian may have lost his show and Leno might have harmed his image, but
the country is going through a deep and severe recession with millions
of people facing unemployment and grinding poverty. So they should do everyone a favor and stop talking about it. Now.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.