“The View” Election Special on Lifetime
The View chose to shoot their ninety minute election-special TV show right out of their regular ABC studio in NYC, but were forced to broadcast live on the Lifetime cable channel, as ABC did not want to interrupt their scheduled election coverage on their regular broadcast channel. Whoopi Goldberg did not take part in the show, and the other regular View hosts took up the slack. The show was geared towards Hillary Clinton winning the Presidency, with much crowing about how the specially built glass ceiling at the Jacob Javits Center was to be broken when she won the election, making her the first woman in history to become a U.S. president. Like many of the election TV specials, there was a huge bias towards the liberal audience at this show. As the depressing numbers for the Democrats rolled in, showing that Donald Trump was, in fact, beating Hillary Clinton at the ballot box, Joy Behar tried to make the show funny rather than somber. She kept reaching for the drinks, repeating that this night was not going exactly as she hoped it would. Supposedly a lot of the cocktails they were drinking on set were in fact “mocktails.” The drinks had election-themed names such as “Bad Hombre” and “Hillary’s Pantsuit Punch.” Out-of-touch rich celebrities were rolled out in the show, and politically biased questions were posed to interviewees. When the results for North Carolina rolled in, Kathy Najimy came on the show, but failed to quell the impending doom. ABC also tried to tie in the Good Morning, America crew with Robin Roberts at the Jacob Javits Center for the Clinton Campaign and Michael Strahan, who did an awful job at the Times Square, man-on-the-street feed. Meanwhile, a web-based live social feed also took place with viewers voicing their concerns that The View, having a liberal bias, is what motivated the conservatives to get out and vote for Trump. People’s responses ranged from angry to skeptical to puzzled as to why The View is even still on the air, given its infighting and low ratings. In general, they felt that the rich celebrities on The View were hopelessly out of touch with the common person, as they have the luxury to be able move wherever they pleased in response to the election results, which regular working people do not have.
The Colbert Election Special on Showtime was also organized with the incorrect assumption of a Hillary Clinton win, and they did not have a Plan B. The Colbert audience is decidedly liberal, as were the guests that he had arranged to welcome onto the show. The show began with an ominous cartoon sequence, where a cartoon version of Donald Trump was seething at the humiliation he felt at the White House Correspondents dinner in 2011. When Colbert emerged to do his monologue, it was already late in the election night, and the possibility of a Trump victory was seeming very real, but not yet definite. He winked at the possibility of that outcome, but tried to remain upbeat. Jeff Goldblum came onto the show, and had to improvise as the results were making them all look bad. Laura Benanti came out and performed her spot-on impression of Melania Trump, reading mean-spirited scripted lines that suddenly seemed out of context as the election returns continued to come in to show that Melania Trump will actually be the first lady. Some previously announced guests did not even appear on the show, such as Patton Oswalt and Katy Perry. Apparently they were not in a state to appear on cable television. It is unclear if they were even backstage or not. Other billed guests such as Charlamagne the God and the comedian Jena Friedman did come onto the show, but they were not able to deliver their jokes with the same sense of humor they had anticipated, given that they too were clearly not Trump supporters. As the night wore on, Colbert tried to remain optimistic. He tried to be a good statesman, but he had already baked in his hatred of Trump, so there was no going back for a do-over. He referenced Harry S. Truman holding up a paper that said “Dewey Beats Truman,” which was an example in which the Chicago Tribune published an incorrect election outcome too soon. There were also journalists who spoke live on television to Colbert, such as John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, discussing how Trump had gone from an underdog to the front runner. In the conclusion of the show, Colbert was bombing on live TV. He tried to improvise a speech and ended on a fake patriotic note, “Goodnight, and may God bless America.” The band concluded by playing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” to Colbert’s accompanied singing. This show contained some of the worst television moments of Colbert’s career; time will tell if his TV career will even survive this misstep, in a year chock full of missteps.
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