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Andy Martin on Jay Leno’s “final” Tonight Show


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2014-02-07 19:53:46 - Television veteran Andy Martin offers his insights on the latest “retirement” of Jay Leno.

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Andy Martin
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Andy Martin

looks at Jay Leno’s final show through the prism of Andy’s own 46 years of TV experience


February 7, 2014


Dear New Hampshire Citizen:

Along with many of you Thursday night I watched Jay Leno’s final appearance as host of the Tonight Show. The show touched me more than I thought it would. Perhaps you will share some of my feelings.

I started in television in 1968, as the youngest person ever authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to own and operate a television station. Videotape machines were the size of freezers, and tape was 2 inches wide. Over the decades I produced shows and commercials. In the 1990’s I was a pioneering guest on talk television, later becoming a guest on Hannity & Colmes and helping friends at Fox News launch the news channel with a little reporting from Florida. In 2008 I was at the center of what became the most controversial TV show of the presidential campaign. So my experience in broadcasting spans 46 exciting and informative years.

Over the decades I was always favorably disposed to NBC television; an NBC News bureau chief, Bill Corley, hired me to go to work for the network, but I declined. As a station owner NBC gave me my first network affiliation; they later paid me a princely sum for airing a TV spot in the 1970’s. So I understand Jay Leno’s sense of loyalty to NBC.

There were always opportunities along the way to become a “suit” and join a network or group broadcaster. But in Robert Frost’s words I took “The Road Not Taken” and chose to work independently. As Frost says, “that has made all the difference And that “difference” is why I can stand before you as the only Republican conservative ready to go to Washington and fight to make America strong again.

So what’s the link between Leno and my own experience?

In his closing words Leno imparted massive wisdom.

First, Jay explained how after the loss of his own family he allowed his associates to become his own replacement family. Jay explained how the audience itself becomes part of a great entertainer’s family. But in a larger sense Jay’s audience was always his “family

Can you think of a parallel? How’s this for size? Mitt Romney was one of the nicest, most decent people that ever sought the presidency, as the recent documentary “Mitt” confirms. Romney is a thoroughly honorable man. But Mitt never brought the American family into his own familial orbit. Had he done so, America would have a president in the White House today, not a pretender.

Jay paid homage to Johnny Carson, who was perhaps the greatest entertainer and comedian of the television age. But Jay and Johnny are people of vastly different personalities.

Johnny was the classic comedian who lived in an unhappy, depressive universe. Marital problems dogged him. Alcohol was a problem. Loneliness and alienation were his constant companions. He had few friends. A recent book on Carson by a close associate is sad reading.

No book about Jay would be depressing. More likely boring. He has been married to one woman. There are no sex scandals. He loves his work and he loves his home. Without ever making a public point of his fidelity Jay represents a traditional view of marriage. Jay seldom ends up on the gossip pages. He’s too busy working. He enjoys what he does.

Despite being based in Hollywood, Jay has never been as popular on the west coast and east coast as he is in Middle America. Jay is Middle America and he remains true to his Rhode Island roots. The NBC “suits” apparently want an edgier Tonight Show. We shall see what the public wants.

I know what loving your work feels like because I start every day thankful for the dawn, committed to doing my personal best until the setting sun. I take great pride and pleasure in helping and encouraging others.

Second, Jay paid homage to the traditional Americans workplace. He celebrated the union status of his program. He shared the joy of financial success by his staff. Today, corporate greed poisons our economy. The gap between workers and managers becomes wider and wider. Hedge fund speculators try for an edge against public investors, “the little people “Private equity” is really public looting.

But not in Leno’s world. He took time to celebrate the financial successes of his staff and the fact that they were well-paid. Ironically, Leno admitted that his workers made him sound better than he is, look better than he is and act smarter than he is. In other words genuine success is a mutually reinforcing experience. Our economy is not growing because business today is increasingly motivated by corporate destruction, not corporate development.

Today corporate managers seek to enrich themselves at the expense of their customers and employees. That’s why our economy is so weak. Instead of celebrating American togetherness, stock market speculators try to figure out how to export jobs to save a few pennies on the dollar, while devastating communities and regions and wondering why there are fewer and fewer buyers for their “imported” products. We are increasingly separated into the “1 and the “99

We must return to the all-American “100

Jay was a shrewd businessman and he made a huge fortune, but not at the expense of his staff. Accusations of greed or exploitation against him are hard to find. Leno succeeded along with his workers, and because of them.

Leno was dumped by NBC, prematurely in my opinion. Attracting a mass audience, being an entertainer for a mass audience, is not easy in our fragmented world. I used to change channels when Leno’s Hollywood hype became a little too gooey but Jay was always a comfortable place to end the day. Will his replacement, Jimmy Fallon, hold Leno’s audience? I am very skeptical.

So what are my predictions for Leno’s future?

Jay said the only people he had ever known were NBC workers. He is loyal. The only place he had ever known was NBC’s Burbank studios. Can an old dog learn new tricks?

Leno might actually benefit from being dumped by NBC. Inevitably, even the most successful show can become stale around the edges.

Can Leno be comfortable and satisfied just doing stand-up comedy? Maybe. But I doubt it. He is too valuable a property to sit on the sidelines. I haven’t followed the intricacies of Jay’s contract separation with NBC but here is a hint of what could lie ahead: Leno got NBC to keep his entire staff on the payroll until September. In other words, “the only army that Leno has ever known” is bivouacked and ready to reassemble again if summoned by the general. That tactic alone suggests Leno is keeping all his options open.

I could be mistaken but I believe Leno is bigger than just night clubs and stand-up gigs. His humor is still broadly-based enough. Perhaps leaving NBC allows Jay to add a little sharper edge to his comedy. All in all, I believe the prospect of a return to “late night” will prove irresistible to Jay.

And why not? The “Greatest Generation” saved the world from Nazi horrors, and came home to build the greatest nation in history.

The Greatest then passed the baton to the “Boomer Generation’s” Bill Clinton, who managed to drive the nation into an abyss of immorality and mendacity.

George Bush drove us into an abyss of incompetence as he started wars and couldn’t finish them.

Then voters chose a post-Boomer, Barack Obama, who is dismantling this great nation. Obama is a “contenda For worst president in history.

So what are Democrats proposing to do in response to Obama’s incompetent leadership and personal arrogance? Go back to a Boomer girl from the Midwest, Hillary Clinton, for their next leader. “New” generations do not always mean “better We know that now.

And so while NBC says it was making a “generational change” in late night by dumping Leno, as it had every right to do, and as Jay departed under the most gracious circumstances, he still retains a hold on his audience and can return to the airwaves if he desires to do so. The “Boomers” still have a lot of “boom” left in them.

I, for one hope Jay returns.

In New Hampshire, the next U. S. Senator is likely to be a “Boomer And, as unlikely as it seems today, it could be me. If not me, voters will likely return Jeanne Shaheen to the Senate, despite her toxic five years in Washington. Take a page from Leno. Don’t bet against a man who loves his work and has 46 years of experience in radio and television. My “road not taken could just possibly be the road to reviving our party with the wisdom and energy necessary to unite Americans for the coming battles in 2015. Stay tuned.

As always, I invite your comments, reactions, suggestions and support!

Faithfully,

Andy

AM:sp

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MEDIA CONTACT: Andy Martin (866) 706-2639; CELL (603) 866-4343 E-MAIL: AndyNewHampshire@aol.com
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LINKS TO THIS STORY (cut and paste the entire link below and not just the underlined portion):

ABOUT ANDY:

Andy is a legendary New Hampshire-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. Andy’s family immigrated to Manchester 100 years ago; today his home overlooks the Merrimack River and he lives around the corner from where he played as a small boy. He has forty-six years of background in radio and television. He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and he produced the Internet film "Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on New Hampshire, national and international events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience both in the USA and around the world. For more, go to: www.AndyMartin.com

Andy has also been a leading corruption fighter in American politics and courts for over forty-five years and he is executive director of the National Anti-Corruption Policy Institute. He is currently sponsoring www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com. See also www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; www.EnglishforAmerica.org

He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).

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