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Thomas Tennant

Talk Show Hosts Respond to Newtown, Conn., Tragedy

By December 18, 2012

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It's difficult to be funny - even if your job is to be funny, to try to provide a moment of levity, a break for the reeling heartbreak and heartache of the soul - soon after a tragedy so unimaginable as the one experienced by the people of Newtown, Conn., and, truly, our national community.

Late night talk show hosts like Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman know this and understand it. And both gave stirring monologue addressing the tragedy and expressing their hope that a moment of levity might help ease the mind. Though if you saw the monologues, you got a sense Kimmel and Letterman knew that it wouldn't be enough.

"I want the people in Connecticut to know we do not take what you're going through lightly," said Kimmel, visibly moved. "And we're all thinking about you here a lot, all of us, even though we're at a talk show."

Letterman spent his entire monologue sharing his grief with the audience. He told them "Since 1994, there have been 70 episodes of school shootings -- and we don't have them all here, and we limited it to schools. I would have thought one a year would be too many."

Conan O'Brien spoke briefly about the shootings, calling them "insanely mindless." He cancelled his monologue because of it.

Daytime talk shows spent more time discussing the tragedy, trying to make sense of it. Katie spent the hour talking with two families whose children where victims of the shooting.

Dr. Oz featured an interview with spiritual leader Joel Osteen. Osteen also appeared on Katie.

The View hosted Chris Cuomo, from ABC News, and forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner. Elisabeth Hasselbeck broke down when speaking with Welner, asking, "How can this happen?"


January 25, 2013 at 7:10 pm
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