Why does it matter who hosts “The Tonight Show”?

It’s Conan O’Brien’s last day as host of “The Tonight Show.” In a week of serious news out of Washington and Haiti, the late night TV wars have attracted what even he says is disproportionate attention. Today’s Question: Why does it matter who hosts “The Tonight Show”?

Comments texted to MPR:

I am not sure why all the attention is being paid to the late night TV wars. I guess that it is news but on a scale with all the other things that are happening in the world, it really doesn’t garner that amount or magnitude of attention that it has been receiving. -Richard, St. Paul, MN

Issues of fairness and justice need to apply even in late night world. NBC is another corporation acting without integrity and calling it ‘just business’. -Helen, Minneapolis, MN

I love late night humor at bedtime so its a daily ritual and therefore important to people. At 38 years old, only Conan is funny. -Cory, Minneapolis, MN

It doesn’t matter who hosts the Tonight Show. Celebrities and entertainment are mere tools used by the capitalist system to distract people from what matters… -anonymous

It matters because U.S. Audiences don’t know the difference between news and entertainment. -Paul

Because people will always cling to entertainment regardless of, or in response to, current events. -anonymous

Because some hosts are funny and some are not. -anonymous