Leno needs to take responsibility

I realize this is a bit off-topic, but I do not like Jay Leno. I especially dislike his “I’m a victim” stance in this whole late-night talk fiasco of the last many weeks.

So Jay went on Oprah this morning to begin repairing his image. A great many people think he’s responsible for what’s happened to Conan O’Brien, but he doesn’t.

“It all comes down to numbers in show business. This is almost the perfect storm of bad things happening. You have two hit shows — ‘Tonight Show’ No. 1 and Conan No. 1. You move them both to another situation. And what are the odds that both would do extremely poorly? If Conan’s numbers had been a little bit higher, it wouldn’t even be an issue. But in show business, there’s always somebody waiting in the wings. Being me.”

As he has before, he blames Conan for poor ratings for The Tonight Show, even though he takes responsibility for his poor ratings at 10pm. But here’s the thing: Leno’s show killed late news ratings for most NBC affiliates, which, in turn, killed The Tonight Show. Lead-in program ratings impact any show on TV, so it was Leno’s crappy talk show that gave Conan O’Brien’s show lousy ratings, and it’s hypocritical of Leno to blame O’Brien’s demise on O’Brien.

If Jay Leno wants to repair his image, he needs to begin by taking responsibility for everything, including not being honest in 2004 when NBC suits first proposed moving Conan to The Tonight Show five years later.