Dixon Conviction Makes It To Prime Time

December 05, 2009|By David Zurawik

It didn't take long for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon to become a national TV punch line in the wake of her guilty verdict.

Thursday night, NBC comedian Jay Leno made her part of his monologue.

"I love this story," Leno said near the end of a prime-time monologue filled with jokes about Tiger Woods. "The mayor of Baltimore, a woman named Sheila Dixon, found guilty this week of embezzlement. The mayor! The mayor! Embezzlement for spending $1,000 worth of gift cards intended for the homeless on herself."

Here the audience booed, as Leno doubled over with a big fake chuckle.

"The mayor took a $500 Best Buy card and $500 Target gift card - took the money from the poor - and spent it on herself."

Here's the punch line: "She said it was an honest mistake: She said she just thought it was a bribe."

Leno has been trying to work Baltimore material and segments into his prime-time show in hopes of raising its anemic ratings, which are hurting WBAL's late news at 11. The idea is that more local references might help boost the show's popularity with Baltimore viewers.

Well, it was local.

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