John McCain boosts 'Tonight Show'

Highest-rated Tuesday show since February 2007

NEW YORK -- Sen. John McCain's first public appearance since Election Day gave "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" the vote of late-night viewers Tuesday night.

"Tonight" was the highest-rated late-night program of the night on any network and it gave "Tonight" its best ratings since February 2007 for a Tuesday. "Tonight" averaged a 4.9 household rating/12 share in the 56 metered markets, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday afternoon.

McCain was greeted warmly by the crowd and Leno. McCain was funny and self-effacing in during the interview, which spanned two segments. He said that the media didn't have a role in his loss last week to Barack Obama.

"Yeah, it's all the presses' fault," McCain said. He added: "You should have seen 'The View.'"

McCain took lumps from all but one member of "The View" during a recent appearance on the ABC chatfest. He said he didn't think that it was pre-ordained that Obama would win but he acknowledged the long odds.

"I knew I had a headwind," McCain said. "I can read the polls. They tried to keep them from me."

The next nearest program in the ratings was CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman," which averaged a 3.2 and ABC's Nightline (3.1).