Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Are liberal comedians cowards or just partisan hacks?

I was channel surfing last night and came upon George Lopez doing this comedy act from 2007. I was appalled when I heard him cursing President Bush with the F word for his decisions on immigration. The curse words flew and of course, his audience was eating it up. Lopez was unhappy with Bush's stance on immigration. Okay, fair enough. But what if he was unhappy with something Obama did, would he dare curse Obama directly using the F word as he did Bush? No way, and he knows it.

In yesterday's Washington Times article entitled, "For political comedians, the joke's not on Obama," the author notes the scarcity of satire:

What's so unfunny?

That's what some comics - citing the scarcity of satire directed at President Obama and his administration - want to know.

Claiming that his peers are "panicky" about "being called a racist," stand-up legend Jackie Mason said too many once-fearless satirists are settling for "hero worship" of the new U.S. president.

The Great Presidential Comedy Drought of 2009 can't be chalked off to a lack of satirical fodder, said comic Jeffrey Jena, founder of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy blog. ("Looking at politics and life from the right side," proclaims its motto.)

"Letterman used to do a 'Bushism of the Week.' " Why hasn't he started one with Obama?" Mr. Jena said. "There's plenty of those moments, the 'Ohs, and 'Umms' or 'I don't speak Austrian.' "


And don't expect right-leaning comics to fill the void:

Comedian Nick DiPaolo said that although the new administration provides an opening for conservative humorists, that won't mean they suddenly start appearing on Mr. Letterman's couch.

Mr. DiPaolo, who mixes conservative-friendly material into his act, said the people behind the major entertainment shows "aren't going to let someone right of center jump into the arena."


Glenn Beck sums it up:

Radio and Fox News Channel talk show host Glenn Beck, who kicks off a six-city stand-up comedy tour on June 1 in Denver, suggested that both fear and political calculation are inhibiting factors. Comedians like Mr. Letterman are "either afraid, or they know the power of comedy as a weapon and they like using it as that," he said.


So, coward or political hack, take your pick. Either way, neither speaks well of the character of these comedians or the people behind the major entertainment shows who refuse to give other views a chance to be heard.

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73 Comments:

Blogger Aurelian said...

As a whole liberal progressives, be they politicians, activists or comedians are about as spineless as they come. Their traditional targets do not endanger them, yet, they will not treat muslims or blacks to the same brand of vitriol. Radical Islamist have nothing to fear from them since that diagonally cut compensator on the end of the AK-47 does not feel good when it is shoved up their ass.

8:03 AM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger campy said...

Both.

9:06 AM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger HMT said...

Nice headline. Got False dilemma?

Comedian is a profession, not a political position. The vast majority of comedians, like most artists, are short on income. Cash is king. They're going to play whatever gets the most laughs. President with very low approval rating? He provides an unending series of pre-written gags? The vultures will swoop. Got a president with high approval ratings who's speaches are as action packed as your local sermon? They'll mine another source. You don't need a conspiracy theory to explain the motivations of people when economics works just fine.

10:06 AM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger ray_g said...

The Los Angeles Times had a similar article. Their two hypothesis: not wanting to attack a president during tough times, they cite lack of jokes shortly after 9/11 (not sure I agree with that one), and fear of being called racist (which I'm sure is a factor).

As the late, great George Carlin said, you can joke about anything. So it isn't lack of material, it is lack of imagination. And approval ratings? Ronald Regan had pretty high approval ratings, and there was no lack of jokes about him. Of course, his approval rating may have been pretty low in the target audience. I can go along with cash concerns, they certainly don't want to offend their target audience.

10:39 AM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

ditto campy.

12:05 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

HMT - your argument strongly supports the coward hypothesis.

12:06 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger fred said...

ut aside the vitriol for a moment. Most comics tend to be liberal...like it or not...and though I am not sure why this is, it is a fact. Conservatives have Dennis Miller and Jackie Mason and a few others....it is not as though they do not exist.
Obama is not at a point where it makes sense to make fun of him; Bush was always there. Would you make fun of Washington? Jefferson? nah.carter ...yes; Truman, yes. Lincoln..derided very often and not just by comics...
in sum: I suspect you are simploy looking for another excuse to hit out at a guy that is thus far loved and admired by the public but not by those of "a different party."

1:06 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Obama is not at a point where it makes sense to make fun of himNow, you're being the comedian. However, in a sense, you're correct. Although there's ample fodder of comedy, Obama's actions pose a great threat to our freedom, individual rights and economy and are no laughing matter.

1:36 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger HMT said...

DADvocate: "HMT - your argument strongly supports the coward hypothesis."

Sure, for broad definitions of cowardice. Comedian == businessman, it's how he makes his money. Low risk laughs == moderate stable money. Can't think of any examples because well, they're a dime a dozen. High risk laughs == FAME! FORTUNE! (or dead broke). Think Sam Kinison (success!) Andrew Dice Clay (not so successful), George Carlin (Success!), Michael Richards (not so successful). If conservative (not the political flavor) business practice is cowardice then you're correct DADvocate.

2:27 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

What baffles me is the repeated statement that there is nothing about Obama to mock. Are they kidding? Just this morning on NPR, they talked to some Star Trek nerds and one made a joke about Obama being a Vulcan. Lame, yes, but not a bad start. Obama has a very stilted speaking style that is quite satirizeable as is his fumbling with the monitor and don't start counting the verbal error he's made (Cinco de quatro.)

Comedians are cowards. Even Lenny Bruce and George Carlin were cowards; they picked really easy targets and hid behind the first amendment. Yeah, I'm glad they did it, but it still wasn't nearly as brave as their fawning fans make it to be (Larry Flint, however disgusting, showed far more balls than those two and paid for it.)

3:23 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Righteous Bubba said...

So, you're looking for some sorta Fairness Doctrine, am I right?

3:23 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

No, just for comedians to make us laugh.

3:43 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Matthew Dessem said...

Comedians don't owe you anything. If there's some huge, untapped hunger for jokes about Obama, start writing the jokes and watch the money roll in. Aurelian, go for it, put together 5 minutes of vitriolic jokes about blacks and muslims (& don't forget Black Muslims!) and see how far that gets you.

5:01 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

HMT - I won't argue with your point. "High risk laughs == FAME! FORTUNE! (or dead broke)." Pretty much true for comedy and business as you point out.

Not many risk taking comedians out there right now though.

7:43 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Aurelian said...

Matthew

I am not a comdeian as evidently you are. You have totally missed the point and I am not going to expend the energy to lay it out for you yet again.

2:30 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Matthew wrote: "Comedians don't owe you anything."

Exactly. Everyone knows it is the job of the federal government to provide for all our wants and needs.

Trey

8:10 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Time for comic relief.

Here's a recipe for a new drink, the Obama Momma.

Fill one cup with half way with ice.
Fill it up the rest of the way some of eveyone else's drink.
Drink.

10:52 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger ray_g said...

Applause for DADvocate. That is good political humor. It is funny (at least IMO), makes a commentary on the President's policies, and isn't ad hominem or gratuitously offensive.

11:17 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...

WRT the subject question, the two are hardly mutually exclusive. It would seem that both apply.

12:13 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Realism said...

Oh, you poor conservatives! always the victim of those mean ole' liberals...

Perhaps you seek some sort of "doctrine" that would ensure "fairness" in the targets of political humor. That way comedians would have to spend "equal time" criticizing liberals and conservatives.

If there were a "market" for jokes about Obama, there would be comedians that would step in to fill that void.

You "comedy communists" would enforce your brand of comic equality for all.

If you are tired of your leaders being lampooned as buffoons, stop picking buffoons as your leaders.

2:35 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Realism, you want to pour some of your Koolaid in Dadvocates cup?

Oh, you can't spare any?

Trey

4:40 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Realism said...

I'm sorry, but that Koolaid came straight from your pitcher. Thanks for sharing.

I guess you'll just have to go Galt to teach me a lesson. Run along, now.

5:40 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Realism, I am home, you are the visitor. But you are welcome here.

And I MUCH prefer a good ale to koolaid. Try Speckled Hen, I can recommend it.

Trey - who has been known to sip a Dickel as well.

6:07 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger CarmelaMotto said...

David Letterman has been cheerleading Obama since last year. I rarely tivo it, but I did last week for Jimmy Norton. During Dave's opening monologue, he says, "The President's doing a great job, isn't he?" Applause. "He is doing so much for the country right now." I thought Dave, Oprah, Oprah, Dave...(Oprah, Uma - anyone?) Gag me. He NEVER spoke that way about the Clinton's never mind Bush...and of course he showed what a baby he was by crying about McCain dumping him for Katie Couric during the finacial crisis. What a tool.

I love Nick DiPaolo. He's funny and good looking.

6:43 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Matthew Dessem said...

If David Letterman thinks Obama is doing a great job, he's free to say so. Should Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck be forced to give Jon Stewart a 10 minute monologue? No? Then why on earth would you think Letterman has to have Nick DiPaolo on? And in point of fact, Letterman has had DiPaolo on, so I'm not really sure what the complaint is there.

Aurelian, comedians are free to pick their own targets, period. If you don't like it, pick your own comedians. It's a free market. That's my point; I didn't miss yours.

9:52 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Aurelian said...

Matthew

"It's a free market...." sure it is. Keep digging. The truth is out there.

12:06 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

Well, one reason no one is making fun of Obama is because there's nothing to make fun of. He's actually a great guy! Bush on the other hand had intrinsic FLAWS. Bush was a poor speaker and basically ruined his own credibility in relation to the Iraq war and WMD myth. Bush was arrogant, glib, superficial, manipulative and deceptive.
These are and will be targets for comedians. Since when do comedians have to be "fair and balanced" about comedy? Give me a break.

12:51 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Glenn Beck, at least yesterday, had the greatest job in the world.

5:14 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

@Miles said... "Well, one reason no one is making fun of Obama is because there's nothing to make fun of. He's actually a great guy! Bush on the other hand had intrinsic FLAWS. Bush was a poor speaker and basically ruined his own credibility in relation to the Iraq war and WMD myth. Bush was arrogant, glib, superficial, manipulative and deceptive.
These are and will be targets for comedians. Since when do comedians have to be "fair and balanced" about comedy? Give me a break."
___________

You're right that commedians do not have to be fair and balanced. But "nothing to make fun of"? Are you kidding? Have you ever seen him off teleprompter or have you actually read some of the bills he's signed? (It's no big deal if you haven't, most congressmen who voted for it didn't read it either.)

I also never understand the Bush as arrogant, glib, superficial, manipulative and deceptive argument. The superficial one cracks me up, as the modest and humble Bush was in office between the "look at me and adore me" Hollywood presidency of Clinton and the media lovefest of Obama.

I do think Obama's a decent guy though, I'm not saying he isn't. But how can anyone say what you said about Bush with a straight face.

8:19 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Miles, um, ah, I completely agree with you, with your post, um, about there, ah, being nothing, well, um, very little, about which, um, to tease our current, ah, President.

(Would someone fix that damn teleprompter)

Trey

8:24 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

@TMink said... "Miles, um, ah, I completely agree with you, with your post, um, about there, ah, being nothing, well, um, very little, about which, um, to tease our current, ah, President."
_________

Trey! It's against media policies to print or show clips that include Obama blunders!

8:31 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Fen said...

When was the last time our "artists" spoke truth to Islam?

So I go with cowardice. If they mock Obama, they won't get invited to the right parties, won't get to sit on the right director's casting couch, won't land the next big gig. They are mere whores.

Partisan whores. They didn't mock Bush because it was humorous, they mocked him so all their sheep would know what table the cool hip kids sat at.

9:00 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Fen, check out the youtube videos of Jeff Dunham. Here is a link, but do not watch it while you have just taken a gulp of coffee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwOL4rB-go&feature=PlayList&p=DD48837117AFDF5F&index=0&playnext=1

Not that I disagree with your point.

Trey

9:33 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

Trust, GW Bush fits the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, hence, the reason I labeled him the way I did. I am not the first person to label him so. In fact, a whole class of undergraduates, who were for the most part republicans, and a clinical psychology professor came to the same conclusion when we reviewed his life history (we used him as a case study). No, I am not an undergraduate.

10:24 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Miles,

Why is it that when experts said Clinton had sociopathic traits, liberals got up in arms about professionals diagnosing him this way but if it's Bush, you're all for it? Seems a tad hypocritical, huh?

11:28 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Realism said...

"when experts said Clinton had sociopathic traits, liberals got up in arms about professionals diagnosing him this way but if it's Bush, you're all for it?"Wow, I wasn't aware that Miles = "liberals".

I guess I forgot that we are a monolithic group with no room for any ideological dissent, lest we be brought to our knees to beg forgiveness from our High Priest/Radio Personality.

Oh, wait - that would be the "conservatives"

11:57 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Realism said...

Personally, I think it's very funny when Obama get's skewered. I've seen Leno take him on many times, and SNL has even done it a couple of times. Even the daily show makes fun of him.

But you guys are eager to gobble up any storyline that allows you to paint yourselves a victims of the mean ol' liberals.

What a bunch of crybabies.

BTW, I think that an awesome SNL skit would be Rahm and Barry sneaking back into the WhiteHouse after a long night of carousing, only to be caught by Michelle. Barry starts trying to explain, but is pretty much just uttering a stream of um's and long pauses until Rahm sneaks behind Michelle and sets up the teleprompter, at which point he launches into some eloquent apology.

12:02 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Helen,

I wouldn't even bother with Miles. He can't even make an argument without tons upon tons of logical fallacies. Every word he says is just one big Ad Hominem. Not to mention his attempt to use the Bandwagon affect, his use of a biased sample(I'm sure most members of the Democratic party agree with Miles, doesn't make him right). And an attempt to use his authority/the clinical professors to "prove" he's right.

Not to mention they probably were using heavily biased information on Bush. It also begs the question in that he merely asserts that George W. Bush is a narcissist.

Normally, I'm not such a sticker for 100% great logic but the mere fact that Miles is able to shove so many fallacies into such a small space amazes me.

So, Mr. Miles. If your case is good, explain your reasoning with evidence. If not, sliver back down the hole you came from serpent.

12:05 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

Realism, I suspect people take offense to Clinton being labeled as sociopathic because the label isn't flattering. I am sure you could have figured that one out for yourself. Nonetheless, if Clinton as antisocial feature, then, so be it. I would say many politicians have narcissistic or antisocial traits. These features aren't all bad. They can be great strengths.

12:09 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

By the way, I personally like the fact Bush stuck to his guns on tax cuts and staying in Iraq despite no WMD and poor approval ratings. This is definitely characteristic of narcissists...they don't listen to others. I think history will look favorably on GW Bush and the Iraqis will always remember him as the man who liberated Iraq from tyranny. This is coming from a guy who leans a little left.

12:14 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Miles,

Could you let me know the name of the clinical psychology professor, the college he or she teaches at, and the name of the class that is filled with Republicans? I have many people who write me and are looking for psychology programs that lean right instead of left. Thanks!

1:23 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Sissy Willis said...

Humorlessness is a hallmark of dictatorships.

2:05 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

Hello Helen,

It is nice to meet you and I enjoy the blog. I don't think it would be appropriate for me to provide you with names. For one, the clinical professor I was talking about was extremely liberal. He called himself a "liberal from the 60's" and would talk about political news at the beginning of each class. He said if people didn't like it they could create their own class and talk about whatever they wanted. Two, this is a liberal arts school and the fact that the clinical psychology course was full of republicans was an anomaly. Third, the program faculty are, for the most part, liberal. I know quite a few of them and they are upfront about their political views.

3:03 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Matthew Dessem said...

Aurelian,

I'm intrigued by your post that implies that comedy isn't a free market. What did you mean?

4:14 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Miles,

Interesting. So, why are the students paying this professor to teach if he is telling them to get out and form their own class if they don't like his views? Perhaps the students there should complain to the Department head or Dean.

5:15 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

Well, he says it in a very jovial way. Plus, the student love this professor regardless of political affiliation. He knows his stuff and he is very funny. I think he's the best clinical psychology professor I have ever met.

5:30 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger The Noltes said...

Why can't the humor go both ways and let everyone enjoy it? So sad that it doesn't.

7:04 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

@Miles said... "liberal from the 60's"
___________

Funny, a liberal from the 60s is quite a bit like a republican from the 2000s. Bush is more like Kennedy than Clinton or Obama.

Sorry, I don't mean to confuse the dialogue with facts.

7:10 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Miles, use the posted e-mail address. You don't have to give names, etc., openly on the blog.

realism, will the real mary please stand up?

8:47 AM, May 09, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Why Can't....

Are liberal comedians cowards or just partisan hacks? -- Dr. Helen

....they be BOTH?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Is it better to be feared? Or respected? And I ask, "Can't we have both?" -- Tony Stark, Iron Man]

5:42 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Doc said...

Conservative comedians don't get the resonance in the mainstream media. Just how often have I been trying to get my schtick out there?

Most recent example here:
http://theautopsy.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/if-i-hosted-the-white-house-correspondents-dinner/

5:44 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Speaking of 'Comedy'....

....I see where the other night, Obama was laughing at the idea that his political opponents should suffer disastrous health conditions.

THIS is 'comedy'?

I do believe he was supposed to protect ALL Americans. Even if he doesn't agree with their flavor of politics. And yet he laughs at someone suffering total kidney failure.

Should we all wish HE has such a disaster occur to himself? Or would we get a visit from the Secret Service?

He has clearly stepped onto new ground with this. And one has to wonder what he wishes for the rest of US who don't worship him as The One.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out.....]

5:46 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Yang Wei said...

If domestic comedians aren't supplying the comedy you like, you should import comedy from overseas.

British comedians are not at all shy about making fun of Obama. Hugh Dennis does a very good impression.

While British comedians are not known for being conservative (they think the Labour party is right wing), they have interest in American politics, and skewer all regardless of position.

6:13 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger ThatL Do Donkey said...

“one reason no one is making fun of Obama is because there's nothing to make fun of”

1.Tries walking through a window thinking it’s a door.
2.Cinco de Cuatro
3.Ahmadinejad using Obama’s “Yes we can slogan” first.
4.TOTUS
5.Obama burning 9,000 gallons of fuel to plant a tree for earth day.
6.Obama’s Special Olympics blunder on national TV.
7.Obama giving DVDS to Brown that don’t work.
8.Bowing to a Saudi King.
9.Obama can’t find someone to nominate who isn’t a tax cheat.
10.Obama hits his head getting into Marine One.

That’s ten off the top of my head, without doing any real digging. Saying you’re afraid to make fun of him is probably a little more intellectually honest.

6:32 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Barry Dauphin said...

Although many comedians are still into the hero worship thing and can't think of anything funny about Obama, there is another truism of comedy. You need to have people who will laugh. Nothing is worse for a comedian than telling a joke followed by silence. The White House Correspondence Dinner is not going to get laughs at much Obama humor. If we want to find some, I suspect that some comedians are trying it out in clubs. It is probably under the radar. It will take some months and some Obamaisms before it goes national.

6:37 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Michael said...

"They're going to play whatever gets the most laughs. President with very low approval rating?"

Anyone feel like going through the boring exercise of finding examples of lefties mocking Bush even when his approval ratings were high? No, me neither.

And of course nobody made fun of Nixon when he beat McGovern 2-1. Or Reagan when he beat Mondale similarly.

Only one comedy outfit has managed to do hilarious, cutting-because-you-suspect-there's-truth-to-it Obama stuff:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/international_con_man_barack_obama

6:55 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Jeff said...

A few years ago, P.J. O'Rourke served on a book festival panel attended by bookstore owners and managers. He asked the attendees how many of them voted for Kerry. Nearly every hand in the room shot up. To which, Uncle Peej wryly noted that they could double their sales by better reflecting the entire population.

Same principle applies to comedians. Unless, of course, they're angling for a bailout. Humor is too big to fail!

7:21 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

President Barack Christ is thinking of bailing out the Ruling Class Media such as the New York Times, LA Times, etc. Yippeee! Now America gets to have its own state-run media just like Pravda!

Here's your leftist drivel from your new state-run media!
Islam is a religion of peace!
High Black crime rates is due to White Priviledge! Yes impoverished Whites of West Virginia, you have White Priviledge! Asian immigrants from China and Vietnam, you have White Priviledge! Cambodians who have escaped genocide in Cambodia, you have White Priviledge! Fat people need food stamps!

7:32 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

I'm somewhat puzzled at how GWB could be both "a poor speaker" and "glib" at the same time.

8:21 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Michael said...

Sort of the way he could be a drooling moron and an evil genius who manipulated the public and outwitted Congress at the same time, I guess.

8:58 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger E.M. Davis said...

"The White House Correspondence Dinner is not going to get laughs at much Obama,er, Bush humor."

Stephen Colbert would like a word with you.

10:10 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger kentuckyliz said...

Well, since The Big O has shown a good sense of humor about himself, now I think that gives permission to the comedians to start in, and for we the audience to laugh.

I thought he was funny, especially at the beginning when the teleprompters were up and he gave a welcome message and a little joke and read out loud, "Pause for audience laughter." LOL The teleprompters then went down and he continued his spiel from paper on the podium. Still looking left and right like he was watching a tennis match, or dueling teleprompters...that would be a good idea for some sketch comedy on SNL around Wimbledon time....heh heh heh

So, let rip and let laugh. In times like these, humor is the only affordable medicine we have left.

It will go a long way to help his rep with his opponents, if he doesn't control-freak-out about people having a sense of humor about him.

10:34 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Toto said...

Thanks for linking to my piece. Just discovered your site and will be bookmarking it shortly.

Glad posts like this keep the dialogue flowing. Political humor may sound unimportant on paper, but I think the last election showed the power that comedians wield.

11:16 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Paul said...

You can find some Onion-style humor from a conservative and libertarian perspective here. Check it out:

http://www.optoons.blogspot.com/

11:47 PM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Chip Ahoy said...

It's a shame, really, and the loss is to comedy, such a rich lode to mine that goes entirely untended; Obama's pileup of associations under the bus, Obama off the teleprompter, Obama as the Affirmative Action candidate, Obama as implacable Spock, Obama mistaking a White House window for a door, Obama gift of an iPod to Queen Elizabeth with his speeches on it, his gift of a VCR to Brown that doesn't work on European outlets, his administration's restart button gag gift that backfires, Obama's fifty-seven states, questions not at Obama's grade level, Obama's supposedly PR airplane low flight over jittery NYC, Obama's aunt living illegally in Boston, Obama's brother living in poverty, Obama's incomprehensibly huge intergenerational debt, Obama's nationalization of private business, Obama's expensive flight to an Iowa town to deliver a speech on conservation, Obama up to his neck in ACORN and up to his ears in Unions, Obama and his global apology tour, Obama kneeling to the Saudi King, Obama and Cap and Trade, Obama and his class war, Obama and his redistribution of wealth, Obama the socialist, now it's even Obama and Dijon mustard to go with Obama and arugula, Obama, "Can't I just eat my waffle?" Obama and his phalanx of tax fraud appointees, Obama the smoker, to name but just a few off the top of my head. I can imagine jokes for Letterman myself if I thought for a moment that man was ever funny.

But, Dr. Helen, I do believe you're being a little unfair here, this question you posit is a false choice. I do not believe it's either this or that, although it's possible it's one or both. I think what we're seeing is something much larger and deeper than those two things. It strikes at the very heart of being liberal at this moment in time and not just about being a loyal or devoted partisan. It's very very important to liberals, be they comedians, or journalists, talk-show hosts, hairdresser, or whatever, with racial concerns or not, that Obama's administration be seen as a successful one. Important in an historical sense and not just the standard partisan power sense, which is itself overbearing. They have the House, the Senate and the Executive branch, so it's make-or-break time. Now is the time they must get it right or all is forfeit. It's just all too much to joke about. I believe they're willing to cut the guy all kinds of slack to make it so, in ways they most obviously would not do for Hillary and certainly not do for another party.

I think this overbearing sense of importance sucks the funny right out of a liberal comedian, unless, of course, it's directed at opposition, then that humor translates to straight up meanness, as Sykes attack on Limbaugh at WH press dinner so aptly shows.

In a way, these partisan voters have my deep sympathy if not my empathy. I sense a great disappointment on the horizon as what appears to most rational observers obvious failures-in-the-making bear down upon their daily lives. Soon to be felt will be the effects of an inflated currency and the burden of national debt that reaches beyond our own lives and the lives of our children. I sense a failure in administration on a magnitude of order beyond even that of Carter, and I'll be very surprised if this is a two term presidency, and I hate saying that because, frankly, I prefer two terms for a president as it takes that long for anything great to be realized. And none of this takes into account events beyond any administration's control, like giant storms that wipe out entire cities, or unbelievably sinister attacks on our populations, evebts like the flood in Fargo where the press has already let the administration slide. There's only so much sliding even a smitten media can provide. But we'll all see then, won't we?

12:23 AM, May 11, 2009  
Blogger M Jordan said...

It's pretty simple: comedians more than the average folk are extremely fragile souls. They can dish it out, they can't take it.

Put that together with the fact that they are umbilically connected to Obama and, well, you see, it's hard. To mock him is to mock themselves. And that's something Lil' Johnny Stewart and Formerly Funny Dave L simply cannot do.

(Unless you count those bogus "roasts" where people do Robert Orbin jokes that tangentally touch the roastee. And I don't.)

12:25 AM, May 11, 2009  
Blogger Ofc. Krupke said...

So, at Bush's WHCDs, they made fun of Bush.

At Obama's WHCD, they made fun of Bush.

Reminds me of the old joke that Reagan likes to tell about the American and the Russian comparing their rights in their respective countries.

The American says, "we're more free in America. I have the right to stand in front of the White House and shout, 'Down with Reagan!'"

"Big deal," replied the Russian. "I have the same right: anytime I want I can stand in front of the Politburo and shout 'Down with Reagan!'" :)

7:49 AM, May 11, 2009  
Blogger Jeff said...

I agree with many of the other posters here. Professional entertainers care about making money. For a comedian, that means making people laugh. Obama is popular - approval ratings in the 60s - which means that among general audiences, you run a higher risk of being unfunny by making fun of Obama. The opposite could be said of the last years of the Bush administration. You can bet that when Obama's numbers go south, comedians will be among the first to tee up. Just ask Bill Clinton how that works.

Really, let's don't unfairly criticize comedians for making sound business decisions that make them money. We are a capitalist society, after all.

8:30 AM, May 11, 2009  
Blogger Kreps Neklo said...

What was particularly moronic about Lopez' comments about Bush ( he was talking about efforts to slow illegal immigration) is that he was apparently completely ignorant of the fact that it was BUSH and to a lesser extent McCain who tried to pass a bill to create a pathway to citizenship and easier entry into the US for the illegal Mexican immigrants. It was conservative Republicans who in effect defeated Bush on this issue. Lopez tried to capitalize on Mexican anger about America being slow to simply throw open the borders to them. Being the uninformed idiot he is, he didnt know that Bush was the Mexican's strongest advocate.

11:21 AM, May 11, 2009  
Blogger Anthony said...

I tend to think these people really believe there's nothing at all funny about Obama. O'Reilly had some leftist media person on last Friday and he just kept insisting that while Bush just kept on and on saying stupid things for them to make fun of, well, gosh, Obama just never did anything wrong! They are just simply delusional.

11:27 AM, May 11, 2009  
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11:45 AM, May 24, 2009  
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