This presidential election has made even the hint of such
discrimination practically toxic. But there’s one category of bigotry
that’s not only still permitted, it’s become trendy.

Age discrimination. I’ve been saying this for weeks as the jokes
about John McCain continue to ramp up across the media spectrum, and
not only on the comedy shows. Now, Politico is saying it, too. Or…at
least Jonathan Martin is.

There are few safe harbors these days for making fun of people.  Race, gender, religion are all effectively off-limits.

Yet age is still deemed as an OK topic to joke about (perhaps
because it’s something most everybody will eventually encounter and
isn’t limited to one minority segment of society?).

McCain already knows this — he said the other day in Washington
state that “anything’s fair game” in the biz — but just how much of a
double-standard will there be in the outrage between the inevitable
attacks on his age and Obama’s race?

Bingo. Consider that question.

And, as Martin suggests, plugging in Barack Obama’s name in all those jokes and turn age into race. Revealing, isn’t it?

But that doesn’t answer the question of why it’s so acceptable.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....