Instead of at him, which they did during the George W. Bush years.
But none of them dignified themselves with the kind of humor on display at the annual White House Press dinner.
Jokes about our former president and vice president.
Jokes about interrogation. Jokes about gay marriage. Jokes about
abstinence. Jokes about terrorism. Jokes about addiction. Jokes about
abortion and embryo destruction. And the president of the United States
was the headliner, responsible for some but not all of the shamefulness
of the night…
The new president, insulting the administration before him, told us
in his inaugural that he was going to put away childish things.
But even the children were not left out of the jokes. President
Obama used his daughters to make light of Air Force One’s Lower
Manhattan flyover. Before Saturday night, there was no better visual
symbol of this administration’s September 10 policy blindness. Air
Force One might as well have been flying a banner that read “We Don’t
Get It.” Obama’s joke about the incident could be considered the banner.
‘Oh, lighten up’ some people will say. People who seem to believe
they’re the ‘tolerant’ crowd. Why is humor so selective for the
‘tolerant’ crowd? Why were Wanda Sykes’ ‘jokes’ funny to that crowd?
Mr. President . . . you’ve had your fair share of
critics. . . . Rush Limbaugh, one of your big critics, boy — Rush
Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails. So you’re saying, “I
hope America fails.” You’re like, “I don’t care about people losing
their homes, their jobs, or our soldiers in Iraq.” He just wants our
country to fail.
To me, that’s treason. He’s not saying anything differently than
Osama bin Laden is saying. You know you might want to look into this,
sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was
just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight.
You’re laughing inside, I know you’re laughing.
Rush Limbaugh: “I hope the country fails.” I hope his kidneys fail, how about that?
He needs a waterboarding, that’s what he needs.
I read this yesterday. Didn’t comment on it right away. Saw some
film clips of this dinner last night on television, including Sykes.
And when she said that line about hoping Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys
fail…..I saw Obama behind her, laughing.
Not funny, Mr. President. Not only beneath your office, but beneath your dignity.
But Sykes wasn’t the core problem, as tasteless and
awful as her jokes were…The president used his daughters [in his
jokes], two days after he let one of his staff take the fall for his
administration’s use of everyone in Lower Manhattan and along the
Hudson River on a clear morning as a prop in the Obama show. Nearly
3,000 Americans were murdered on a day not unlike that one, and his
administration needlessly freaked out those who witnessed it. And he’s
Of course, that was his job Saturday night. To go to the Reagan
Hilton and entertain the media and Hollywood audience. Presumably the
crowd likes him….
(they cheered boisterously when he said he knew they all voted for him)
He knew what the crowd wanted and ran with it. It was
unpresidential when Bush did that…and it’s unpresidential when Obama
does it. And it’s downright shameful when done with the
meanspiritedness that was on display Saturday night.
Conservative radio talk show host and CNN contributor Bill Bennett
said afterward (on CNN’s State of the Union) “What the hell was that?”,
and said he and his wife have had to walk out of these events, as
others have, when they descended to such offensive humor.
So with all this material Jon Stewart could have used on The Daily Show Monday night, he picks on….Bill Bennett.
Lopez echoed Bennett’s sentiments that what happened Saturday night wasn’t right.
The same liberal elite that has brought us hate-crimes
laws and speech codes spewed real venom. The White House
Correspondents’ Dinner is below the president, whoever he is (I thought
this when Bush was president and I think it even more today). But that
dinner Saturday night —in the jokes the president of the United States
of America was willing to make and to laugh at — was beneath America.