“Look at that, Myrt! He’s A RIOT! He’s just like one of us!”
I confess to having watched parts of the White House Correspondents Dinner last night on the tube. The parts were the stand-up routines by Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel. Several observations emerge, encouraged by this excellent analogy presented by Texasgalt today on ‘the Bulldozer’.
First, the crudity of the affair. Understanding that we all like a good joke, even an off-color one from time to time, even jokes at our own expense and that of our allies as well as our political opponents, as has been traditional at these affairs, still, the lengths that Kimmel was able to go to are indicative of the times. He was able to at the same time refer to both Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh as “a**holes” to a potential audience of maybe 200 million people. Isn’t that swell? My takeaways from that are 1. The people who put on the affair were not naive enough to assume Kimmel wouldn’t go over the line on language, innuendo or anything else. We did have Imus up there at the Clinton affair, did we not? But then, I guess all the classic, witty, and family-friendly comedians of eld are extinct now so we got Kimmel. 2. What better way to drag Rush down to Maher’s level than by feigning ‘equal treatment’? Of course Kimmel had to go the extra mile and comically blame Rush’s supposed foibles on….Percocet. Maher? Limbaugh? White House Correspondents’ Dinner?
Yes, Kimmel can be funny. Kimmel can be stingingly comedic. If you looked at Drudge this morning, you saw they are almost giddy at how Kimmel really took it to Obama in some of his quips last night, including mocking the ‘hopey/changey’ stuff, contributing to the meme that the media are slowly turning on Obama, not afraid of him and all that. False hope, says I. And of course wasn’t it great that George Clooney and Kim Kardashian were in the audience so Kimmel could riff off them as well? Clooney? Kardashian? Kardashian?? At the White House Press Corps (pronounced “core”) Dinner? Well, that’s just part of it, you see. It’s ALL good, is the message.
For those of you who watched, it was so refreshing to see Barack poke fun of himself during his routine, wasn’t it? Why, a good time was had by all as Barack pretended to mock himself, but in reality was doing an Alfred E. Neuman gig – “What? Me a socialist?” “What? Me a Muslim?” “What? Me wanting to take away your freedoms?” Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah …hahaha…haha…ha…
You will no doubt hear about probably the most shocking of Obama’s jokes, the one about Hillary Clinton ‘drunk-texting’ him from Cartagena, a play off the now-famous photographs of Hillary drinking a beer and dancing at a nightclub down there during the administration’s foray into that part of the world recently. Hillary’s a good egg and will take it in the spirit it was intended, right? Like maybe the spirit of “don’t even think of challenging me for the nomination, girlie.” By the way, Bill got his, too…so maybe I won’t demand my money back after all.
Then there was the whole fun-at his-own expense routine about dog-for-dinner during his youth in Indonesia. Such self-deprecation. How could any Percocet-taking pundit wish that such an everyday, just-like-us, warts-and-all, normal guy would fail? Are you kidding me? Give us Bill Maher any day, right Myrt? At least we know, right out of the gate, he’s an a**hole, as Kimmel said. Never let a good correspondents’ dinner go to waste, said Emmanuel and Axelrod.
There was a time, my friends, when there was real wit, real humor, real inside-the-beltway sportsmanlike good-natured ribbing, which didn’t descend into the vulgarity and crudity displayed last night, not only by Kimmel but by Barack as well. But then, of course, there was a time when entertainment – television, movies, theater – was entertainment, too.
Actually, no, the whole exercise wasn’t staged for me and Myrt, or you or 200 million other Americans. It was staged for the celebrities and the ‘correspondents’, the ones in attendance and the ones tuning in from Follywood. It’s the same old shell game, the same old “Look over here!” act that Axelrod, Obama and Co. have been performing for years. And the media lapdogs in attendance only too happy to lap it up and not be reminded about the scandals surrounding Media Matters, MSNBC, CNN, NBC and ABC on editing of tapes and transcripts, White House coordination of messaging and , you know, just all of it.
Yep, no mention of the real pecadillos, the real 800-pound gorillas associated with WhiteHousing and corresponding, and social justicing, and deculturing. And the boys in the band forever grateful. “No problem,” says Barack. “Glad to do it. Look how this cool bulldozer works, guys!” “Ha ha!” say the correspondents and the celebrities. “We invented the damned thing.”
Wasn’t that fun?