Cowardly Comedy in the Age of Obama
When historians look back on the age of Obama, they might notice that stand-up comedians and comedy shows like Saturday Night Live went incredibly easy on the president.
There are two reasons for this. First, most comedians are liberals. Just like the liberals who make up most of the media, they got caught up in the religious fervor of Hope and Change. They were and are on Obama’s side.
The second reason is fear. While most professional comedians can handle a heckler, nobody wants to be branded a racist, banished from their social circle and bad mouthed on TMZ.
The trouble with this is that shows like Saturday Night Live wield incredible influence on the electorate, especially among low information voters. I’ll give you an example… Who said this?
“I can see Russia from my house.”
If you answered Sarah Palin, you’re wrong. If you answered Tina Fey, congratulations. Yet ask your average man or woman on the street who said it and see how many people get it wrong.
Kyle Smith of the New York Post has written an excellent piece on this subject…
At last, we know the reason why comedy writers don’t make fun of President Obama much.
It turns out the man is completely unmockable.
We learn this from Jim Downey, the longtime “Saturday Night Live” specialist in political japery. “If I had to describe Obama as a comedy project, I would say, ‘Degree of difficulty, 10 point 10,’” the writer says in the expanded new edition of the “SNL” oral history book, “Live from New York.”
“It’s like being a rock climber looking up at a thousand-foot-high face of solid obsidian, polished and oiled,” Downey says. “There’s not a single thing to grab onto — certainly not a flaw or hook that you can caricature. [Al] Gore had these ‘handles,’ so did Bush, and Sarah Palin, and even Hillary had them. But with Obama, it was the phenomenon — less about him and more about the effect he had on other people and the way he changed their behavior. So that’s the way I wrote him.”
Liberal bias in comedy isn’t limited to television and comedy clubs. The Onion is the best known humor site for parody news and although they take an occasional poke at Democrats, they target Republicans far more.
Cracked.com has been more politically balanced than The Onion because their content is reader driven. Anyone can write for Cracked, not just the dozen Huffington Post reading staffers at The Onion’s office.
Yet even Cracked has taken a hard left turn lately. Here are two recent examples.
Cracked published this today:
Who was included in their list? Conservative activist James O’Keefe and conservative historian David Barton. The evidence provided for the supposed “fraud” comes in the form of links to Think Progress and Slate.
A second article recently published on Cracked was…
Included on the list: Greg Gutfeld, Ann Coulter, Senator James Inhofe, Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and 2010 senate also-ran Christine O’Donnell. Remember, the title of the post was about powerful people. What power does Christine O’Donnell have?
Not included on the list: Obama.
That’s kind of funny, isn’t it? Not ha-ha funny but glaring omission funny, don’t you think?
Call that insignificant if you want to but people read that stuff. Hundreds of thousands of them.
Comedians in America play the classical role of the court jester. They’re supposed to challenge the establishment, not protect it.
Historians looking for comedy that challenged the status quo during the reign of Obama will hopefully know about iOwntheworld.
Today’s comics could learn something there too…
Featured image – The 1862 painting Stańczyk by Jan Matejko.