Washington Post staff writer, Paul Farhi, isn’t the brightest crayon in the box. He’s also an inveterate Republican suck up. He mostly writes boring, useless opinion pieces for the Style Section. And his piece today is no different. Farhi is upset with Barack Obama because, for the second year in a row, his stand-up comedy routine at the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) Dinner wasn’t self-deprecating enough.
Barack Obama, the Insult Comic President, was up to his old shtick Saturday night.
Apparently, the president is supposed to restrict himself to telling safe jokes. And he shouldn’t bust anybody’s balls.
Obama went all Don Rickles on a broad range of topics and individuals: Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, presidential advisers David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, the news media, Jay Leno, and Republicans Michael Steele, Scott Brown, John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Of course, it goes unsaid that Don Rickles specialized in the racist and ethnic joke. And, as Farhi notes, Obama took aim at Democrats and Republicans alike, including members of his own staff and cabinet. But it’s not enough to be fair & balanced.
Except for a mild joke pegged to his falling approval ratings, Obama mostly spared Obama during his 14-minute stand-up routine.
He also made a couple references to the ‘controversy’ over his birth certificate and nation of birth, but only to laugh at the idiots who take that crap seriously. So, what’s the problem?
Obama’s derisive tone surprises and dismays some of the people who’ve written jokes for presidents past.
“With these dinners you want the audience to like you more when you sit down than when you stood up,” says Landon Parvin, an author and speechwriter for politicians in both parties, and a gag writer for three Republican presidents (Reagan and Bushes I and II). “Something in [Obama’s] humor didn’t do that,” he said Sunday.
A Republican joke-maker didn’t think it was funny when the president ripped on Mitt Romney, John Boehner, and Sarah Palin? So the fuck what? Have you ever seen a funny conservative comedian? Really? Name one.
And you would think a Republican would understand that no president loses points with the public for offending the White House press corp or the national bigfoot press. Remember Adam ‘major league asshole‘ Clymer. If anything, that incident helped the Bush campaign. No one cares if the president offends the sensibilities of WHCA dinner attendees. When Stephen Colbert eviscerated those nerds at their own prom, the people absolutely loved it. What Farhi doesn’t understand is that the people hate Washington and the press that covers Washington. The people hate Republicans, too. The only reason for a president to play nice with these buffoons is to get marginally more sympathetic coverage. But that can be done just as effectively through the use of operant conditioning.