Free Markets, Free People

The Danger Of Trying To Be Funny

Barack Obama accepted an invitation to be on the Jay Leno show for a number of reasons. One was to show he was hip, cool and could be funny. He apparently felt the timing was right for another charm offensive. Secondly, he wanted to go where no sitting president had ever gone – a late night comedy show. Three is related to two – he hoped to reach an audience that he may have otherwise been unable to reach with his budget message. And four, the media coup that would result would hopefully reverse his seeming slide in popularity.

Of course the risk was that he wouldn’t be funny and thus bomb or that he’d say something he shouldn’t have and everything else would be forgotten while the gaffe dominated the coverage. Looking at the risk vs. the reward and completely involved in the hubris surrounding Obama, his handlers obviously thought the risk was minimal. Sure enough the gaffe scenario materialized and completely overshadowed the hopes he had about his appearance.

Sometimes, it seems, you can be too clever for your own good. And Obama’s “Special Olympics” remark, meant to be self-deprecating, was instead taken as an insult to Special Olympians. The irony, of course, is the petard upon which he was hoisted is one of the left’s own making.

Humor has become a “no tolerance” zone when it comes to some subjects. Offending an underprivileged, “special”, racial, ethnic, or in a few cases, religious(you have to be of a “protected” religion to qualify) group has become a mortal sin.

Everyone knew what Obama meant when he used the term “Special Olympics” concerning his attempts to bowl. It wasn’t mean, it certainly wasn’t meant to denigrate the effort of Special Olympians nor was he attempting to purposely offend them. Instead he was taking a shot at himself and his inability to do better than he has in that particular game. And he did so with a poor choice of words, the result of an unthinking attempt to be humorous on a humor show.

Had he instead compared his effort to a white guy trying to play basketball or a Christian trying to win converts in Saudi Arabia, approved hilarity would have ensued and his all of his hopes for his appearance might have born fruit.

You’d think, as a child of the left, he’d know that, wouldn’t you?


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4 Responses to The Danger Of Trying To Be Funny

  • Barack Obama has a lot of problems.   Howver being too clever is not one of them,and never will.

  • You’d think, as a child of the left, he’d know that, wouldn’t you?

    I sort-of understand. The “beat up them for insensitivity” tactic was invented to beat up on the right, not on other leftists. So it’s not routine for leftists to assume it will be used on themselves.

    The problem for the left is that they were a bit too successful in making this tactic legitimate. Various victim groups realized they could use it against any perceived slight for their own advantage, and even moderates became indoctrinated into how bad it was to insult any victim group.

    So while Obama is hoist by the left’s own petard, I don’t think he realized that the same rules applied to him as those nasty Republicans the left loves to beat up on. He didn’t realize that he was exposing himself to perceptions of hypocrisy in moderates who are starting to look at Obama through a more critical eye.

    Their least-bad option for Obama at this point is to just say it was a blunder, because he can’t come out and say the equivalent of “screw them if they can’t take a joke” – that’s simply not allowed by the rules of leftist discourse. Problem is, admitting to another blunder contributes to the growing narrative that Obama just isn’t that bright or capable. With one blunder after another since the moment he stepped forward to take the oath, his lofty Lightworker reputation looks permanently shattered, and at this point he’s fighting to just be seen as competent. As stupid as the whole episode is, it certainly didn’t help that.

    (Yes, I know the whole oath thing was really the Chief Justice’s fault. But a lot of viewers got the impression that it was Obama’s, and that instant emotional reaction to the incident likely stuck with many of them. Given other times the press has covered for Obama’s silliness, it all comes out in the wash.)

  • Hey, Lightworker wasted no time calling for Imus’ job when he made a dumb comment.

    By those standards, Obammy should resign

  • I agree with those who point out that:

    A) this shows genuine and malicious ignorance of the athletic abilities of “special needs” children and…

    B) that it is a perfect example of  the cold-hearted narcissism of  Barry “Punch Drunk” Obama.