Sykes, Limbaugh, and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Posted on May 11, 2009

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By now, I’m sure most of you have already heard of the distasteful joke made by comedian Wanda Sykes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (Breitbart has the video). To paraphrase, Sykes, taking offense at Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” comment, suggested in a lame attempt at humor that Limbaugh may have been the 20th hijacker on 9/11 but was too strung out on Oxycontin to show up, adding she hopes his kidneys fail. Obama grinned the whole time, and laughed at the punch line.

I’m not one of those folks that gets offended easily, and especially by comedians. But, to be sure, Sykes’ comments were in very poor taste, and honestly, Limbaugh drug jokes are old and stale. I heard Democratic activist Bob Beckel slam the remarks, saying although he disagrees with Limbaugh on basically everything, he doesn’t need ridiculed over his struggle to overcome prescription drug addiction. Not to mention the joke perpetuates the complete misunderstanding of what Rush actually said and meant. Throw in a dash of terrorism humor and wishes of kidney dialysis, and you have a tragic mixture of awkward and unfunny sound bites. Rush, for his part, stayed classy and let the debacle slide on his radio show today.

Surprisingly, Obama himself had a few eyebrow-raising comments. Michelle Malkin highlights his joke about the Air Force One buzz of NYC, an incident that freaked out and angered many New Yorkers, many of whom may still be a little raw over it. And while many of his other zingers were actually kinda funny (though not terribly self-deprecating as is tradition), the line to the press of “All of you voted for me” to raucous laughter goes down a little sour. Ha ha! Yep, we sure are biased aren’t we? Journalistic integrity? Now that’s funny!

Sykes comment is the big story out of the event, which Caleb at RedState critiques brilliantly. She’ll get way more attention over this than she deserves, which was probably her intention in the first place. My advice to the Obama team is to go with tamer humor next time – unless, of course, they actually think this stuff is funny.

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Posted in: News, Politics