The Corner

Comedians Still Avoiding Obama

It’s been obvious ever since Barack Obama appeared on the political scene that comedians rarely go beyond lame jokes about him. As far back as 2009, the Los Angeles Times noted that “TV’s leading political humorists have largely backed away from their ritual comic hazing of the president.”

During last year’s presidential election, a study from George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs reported that comics made more than twice as many jokes about GOP candidate Mitt Romney than they did about Obama. From late August of 2012 until early October, network late-night comics Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Craig Ferguson dumped on Obama only 62 times compared to 148 times for Romney.

Now that a trifecta of juicy scandals has arrived on Obama’s White House doorstep, the jibes are becoming a bit more pointed. But David Letterman of CBS is still shying away from Obama material. Last night, he even addressed the issue:

People always say this to me, they say, “Hey, Letterman,” they say. “Why don’t you make jokes about Obama?” And I say, “All right, I’ll tell you why. Good question. Oh, you want to know why? Okay. I don’t make jokes about him because I don’t want the FBI tapping my phone, my phone. That’s why.”

Now that explanation is a real joke, but it’s really at our expense — just a clever excuse for why he is remaining derelict in his duty to poke fun at power. 

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More