Culture

Comedy, Cowardice, or Both?

Liberals are praising “Saturday Night Live” for its weekend skit lampooning the fear of drawing Mohammad. Here it is:

Based on the old game show “Win, Lose, or Draw,” the skit gets it comedy from the contestant reaction to being asked to draw “The Prophet Mohammad.” That’s funny enough, I suppose, but note that by the end of the sketch, the paper remains blank. Not only do they not draw Mohammad, they can’t bring themselves to put pen to paper to sketch even one line. Is this cowardice? Wouldn’t this have been an ideal opportunity to demonstrate defiance in the face of intolerance? I saw the piece as comedy laced with cowardice. But perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps I’m the one who needs to relax and just enjoy the show for what it is — light-hearted liberals trying to make as many people laugh as they can without excessively alienating or alarming their ideological friends. After all, if they actually drew the cartoon, would the Huffington Post still love them? Would Salon.com still say they handled the controversy “brilliantly” and “deftly?” We can’t ask comics to skewer their own side, can we?

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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