President Obama’s comedy routine on Saturday night has created a new ethical quandary for satirists. Can The Daily Show be seen as independent from its supposed target, President Obama, when they’re writing jokes for him so he can be fawned over as funnier than Leno? Take Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast:
Obama—aided (as presidential political guru David Axelrod acknowledged to me when the show was over) by the razor-sharp jokesters from The Daily Show—came armed with fresh and funny material that prompted some of the biggest laughs I’ve witnessed the Leader of the Free World receiving in more than two decades of attending this strange Washington media-political celebration of self-congratulation—a tribal (and, to outside observers, potentially unappealing) rite of spring in which supposedly discerning and skeptical journalists laugh their posteriors off and lavishly kiss the one belonging to the Comedian-in-Chief.
Would these comedy writers who make merciless fun of the news business suggest they don’t have to worry about the way they look like they’re in the Obama tank on this? They’re aiding and abetting the alleged rite of spring of presidential posterior-kissing.