Wonder what you would find if you frisked all the comedian punchlines emerging about Obama?
Answer: Maybe he is becoming a joke?
It has been about 9 months since President Obama took office and there has hardly been any criticism of his actions within the main stream media. At first, the media said there was nothing about Obama to make fun of, but lately there has been some pokes at the new President. David Paul Kuhn from Real Clear Politics reports:
Most presidents become a joke at some point. It’s a matter of when and how. Both points should concern this president. In Winston Churchill’s words, “a joke is a very serious thing.” Or it can be, when the joke is about a very serious thing.
Some of the recent punch lines thrown at President Obama by comedians include: Saturday Night Live, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, and more. Mr. Kuhn continues:
Smart administrations take jokes seriously. By the spring of 1982, Ronald Reagan’s staff was concerned by a running joke. A new comedy record was popular, portraying Reagan as the amicable dunce.
Satire helped undermine both Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. And as Reagan’s pollster, Richard Wirthlin, put it then: “the danger” of political satire “arises when the humor portrays the president as silly or impotent or portrays what he’s trying to do as irrelevant–when it attacks some of the basic elements of his leadership.”
Mocking the powerful is as old as Ben Franklin. A JFK impersonator won a Grammy in 1963 for satirizing the Kennedys. By the late 1970s, SNL became political satire’s defining institution.
Chevy Chase made Gerald Ford a klutz. Dana Carvey parodied George Bush as the wimpy, “wouldn’t be prudent” president. Phil Hartman nailed Clinton as the fast food president in his McDonalds skit, cheapening Clinton as a man after the easy pleasures. Just last year, Tina Fey devastated Sarah Palin as a silly, high school cheerleading airhead.
It was supposed to be hard to joke about Obama. White liberal comics were afraid to touch on race. Obama came to office in serious times. But it was also Obama’s image. He ran on a lofty persona unlike any candidate since Reagan. But in the case of Obama, the liberal pop culture was buying and selling it. Obama was to bring, “change, we can believe in.”
But the change maker has not made change–at least not on the hard fights, not yet. Hillary Clinton once asked why Obama “can’t close the deal.” Her dig is now a punch line. And most people get the joke, except CNN.
As Garry Trudeau, of “Doonesbury” fame, told one reporter, “For something to be funny, the audience has to be in a position to sense the truth of it.” And SNL’s lampoon of Obama was funny.
Is Obama’s charm slowly wearing off on people? After all, the man is on television 24-7 and like SNL said… He hasn’t really done anything. It’s almost like a boring Truman Show, haha.
Beware of political satire Mr. Obama, because sooner or later it will come out of nowhere and bite you in the rear end!
Side-Note: I’m betting sooner.