First Lady Laura Bush Under Fire for Comedy Act
Proving that some people have no sense of humor, First Lady Laura Bush is catching flack from several conservative groups for her remarks at the Correspondents Dinner.
Laura leaves ’em laughing, gasping (Washington Times)
[…] Her scripted “interruption” of the president’s traditional speech — mostly written by Landon Parvin, a longtime comic adviser to presidents back to Ronald Reagan — included such zingers as: “George and I are complete opposites — I’m quiet, he’s talkative; I’m introverted, he’s extroverted; I can pronounce nuclear. …”
Mrs. Bush’s impeccable delivery and timing — at one point, she said her “Aunt Bea”-like mother-in-law is “actually more like … hmm … Don Corleone” — was a surprise to most in the crowd, who have seen the former librarian only stand by her man and smile smartly.
Although Washington’s movers and shakers laughed at Mrs. Bush’s performance, some in the press woke up with a Sunday morning hangover and began to criticize her monologue as immodest at best and downright bawdy at worst. “Laura Bush cracks risque jokes at the White House Correspondents’ dinner,” sniffed Agence France-Presse. CNN reporter Elaine Quijano, who attended the dinner, also apparently had her sensibilities scarred by some of the first lady’s quips. “In some respects, I think for some folks it was a little shocking because she kind of crossed the line a little bit in some people’s minds,” she said. “It was very risque,” the Nation’s David Korn said yesterday on Fox News. “I was wondering what the social conservatives and James Dobson had to say about all these jokes that were laced with sexual innuendo. Not a very family-values-type speech. I’m not sure I want to explain a lot of those jokes to my 4-year-old.”
Eyebrows were raised by the first lady’s bit about the president’s ranching skills, which Mrs. Bush said her husband lacked because the elite schools he attended, Andover and Yale, “don’t have a real strong ranching program.” She then added: “He’s learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What’s worse, it was a male horse.” The crowd howled. The joke, a female Associated Press reporter said, “had women giggling in the bathroom.”
Frankly, I’m guessing even Korn’s 4-year-old is smart enough to get these jokes. And to understand that they’re jokes.
When Laura Bush wise-cracked at the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner on Saturday night that she was a “desperate housewife” married to a man who was sound asleep by 9 p.m., a slight, worried man stood in the wings hanging on to every line. As well he might, since he had written most of them for the first lady’s inaugural act as a stand-up comic. Judging from the laughter at her words – “George’s answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chain saw, which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well” – Landon Parvin, joke writer to the political stars, could relax.
Playing off “Desperate Housewives,” the racy hit U.S. television show, was a natural, even though Whitson said in a brief interview after the dinner that Bush had never actually seen it. Whitson said the first lady had heard about the characters and plot from her twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, who are fans, and was planning to watch the entire first season on a DVD she has at home.
Amazing. Do people really think they’re sitting around watching sitcoms? These are comedy routines, not anecdotes.
Conservative Christians Not Laughing at First Lady’s Comedy Act (The Swift Report)
The First Lady may have stolen the show with her surprise comedy routine at the 91st White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, but not everyone appreciated her jokes and one-liners poking fun at President Bush. At least one organization of conservative Christians quickly lashed out at Mrs. Bush’s performance, warning that her remarks at the President’s expense were a public refutation of the Biblical command that wives should respect their husbands.
According to an official statement released over the weekend by the Coalition for Traditional Values, an organization that seeks a more flexible relationship between church and state, Mrs. Bush’s jokes at her husband’s expense amounted to a public emasculation of the President. Pastor Roy DeLong, the statement’s author and chair of the group, warns that the First Lady’s performance comes at a time when the Mr. Bush’s “manliness is already under attack.”
Sadly, differentiating satire from reality becomes more difficult every day.
Update (1347): Cam Edwards, who apparently hasn’t seen these stories, writes, “I’ve been saying for some time now that conservatives need to show they have a sense of humor. I think she went a long way towards doing just that.” Heh.
Update (5-3 1129): Michelle Malkin thought, “Most of Mrs. Bush’s humor at the correspondents’ dinner was just right: Edgy but not over the edge. But I think the stripper and horse jokes were totally beneath her.” I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I didn’t think they were funny: good comedy has an element of truth in it.