Sunday, September 28, 2014
This is how The New York Post chose to mark the birth of Chelsea Clinton’s baby yesterday:
Way to stay classy, guys.
You know, I’m pretty partisan, but it would never occur to me to attack, say, Ted Cruz’s baby. I don’t begrudge a good and happy life to people with whom I disagree.
Seriously, what is wrong w/ these people? (No, I don’t mean the Clintons, although they are far from my favorite people.)
It’s as if the right wing’s emotional development stopped about age six, & intellect stalled around nine or ten.
I wonder if little Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky will get a sympathy card from Trig Palin…
@michael reynolds: I am very partisan . As far to the right and as anti Clinton as a right winger can be.
This is not right.
She is an innocent baby, those babies us right wingers claim deserve to be born.
Really now, these kind of comments are not right or necessary.
And I will remind the left wingers how they mocked Sarah Palin’s son who has Down’s Syndrome. Don’t deny it, you did and there is plenty of proof.
The Wonkette blogger asks: “What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s retarded.”
@Barb (@BarbofPA): Your “plenty of proof” was retracted and apologized for within days. Roughly three and a half years ago.
@Jenos Idanian #13: @Barb (@BarbofPA):
While the specific you cite was retracted, there was some nastiness on the Left. I didn’t join in, I condemn it and wish it had not happened. Attack Palin all you like, but people’s kids (and grandkids) are off-limits until and unless they enter politics. I felt the same way when Rush Limbaugh called Chelsea “The White House dog,” then lied about it.
Our political enemies are not really our enemies, we are in this together as Americans, and this kind of crap is unacceptable. To paraphrase Pink Floyd, “Hey, aszholes, leave those kids alone.”
Sad to say that the oldest American newspaper, founded by Alexander Hamilton, is in the tawdry hands of Rupert Murdoch nowadays.
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@michael reynolds: I went back and checked here, and I was pleasantly surprised how many of the usual crowd slammed Wonkette. wr was his usual a-holish self, but he was the exception.
And yes, you were among the good guys.
This is not your grandfathers republican party any longer. It is, however, Rush Limbaughs.
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Well, it’s a joke. Not a great one, to be sure. But I feel like I’m among a bunch of Francises who need to lighten up. (Sorry, what would be the plural of Francis?)
No one will ever mistake me for a Democrat, but my response to the Clinton baby is to be happy for them and hope she has a long and wonderful life. Also, Charlotte is a great name (it was our second choice).
I’d say shame on the Post but they have no shame and never have.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Thanks, I just went back myself to make sure. I can be hot-headed at times, but I didn’t think I’d ever sink to picking on, or making an issue of, someone’s kids.
Did it sell newspapers and attract clicks? If so, mission accomplished.
@Jenos Idanian #13: nah, democrats don’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to their own- they can trash anyone they hate and it’s all good.
funny headline, but nothing beats “headless body in topless bar”.
@Jenos Idanian #13: As Doug noted, way to stay classy, Jenos.
Sad to say that the oldest American newspaper, founded by Alexander Hamilton, is in the tawdry hands of Rupert Murdoch nowadays.
If you look up some of the things Hamilton published in that paper during the 1800 Presidential Election, you discover this isn’t as much of as you might think…
Is it required for all Democrats to be totally devoid of any sense of humor?
Because anyone with a sense of humor easily realizes the paper is mocking liberals, not the baby.
But honestly, who in the world would get their panties so wadded up over such a stupid headline, that they would waste time blogging about it?
My guess is just “another liberal crybaby”.
It’s really simple: someone has a baby, you say, “Congratulations.” There are not a lot of acceptable alternatives. New parents are scared to death something’s going to happen to the kid, they’re exhausted, they’re in love with this new person, that’s not the time to take a shot. People who don’t get that aren’t funny, they’re just dicks. Maybe there’s a reason 90% of comics are liberals.
You know, I’m pretty partisan, but it would never occur to me to attack, say, Ted Cruz’s baby.
It does kind of beg for a “Cruz Missile” joke, though.
Maybe there’s a reason 90% of comics are liberals
mainly because the pc police have deemed it improper for whites guys to tell racial/sexist jokes unless they’re card carrying liberals? and again, most of the papers were reporting this like it’s some “royal birth” and we should all take a moment of silence for them. i don’t recall if Jenna Bush got the “royal” treatment when she had a kid- i actually had to google it to see if she did.
OK, those who know me from the comments section here wouldn’t be surprised that I think the Post is a rag and have trouble taking anyone seriously who reads it for hard news or politics. (I’ve been told the comics section and the sports are first rate.) But this was a joke. Considering the source, it’s not surprising that it was a stupid one, and fairly dickish, but as someone already observed a lot of stalwarts of the modern republican party are pretty darn tone def and just can’t quite hear the difference between being a dick and being actually funny. But this is hardly worth outrage.
It’s very tacky, however this is the New York Post, not a ‘real’ newspaper, so I can’t say that I’m genuinely surprised, shocked or appalled. It’s exactly what I expect from a ‘newspaper’ like The Post. They met all expectations on this one.
I wish Chelsea and her child good health.
Surprise…. Surprise…. Surprise…. A new low for the Teaturds, attacking babies and family values.
Well on second thought it has been their standard practice in government policies for years now.
@Ches: But honestly, who in the world would get their panties so wadded up over such a stupid headline, that they would waste time blogging about it?
Well…you did! Duh!
@bill: Umh, no. PC isn’t why there are few RW comics. Ever watch FOX’s Half Hour News Hour? Or Dennis Miller’s screaming rants?
Happened to see an Atlantic article that attributes it to a lack of Comedy Clubs outside large cities and to the audience for standup being young. Personally I see it as psychology, talk radio doesn’t work very well on the left, comedy doesn’t work very well on the right.
And David Frum joins in (h/t Ballon Juice):
“Chelsea was going to have a Hispanic boy named Orlando -but while the overnights were positive, it just didn’t focus group”
Don’t quit your day job.
@gVOR08: The reason there are few rightwing comics (and the ones who exist aren’t funny) is because the rightwing is so beholden to those in power, they can only punch downward. And bullies are not funny.
The New York Post attacks a baby.
And it isn’t funny.
@bill: It’s because conservative white males think it’s funny to make rape jokes about black women and then when there’s a storm of protest, wave their hands frantically “hey, I was only JOKING!”
Humor involves saying truth about the king, not kicking the beggar at the gate.
I think politico (aka tigerbeat by the Potomac h/t Charles Pierce) has done what it could to make up for the NY Post’s cover by doing a hard news piece on Charlotte’s future by consulting a professional Astrologer. And you can tell that’s serious news, because they didn’t just call in anybody, and they didn’t just call in an amateur astrologer, but a pro!
@Mike in DC:
I understand that the astrologer still has a better record than Bill Kristol.
Kristol is so dumb he probabaly said this after the elections.
Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.
@ernieyeball: Maybe he was thinking about 2016, instead of 2008?
Regarding right-wing humorists, I have found that when somebody puts the political angle ahead of humor, then the comedy usually falls flat.
Conservative “humor” has always puzzled me. Of course there’s always the caveat that one’s notion of what’s funny may depend on one’s point of view, so you could argue that I don’t “get” it because I’m not a conservative. Still, even this explanation can only take you so far. I’ve met many conservatives who enjoy the Daily Show, but I have yet to meet a liberal who enjoys Rush Limbaugh.
No, what puzzles me is that so much of what passes for right-wing “humor” consists of nothing of greater sophistication than schoolyard taunts. (Ann Coulter used that very phrase when supposedly defending herself after she called John Edwards a “faggot.”) They aren’t even worthy of being called insult comedy. Just about anything by Don Rickles or Joan Rivers or “yo mama’s so fat” jokes show more wit and imagination than a typical right-wing jab, which isn’t saying much. But the gambit is that as soon as liberals react negatively to the remarks, you accuse them of being humorless scolds–overlooking the fact that it is possible to be offensive and lame at the same time.
The “humor” emails that make the right-wing rounds are (to me) unbelievably repulsive. Obama as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose. Chelsea Clinton as a dog. Kanye’s baby as a monkey. “Jokes” about blacks, indians, jews, hispanics, arabs, muslims that relentlessly portray them as sub human. A comedian (I forget who) once said about slapstick humor: ‘if I stub my own toe and hop up and down, I can make it funny. But if I stomp on someone else’s it’s just mean”. Most of the emails I see fall into that second category. There’s a large portion that are just mean.
A comedian (I forget who) once said about slapstick humor: ‘if I stub my own toe and hop up and down, I can make it funny. But if I stomp on someone else’s it’s just mean”.
I agree with that quote. Comedy is often described as anachronistic, yet there is a difference between comedians who push social boundaries and those who are simply out to shock. In my view comedy always has to have a sense of moral justice or balance in order to work. There’s a long tradition of comedy dealing with cruelty, but usually it operates by making the victims so ridiculous that we accept that they’re bringing the misfortunes upon themselves. It can be a fine line, however. What drives a lot of right-wing “humor” is that so many right-wingers barely see liberals as humans. They’ve made liberals into such caricatures that they view them as actually being walking jokes. Because of this, they don’t try very hard to construct punchlines; they just start with whatever negative assumptions they take for granted–liberals are elitists, crybabies, wusses, etc.–and go from there. To anyone outside their bubble it looks mean and tasteless, but if you’ve never questioned the idea that the victims of your jokes are about as respectable as the supporting characters in a Marx Bros. film, that isn’t likely to bother you.
@Boss Monkey: @Boss Monkey: No, that low actually came last year at the expense of Mitt Romney’s new grandson, who happens to be black. After being spotted on a Romney family Christmas photo, he was the target of racist comments, that most liberals thought were hysterical,
Where was your moral outrage then?
Resident racist Melissa Harris-Perry, obviously thought the possibility of a black baby, being wanted or welcomed by a white family, was hysterical,
She showed the Christmas picture to her MSNBC guests and asked them to come up with funny captions regarding the photo.
One female guest started singing, “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same”
“And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” Pia Glenn said.
Another guest stops short at coming out and actually calling the baby a “token black”. “It sums up the diversity of the Republican party and the RNC, where they have the whole convention and they find the one black person.”
It seems that today’s liberals think that referring to the Democrat’s newest, youngest member, as a “party pooper” is outrageously offensive, but a group of adults on national TV, laughing, insulting and making jokes about a baby, because of his race and family is real hoot..
As long as that baby’s family is Republican.
FYI…I’m a registered Democrat and have been for the past couple of decades.
JFK would be rolling over in his grave if he could see how a few militant progressives turned a once great party, into a joke.
@ernieyeball: No, actually I didn’t.
There’s a big difference between a blog and a comment.
One need not be a “liberal” or Lefty in international English to note that such a headline is classless, stupid, and unworthy. It is neither Right nor Left among people with a proper upbringing to understand that such is vulgar and demeans the side which makes it.
Sadly the Right media in America has been taken over by angry low-class vulgarians, which is doubly sad as it tends to discredit otherwise useful critiques.
In my view comedy always has to have a sense of moral justice or balance in order to work.
Disagree. Many jokes are completely non-political, outside of morals and balance, and still are quite funny. The first time I heard (as a child) the old “why did the chicken cross the road?” joke I laughed, because it was funny. There are thousands of very funny jokes along that line, dealing with word play, or situation humor.
One of my favorites is “Heisenberg might have been here.” for example. No moral justice or balance, its just funny (at least to physicists).
In fact, I’d say most humor is independent of politics all together.
In this case, its just the Post being idiots. I doubt even many conservatives found it particularly funny. There’s no wit in it at all, no clever twist on a way of seeing things.
@george: I admit my statement was too broad. There is a subset of humor that doesn’t deal with moral balancing at all, ranging from puns to some of the abstract musings of, say, Stephen Wright. But what I’m describing applies to far more than simply political jokes. In any humor dealing with pain or discomfort–which covers the vast majority of adult comedy, and also a great deal of children’s comedy–there is some sense of a balancing of moral scales, and assumptions about who deserves what fate. It can be implicit, but it’s always there at some level.
@Ches: So, re: Romney’s adopted grandson. First, you are being a bit disingenuous as most of the commenters didn’t realize that the picture included a grandson and thought, incorrectly, that it was some press release photo that had a photo op kid thrown in there. The idea that a true died in the wool liberal
obviously thought the possibility of a black baby, being wanted or welcomed by a white family, was hysterical
is just nonsense and comes close to the real offense by the commenters – it didn’t even occur to them that Romney would have a black grandchild. It didn’t even register as a something to reject. And all I can say is, well, they don’t get out much. I know several black/white interracial families and they don’t really seem to be divided up by liberal/conservative at all.
It is certainly true that Reagan’s political strategist confessed (on his deathbed, no less) that they had made a conscious effort to recruit the bigots into the Republican party, and since then they have made a very vocal home there. But there are a heck of a lot of Republicans that are, and have always been, no more or less bigoted than the average Democrat. And truth be told, there are an awful lot of Democrats that are as bigoted as any cartoon version of a Republican.
In any humor dealing with pain or discomfort–which covers the vast majority of adult comedy, and also a great deal of children’s comedy–there is some sense of a balancing of moral scales, and assumptions about who deserves what fate. It can be implicit, but it’s always there at some level.
Actually disagree that the vast majority of adult comedy deals with pain or discomfort. Most of it actually seems to center around surprise (ie a realization that a something isn’t what was expected), and tends to be fairly intellectual (word play, or extension of a concept to a different area). Unless you’re talking about TV/film comedies, in which case you’re correct, but that’s a small subset of humor.
Most of it actually seems to center around surprise (ie a realization that a something isn’t what was expected), and tends to be fairly intellectual (word play, or extension of a concept to a different area).
How is that in any way mutually exclusive with dealing with pain or discomfort? What you’re describing are the common mechanisms of humor, whereas I’ve been talking about its common themes.
Unless you’re talking about TV/film comedies, in which case you’re correct, but that’s a small subset of humor.
Yes, it includes most TV comedy and movie comedies. It also includes virtually all standup comedy (I already mentioned Steven Wright, a rare example of a comic whose routines generally do not deal with pain; but he’s an exception that proves the rule), as well as most humorous essays, novels, plays, and comic strips. Now if you’re talking about the word-of-mouth jokes that we pass around to our friends, family, colleagues, etc., I’d agree there’s a significant subset of them that don’t deal with pain–but in my experience at least, they are outnumbered by the jokes that do. Moreover, I’ve noticed that when adult tell jokes based on puns or wordplay, they often attach a certain level of meta-irony to suggest that they’re a tad more sophisticated than 3rd graders.
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