The No Joke Zone

If you’re wondering whether a Barry/Michelle administration will be as hilarious as were the Clinton and Bush administrations, a piece in today’s New York Times provides the answers.

The Times’ tv critic and the mavens he quotes seem to believe that Barry is so smooth, so intelligent, so lacking in any characteristics worthy of ridicule, that no one can think of anything funny to say about him (or his wife).

Of course, the Times couldn’t ignore completely the 800 pound gorilla of race:

Of course, the question of race is also mentioned as one reason Mr. Obama has proved to be so elusive a target for satire.

“Anything that has even a whiff of being racist, no one is going to laugh,” said Rob Burnett, an executive producer for Mr. Letterman. “The audience is not going to allow anyone to do that.”

The New Yorker faced a different kind of hostility with its cover this week, which the Obama campaign criticized harshly. A campaign spokesman, Bill Burton, said in a statement that “most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive — and we agree.”

Asked about the cover at a news conference Monday, Mr. McCain said he thought it was “totally inappropriate, and frankly I understand if Senator Obama and his supporters would find it offensive.”

… David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, said in an e-mail message, “The cover takes a lot of distortions, lies, and misconceptions about the Obamas and puts a mirror up to them to show them for what they are.

So, according to Remnick, the allegedly offensive cover is ok because it’s not making fun of Barry and Michelle (God forbid!), but rather that fabled Republican “attack machine” that would, he implies, go to any extreme to whip up their supposedly racist base.

Clearly, an Obama administration will be one in which critics will have to tread very carefully to avoid the charge of racism, and one in which the kind of ridicule and scorn directed at the current president will become distinctly unfunny.

And Melanie Phillips on Barry, Jews and the “eclipse of reason”:

…it is … astonishing that American Jews are so blinded by hatred of the Republicans that they are prepared to ignore the fact that Obama speaks out of two sides of his mouth over Israel; ignore the fact that every single one of his foreign policy advisers is hostile to Israel; ignore the fact that he would appease the genocidal fanatics of Tehran; and not only ignore the fact that for twenty years his spiritual adviser was a man who supports the Islamist antisemite Louis Farrakhan but regard it as definitely ‘off-limits’ even to mention it…

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