Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT
Talk about being unqualified for the job. But in the wake of the Wanda Sykes (zzzz) controversy, the right-wing has morphed into a Victorian outpost, where people just don't say those kinds of things.
At the WSJ, James Taranto is quite upset that liberals (including that "smug" Obama!) laughed at two jokes that Taranto and the rest of the GOP humor police have decided should not have been laughed at.
Taranto then unintentionally provides some comic relief himself as he patiently explains why the Limbaugh jokes were so awful:
Why do liberals find this joke funny when they should find it embarrassing? The answer, it seems clear, is that this is an example of shock humor: a genre that relies on the frisson of violating taboos. By our count, Sykes runs afoul of five taboos in her Limbaugh joke: She equates dissent with treason. She likens a domestic political opponent to a foreign enemy. She makes fun of the disabled (Limbaugh's past addiction to painkillers would entitle him to protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act). She makes light of a form of interrogation that some people consider torture. And she wishes somebody dead.
The comedy gold, of course, is that Taranto unwittingly describes, point-for-point, the Rush Limbaugh show as its been heard for nearly two decades. But over that 20 years time, how many times has Taranto taken to the Op-ed town hall to tsk-tsk Limbaugh's brand of hateful humor? This is just a guess, but I'm guessing it's a bullseye: ZERO.
When Limbaugh or the GOP Noise Machine equates dissent with treason, likens political opponents to a foreign arm, mocks the disabled (paging Michael J. Fox), makes fun of interrogation and wishes somebody dead, it's funny and insightful. But when a liberal comedian does it, guess what? It's the end of the world as we know it.
Thanks for the hollow lecture, James, but we'll pass.