Every couple of months, somebody asks me for a business card, and I don’t have one. So, after years of doing without, I’m making a new one. The only information on it will be my name, email address and blog address. It won’t be as cool as Paladin’s card in that ancient western, Have gun Will Travel. I couldn’t come up with an evocative logo. Also, I didn’t add “Writer” to the card since I figured I ought to have more than a couple of published stories to my credit. Even one published novel would be enough.
Actually, the new card inspired me to write this blog entry. If I’m going to give anyone the address, I ought to have a recent entry. The last one is dated January 20, 2017, inauguration day. Maybe that should inspire me to write something about Trump, but I’ve got nothing. The Colbert Report says most of what I am thinking, and their delivery is more fun to listen to. I would probably sound whiny. The Daily show performed the same function for me and my partner, Judith, during the last Bush administration.
Lest we forget that Trump and his team are not the only horses asses in our nation’s capitol, I refer you to the reaction of the press corps to the comedy routine of Michelle Wolf at the recent correspondents dinner. By press corps I refer to that slice of journalists who are willing once a year to attend a soul-sucking event which allows them the opportunity to grovel before “those who must be obeyed” in the White House and Congress and on Wall Street.
Ms. Wolf was invited to entertain the crowd of self-important pomposities by Margaret Talev, president of the association that hosts the event. Afterwards, Talev and a line-up of fellow pundit/quislings slammed the comic because her jokes didn’t reflect the group’s “spirit”. The spirit that the comic offended is the spirit of sycophancy rife among much of the Washington press corps. You can imagine the audience squirming when Wolf said, “You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you used to date him?” and “… if you’re gonna profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money because he doesn’t have any.”
Wolf is not the first comic hired for one of these events who has dared make fun of the craven press corps and their annual public kow-towing disguised as humor. Steven Colbert was pilloried for picking on Bush Junior with his “re-arranging deck chairs on the Hindenburg” joke during the 2006 dinner. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post is a good stand-in for the type of pissant who attends these dinners and suffers when someone says unkind things about the President. In his critique of Colbert’s performance, Cohen first assured the reader that he, Cohen, was a funny guy, which he said qualified him to judge Colbert as not funny. Cohen seemed to feel insulting the president would merit retribution in a just world. As he said in the column, “The sort of stuff that would get you punched in a bar can be said on a dais with impunity. This is why Colbert was more than rude. He was a bully.” With these words, Cohen is telling the world that he is more than just a suck-up like all the other suck-ups in that ballroom, he is a macho guy willing to settle it mano a mano with anyone making fun of the leader of the free world. Comic Larry Wilmore also caused outrage at the 2016 event with his Obama jokes; cruel, but very funny, comments about cable news racism; and shout-outs to the corrupt audience with zingers like: “But I’m impressed with the people in this room. There are so many rich, powerful people in this room. You know, it’s nice to finally match the names to the faces in the Panama Papers. It’s very nice.”
Somebody should clue the correspondents association in that they can’t invite legitimate comedians to their little event, if they don’t want hurt feelings. They and those they serve offer a rich target that it is the duty of every legitimate American comic to take a poke at.