Why Satirical Catholic Blogs Fail

Wednesday, August 18, AD 2010

I finally returned to internet connectivity this week, which has meant catching up on news & blogs I have neglected. Part of this “reconnecting” included denying a facebook friend request from someone I never heard of-only to find out that this someone was a fake online persona created in the Catholic Fascist’s attempt at satire. Having looked over all of the posts there, I was struck by how eerily similar the site was to another parody group blog-The Spirit of Vatican II.

Both blogs employed a host of satirical characters with enough resemblance to real life to make laugh (I think whoever thought of danmclockinload deserves a guest post on TAC) at first, both got roaring laughter from their own partisans-and neither blog was funny after a few days.

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16 Responses to Why Satirical Catholic Blogs Fail

  • Two other problems with Satire:
    1. Unless it’s obvious, it really confuses those of us with autistic-spectrum personalities. I’ve seen the “Spirit of Vatican II” blog before, and I thought it was sincere.

    2. Satire and parody are only good when a) they have some level of respect for their targets and b) they don’t take themselves too seriously.

  • The amazing thing about the CF blog for me is the sheer output. There are more posts there than there have been at AC since it started, *and* whoever is doing it is writing most of the comments.

  • I agree the output is impressive. It may be that others are assisting Mr. Iafrate. Certainly one of his erstwhile co-bloggers has penned excellent satire on occasion.

  • I think it functions rather like primal scream therapy for the Catholic Anarchist, which means it might have one useful function.

  • Maybe its a manic phase. Lithium anyone?

  • This was not meant to be a thread bashing Catholic Fascist and/or Vox Nova and/or Catholic Anarchist. If anything, the post was meant to discourage such bashing.

  • It’s projection and status posturing by a clever but tormented fellow.

    Much political satire is like that, but I think you need at least a few drops of real disdain and even hatred to do it in a religious context on a sustained basis.

  • Michael Denton,

    I appreciate your heroic efforts to be super charitable to one of the most nasty, unreasonable, uncharitable fellows these blogs have ever known.

    I do question how many times you are to turn your cheek before you finally dust off your feet per Mark 6:11.

    Frankly, if this is the “bashing” Iafrate gets for his behavior, he will have gotten less than a tap on the cheek. I don’t think you need to worry about it. He is putting himself out there to be criticized, ridiculed, and bashed – and he secretly loves it, because he does fancy himself a prophet. If people aren’t bashing him, then he doesn’t feel as if he’s doing his job anyway.

    I might say nothing about him at all for that reason, but false prophets should be denounced.

  • I personally don’t mind satire or even strong opinions strongly argued. To argue strongly back does not bother me either as one can walk away and have that Abita (which I had for the first time this weekend) with you opponent. That’s the hard part.

    Unfortunately, sometimes there are real problems with others. Pointing them out is also not off-limits either, even if jokingly, as long as one recognizes that also. Part of running with the big dogs.

    I think the author of Catholic Fascist is truly having some problems. Though I would be happy to be wrong.

  • Good satirical blogs (Iowahawk, Scrappleface) take aim at everything. The former in particular is still going strong because there’s a wide variety of topics to skewer. Plus I don’t think he writes more than a post a day. A satirical blog that takes aim at either just one blog or one type of subject matter isn’t going to last – partly for the reasons Michael mentions, but mainly because it just gets old that much faster,

  • The Spirit of Vatican II is satirical? You must be thinking of a different blog. Or a different meaning of satirical.
    It is very much a woman’s blog. Satirical perhaps in the sense that women think men are pretty dense.

  • In one of my first encounters with Michael, I found my self quoting Matthew 18:

    If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    I think it’s very difficult to make a quiet approach on the internet; maybe through email if the person’s address is known to you. Anyway, by this point, I don’t feel any obligation to respond to Michael’s postings, although I’d gladly help him change a flat tire. It’s not my job to rebuke him.

  • I should also note that his tantrum won’t be seen by more than a half-dozen people whom he hasn’t already alienated elsewhere. He may equal other sites in output, but he’s never going to get 1% of their hits. So he isn’t really scandalizing the faithful.

  • I don’t know. Certainly big boys can take the heat. For example a slam of TAC here:

    http://vox-nova.com/2010/08/18/somewhat-funny-somewhat-confusing/#comments

    This combined with comments at the Western Confucian that find that TAC as a greater threat to the common good than Vox Nova. Not that its clear that one ever found Vox Nova to be a threat to the common good here. The bizarre thought ironically comes from two people who claim they don’t read TAC.

    But again, being big boys, most here can take such comments.

  • Mark Shea is, apparently, not much of a fan of TAC, either:

    “I agree with you that the bellicose messianic Americanism at TAC is far more dangerous and deadly than the nose-pulling of CF. However, as I virtually never read TAC and as CF (being the New Hotness) was more prominent on my monitor, I wasn’t attempting a full review of TAC.”

    http://orientem.blogspot.com/2010/08/catholic-fascist-revisited.html#7946745129191366168

    Good thing Shea “virtually never read[s] TAC” or he might have to actually form an opinion based in fact rather than pulling things completely out of his ass like he usually does.

  • “The bizarre thought ironically comes from two people who claim they don’t read TAC.”

    Judging from Mark popping in on my Victory Over Japan post, I’d say he sneaks a peak every now and then. However, considering the way Mark has of scanning articles, based upon some of his posts, rather than reading articles to actually understand them, perhaps his statement is at least partially correct. 🙂

Snipers and Riot Police Confront Tea Party Protesters in Quincy

Thursday, April 29, AD 2010

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 4-29-2010 at 8:24pm]

Apparently President Obama is doing his best to paint the Tea Party movement as a group of extremists and racists.

Witness the video below as an army of riot police in full riot gear and snipers on rooftops wield their weapons to intimidate the Tea Party protesters.

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15 Responses to Snipers and Riot Police Confront Tea Party Protesters in Quincy

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  • You never know when those grannies might go berserk!

  • Well not adherents of this new Tea Party is racist or extremists; indeed, I’d argue that the majority are not. But I have seen signs bearing the “n” word (which was humorously misspelled) as well as other strong racial remarks.

    In the same way, the activity at protests against the Arizona immigration law does not characterize everyone who opposes it.

    Every group has its extremists.

  • “You never know when those grannies might go berserk!”

    Now you’re granny profiling. Shame.

  • Eric,

    I don’t have cable so I rely on rabbit ear television and what I saw in my old hometown of Phoenix was a riot.

    Rocks and all sorts of debris being thrown by hooded delinquents unnerved me.

    Yes there are extremists on both sides, but the coverage is disproportionate to what is actually happening on the ground.

    Especially when there have yet to have any ‘racist’ verbiage captured on audio or video tape from the ObamaCare protests outside the capitol a few weeks ago.

  • Donald,

    You’re nothing more than an anti-grannite!

  • Scrolling Byline – – – Tense moment at the White House this morning when Obama daughters discovered having a tea party in their room

  • Jim,

    You’re funny . . .

  • Before you all get bent out of shape — I was at Obama’s announcement of his presidential run at the Old State Capitol in Springfield in 2007 (at the request of a newspaper I used to work for, to cover the event) and there were plenty of snipers on rooftops then too.

    Now bear in mind that was a highly friendly crowd — not tea partiers, no visible opposition outside of a few pro-life protesters — and Obama wasn’t even president yet (just a candidate), although at that point he became entitled to Secret Service protection. This is probably routine at ANY large event he attends with crowds outdoors.

  • Elaine,

    I hope you’re right. BUT the guilty start to get scared when their sins are brought to the light of day and that is exactly what the Tea Partiers are doing to Obamolech.

  • Elaine,

    I also hope you’re right, but I don’t remember seeing riot police in Portland protecting President ‘W’ when his own limousine was attacked by leftist wingnuts.

    So until I get hard evidence, ie, I”ll believe it when I see it, then it isn’t true.

    President Obama is inane enough to do this and has no compulsion to the expense he will incur.

    Considering his romp to New York on the government dime after inauguration for a “dinner” with his wife and his one and a half day foray to Copenhagen on the government dime, he wouldn’t hesitate to pull these kind of stunts hoping to provoke tea partiers if cost is any consideration.

  • Jim I am going to use that one for sure – hahah!

    But I mean seriously… snipers? At a tea party? For what? Sheesh…

  • The Quincy Police Department has issued a CYA statement (Commentary by Gateway Pundit):

    Oops! The Quincy Police Department released a bogus statement calling the SWAT Team on the the protesting grandmothers yesterday. Unfortunately, they forgot about the army of videographers that filmed this incident.

    The Quincy Police Department released a statement today following the embarrassing incident yesterday when they called in the SWAT squad to quash the peaceful tea party protest outside the convention center during Barack Obama’s visit.

    During President Obama’s address, at approximately 1530 hours, the MFFT was deployed. A group of individuals positioned themselves on the south side of York Street near 3rd Street. This was within the area that was to be kept secure at the request of the U. S. Secret Service agents in charge of the site. Prior to the event only ticketed individuals were to be in this area; during the event it was restricted to the general public completely. Secret Service personnel requested these individuals leave the area and to go back to the north side of York Street. They did not comply. Quincy Police Department personnel made the same requests and again they did not comply. At that time the MFFT was deployed to stand post between the individuals and the site and, if necessary, remove the individuals. Once the MFFT was in place, the individuals agreed to move. Once everyone complied and the site was again secure, the MFFT returned to their staging point. No physical force was used during this deployment.

    Of course, this ludicrous statement is a complete fabrication. We are currently contacting the police department to retract their statement.
    We strongly object to these points.

    1. Prior to the event only ticketed individuals were to be in this area; during the event it was restricted to the general public completely.
    From the videos below it is clear that the restricted area was not roped off or marked as restricted. The protesters repeatedly checked with the police to make sure that they were not being disruptive.

    2. “Secret Service personnel requested these individuals leave the area and to go back to the north side of York Street. They did not comply.”
    We have at least three videos below that prove that the protesters asked and double-checked with the police to make sure we were following orders.

    3. “Once the MFFT was in place, the individuals agreed to move.”
    Once again the video shows that we were already moving from the corner to the middle of York Street before the MFFT marched into place.

    The first video produced by Adam Sharp shows Adam checking and double-checking with the police to make sure that we are in the correct area. You’ll also notice that Adam was polite at all times.

    http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/04/oops-quincy-pd-releases-bogus-statement-lashes-out-at-violent-granma-protesters-forgets-about-army-of-videographers/

    What happened here is that the Quincy Police Department hugely overreacted and went into full Barney Fife mode. Ludicrous.

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8 Responses to Obama Believes in the Free Market

  • That puppet can just as easily be on the other hand labeled “Wall Street”

  • Jim,

    When the UAW and SEIU have on record (White House guest log) visited Obama more than any other person or group then your comments make no sense.

  • They don’t have to visit the WH, they just phone their orders over to the Fed & Treasury and they deliver (30 min or less and guaranteed hot).

    Google “_____ Top Campaign Contributors” and put both Obama and McCain in the blank (separate searches) and you’ll see the country is not run from the White House but Wall Street.

    Making a pilgrimage to the WH may make for good back slapping photo ops with “the troops”, but the real decisions are made in the boardrooms of banks and hedge funds. Watch a PBS Frontline Program called “The Warning” and then tell me if you think “big labor” or “big money” is really steering the ship.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/

  • Jim,

    What’s the difference between corporate socialism and worker socialism?

    Answer: ZERO.

    Socialism is inherently wrong.

    From Paragraph 15 in Rerum Novarum: Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.

    From Paragraph 17 in Rerum Novarum: Socialists may in that intent do their utmost, but all striving against nature is in vain.

    Socialism didn’t work in the time of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, and it doesn’t work now.

    Period.

  • And furthermore, ultimately it doesn’t matter if Obama believes in the free market or not (and he doesn’). Obama is a murderer of unborn babies, a legitimatizer of filthy putrid activities between men as marriage and ultimately an inherently evil and wicked man.

    ANYONE who supports him knowing the grave evil this man is committing CANNOT be called a Christian, much less a Catholic.

    That doesn’t mean Republicans are God’s Party. What it means is that whatever the Republicans may be, the Democrats ARE the party of death and they must be defeated, muzzled and emasculated.

    I won’t mince words. BTW, St. Paul was worse on Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20 than our Bishops are on that reprobate great whore of Babylon, Nancy Pelosi.

    Liberal = evil. Pure and simple.

  • Paul,

    As long as you remember that in that same encyclical, and in every other social encyclical, the Papacy has explicitly advocated a policy of encouraging widespread property distribution, of worker ownership and control of productive property. This is a cornerstone of Catholic social teaching.

    JP II’s Laborem Exercens, along with Rerum Novarum, should be required reading for every Catholic and every American. In my America it would be.

    Fortunately, some Americans are starting to wake up and see that our choices are NOT limited to the following: 1) total nationalization and command economy and 2) individualist Social Darwinism where poor people either get “charity” or nothing at all.

    They’ve been discovering a third option, the option that has ALWAYS been promoted by the Papacy: workers and families and communities come together, through their own will and in view of what they freely know and choose as the good, and take common ownership of businesses that are new or old ones that are failing and have been abandoned.

    MORE CATHOLICS need to be involved in this – otherwise the whole project will be dominated by secular liberals. It was a Catholic priest that started the Mondragon, the most successful cooperative in the world, and now the model for all successful cooperatives. That priest was in turn inspired by Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno. This is OUR political and social philosophy, and we ought to be using it and owning it.

  • you can’t have a free market without competition, and just as in every competition there are winners and there are losers. the problem with liberals is that they haven’t found a loser they didn’t want to turn into a victim. and it doesn’t matter one little bit because their ultimate goal isn’t for fairness, or freedom… it is to usher in more socialism.

    just one of the many services they offer…

  • Ultimately, freedom requires risk. It requires the acceptance of the need for occassional suffering in order to perpetuate it. The reason true freedom is floundering in America and everywhere else that attempts it is that few people are willing to accept suffering. They want the government to solve their problems and create a perfect place where there is no suffering. The government, naturally, is incapable of doing so but rather than be honest about that makes those promises in exchange for the liberties of those who do not speak up. I saw just how many were willing to trade freedom for comfort after 9/11. The Patriot Act was anything but Patriotic and was massively invasive of privacy on a scale not seen before in America, but out of fear and a desire to be comfortable people complied with hardly a word. America will continue to flounder, continue to erode, until people take responsibility for their lives and their actions and surge forward to take the risks and accept the suffering that comes with freedom.

Palin Responds to Family Guy Attack on Trig

Tuesday, February 16, AD 2010

Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin respond to the vile Family Guy attack on Trig, her son with Down’s Syndrome:

People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut. Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, “when is enough, enough?”:

“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks. – Bristol Palin”

– Sarah Palin

Perhaps it is partially because I have an autistic son, but words literally fail me to adequately describe people evil enough to mock a handicapped child because they differ with the mother of the child politically.

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79 Responses to Palin Responds to Family Guy Attack on Trig

  • Family Guy is commonly about as tasteless as the imagination permits, exceeded in this only by South Park. It is an indication of how corrupted the media have grown in a modest time frame.

    Amy Carter was overexposed but given only the mildest ribbing by the likes of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players and Chelsea Clinton was left in peace (bar for being called a ‘dog’ by Rush Limbaugh). I think one of Geraldine Ferraro’s children is named ‘John’; do you recall the other two?

  • It is quite amazing that people who allegedly have their full faculties and imaginative creativity will act like the effin’ retards they ascribe people with actual special needs as being.

    The fact is people with mental retardation, autism and other impairments are more enjoyable, joyful and pleasant to be around than any of these monkeys who like to throw mean words around without considering the feelings of those who have impairments and the loved ones who care for them

    If you ask me, that is pretty effin’ retarded, especially when the goal is to attack a defenseless child simply because his mother makes you feel uncomfortable and intimidated.

    Do you think that the fact that we consider children a burden and a punishment for recreational sex or a simple ‘choice’ to kill has anything to do with considering anyone with special needs as a burden on society and fair game for ridicule?

    Sick.

  • One of the things Palin has unquestionably achieved (to her sorrow) is giving the hard left a chance to show the entire country how utterly despicable and hateful the “caring” party can be.

  • Southpark usually has a nuanced and valid point to make, even if it is one we disagree with. It has had pro-life episodes, and many shows about the humanity and dignity of disabled people.

    I simply can’t put that show in the same class as Family Guy, which is nothing but one-sided propaganda.

    In addition to being intrinsically evil, making fun of a down-syndrome child is mind-bogglingly irrational and stupid if your goal is to somehow oppose Sarah Palin.

    In the end this is the same show that depicted Jesus as a pedophile, God as a selfish womanizer, and all Christians as mindless, book-burning, hate-filled bigots. It’s the kind of stuff I might have thought up as an angst-ridden teenage atheist in rebellion against the Church. I’m glad I grew up, and I’m sad others are still stuck there.

    And you know what MacFarlane’s defense always is? And its the same one used by all of these guys: either we can make fun of everything, or we can make fun of nothing. Everything is sacred or nothing is sacred. And somehow our first amendment embodies this idea. Of course this is irrational, illogical, and childish.

  • When a culture makes everything profane, nothing is sacred.

  • I seem to recall that Joan Rivers was interviewed in 1983 or thereabouts and said her aim was to be “the meanest bitch in America”. Asked if any topic was off limits, she said, “deformed children…and religion I’m very careful with…”. Well, that was then.

  • I deleted your comment restrainedradical. No one in this thread will be allowed to speak in defense of this vile assault on human decency. All such comments will be deleted.

  • In my misspent past as a teen, youth, young adult and sadly full grown man I would have found this funny. In fact, I used to like the show as well as other prurient interests. Then I was assaulted by God and only by His Grace I came to my senses and returned to the Church of my Baptism.

    Making that decision meant that I was all in. Of course, I only think I am all in because everyday I am reminded of how not-at-all-in I really am. Yet, I know that morality is not in me it comes from God alone. Adhering to His standards renders this and other things I would have found entertaining and funny in my past as sick and twisted.

    I certainly am not ‘politically correct’ and I don’t think we need to allow coercion, government or social, to limit artistic expression. Yet, I think that social standards, based on ‘mere Christian’ morals must be infused into our culture.

    This ‘joke’ was not funny because it maligns children with inherent limitations and not because it attacks Sarah Palin. She’s a big girl and can take care of herself and she chose public life. I think that children with mental retardation, physical disabilities, Down Syndrome, etc. have a greater opportunity for sanctification than fools that find this kind of crap funny.

    I think if I met myself from several years back, I might kick my own ass.

  • The sad thing is that Family Guy is capable of being hysterically funny without being radically offensive.

  • Sadly, I read restrained radical’s comment before it was deleted. It’s an appalling enigma to me how the left is so adamantly against torture, but at the same time can applaud a wicked and evil cartoon which could be considered one of the most deadly of weapons, the most harmful poison. Society must be nourished with good, not evil, and evil is being preached to an immense audience. Evil such as this corrupts and kills souls. But then, the principles of God’s kingdom and the principles of the world are vastly different. That cartoon caused unnecessary pain to the Palins and countless others. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, a perfect time to contemplate Jesus’ crowning with thorns. Mother Teresa said that mental illness is Jesus’ crown of thorns. Although children with downs’ syndrome are certainly not mentally ill, I think we could extend the meditation to include the parents of these children who suffer greatly with mockery, taunts and insults directed toward their beloved children.

  • restrainedradical is a valued commenter here at American Catholic. This thread however is not one where our usual free-wheeling debate format applies. I feel quite strongly about this and no comments defending the Family Guy spit in the face of decency will be allowed. If handicapped kids can be mocked as entertainment or political attack, then we truly are a culture that is sick unto death.

  • Surprisingly (at least to me), The Anchoress is defending “Family Guy” and criticizing Palin for speaking out:

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/theanchoress/2010/02/16/family-guy-goaded-palin-into-a-mistake/

    I responded somewhat negatively in her comboxes.

  • I’m not seeing how the clip was an attack on Trig (not saying it wasn’t mind you, just that I don’t see how it was). Maybe someone could explain?

  • “I think if I met myself from several years back, I might kick my own ass.”

    American Knight,

    The desire to go back in time and kick your own backside is the universal sign of maturity. To me, the realization of how we were wrong in the past explains why reconciliation is the greatest of the sacraments.*
    Bill

    * Unless my wife is reading and then my answer is marriage is the greatest sacrament.

  • I’m missing something. I get “former governor of Alaska” is referencing Sarah Palin, but how does Trig fit into this? I don’t get it. I second the call for an explanation.

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indictated by the way that she speaks.

    The Huffington post author here is clear as to what Seth MacFarlane intended.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/15/family-guy-trig-palin-vid_n_462522.html

  • Jay, the Anchoress is simply clueless on this. The insult was directly aimed at Trig as you pointed out. That the Anchoress can’t see this astounds me.

  • I’m not seeing how the clip was an attack on Trig (not saying it wasn’t mind you, just that I don’t see how it was). Maybe someone could explain?

    I think MacFarlane was trying to cover his ass by recasting Todd Palin as ‘an accountant’ and Trig as female.

  • I had deleted this comment but on second thought I am going to post it. It came from someone, now banned from this blog, calling himself FascistHater. His name is apt, but not in the way he intended. It is a monument to the type of hatred that motivates people to attack those they disagree with by attacking their kids. Such hatred ultimately consumes those who revel in it.

    “What a bunch of “knee jerk assholes” you all are. Did any of you watch this entire show? The girl with downs syndrome is treated as a self assured young women who is the superior of the “normal” Chris Griffin. I’m certain if he had made inappropriate suggestions involving a Lufta she would have shoved it up his ass. If only Palin’s “Normal” slut daughter was as self assured and bright as this cartoon character.

    By the way Don sorry about your son but maybe someone with genes as defective as yours shouldn’t be reproducing. Hey . . . if my comments going to be deleted might as well make it good.”

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indictated by the way that she speaks.

    Okay, but how is that an attack on Trig?

  • Governor of Alaska plus Downs Syndrome Child. The Downs Syndrome child is also portrayed as nasty and manipulative. This is not rocket science BA.

  • Don, I caught that comment last night but refrained from commenting because I knew it would be deleted. Obviously the person is quite filled with hate and apparently a proud fascist too (they often go hand in hand dontcha know), but I was wondering if you were able to tell if the person was someone we’re familiar with or just a drive by. I was inclined to think it was the typical leftist type of drive by because I only know of a handful truly hatefilled semi-regulars but their names are well known and they seem to have no shame about associating their name with their venom. However, I got to thinking that this person probably knows more about you than can be ascertained from the post. Nevermind, I’m fairly sure who it is. Sad.

  • Governor of Alaska plus Downs Syndrome Child. The Downs Syndrome child is also portrayed as nasty and manipulative. This is not rocket science BA.

    I grant that it was a reference to Palin/Trig. That much is obvious. What I don’t get is what is insulting about it. The girl didn’t come across as nasty or manipulative in the clip to me, and even if she did, Trig isn’t a teenage girl, so it’s not like these attributes would be ascribed to him.

    I agree this isn’t rocket science, why is what makes the unwillingness/inability of people to say what was insulting about the clip somewhat mysterious.

  • I think I may have watched family guy once, maybe twice. Never thought it funny or entertaining – mostly just stupid. No reason to ever watch it.

  • Nothing mysterious about it BA. You simply do not think it is insulting. I, Trig’s mother and Trig’s sister think it is, along with quite a few other people. I guess we’ll see how this plays out and how many other people fail to see what I think is an obvious attack on a child with Downs Syndrome simply to vent political hatred.

  • FWIW, I could see the, “Well, this isn’t all that offensive,” point were this more or less in isolation. However, given that Palin has been consistently vilified by the left for bringing a child with Downs Syndrome to term ever since she appeared on the national stage, I think it’s reached the point where making a point of it at all (especially in a venue like Family Guy, which has become an all purpose political/cultural attack program over the last couple years) plays as offensive.

  • “but I was wondering if you were able to tell if the person was someone we’re familiar with or just a drive by.”

    Deliberately didn’t attempt to Rick. The person involved wasn’t worth that much effort on my part. Whoever it was I feel pity more than anything else. Living with that level of hate must be like wearing an emotional hair shirt.

  • The girl didn’t come across as nasty or manipulative in the clip to me

    She rebukes him for not helping her to her seat and then rebukes him for not asking about her person. You wouldn’t mind?

  • Nothing mysterious about it BA. You simply do not think it is insulting. I, Trig’s mother and Trig’s sister think it is, along with quite a few other people.

    I’m asking why you thought it was insulting. Saying, “well I and a lot of other people thought it was insulting” doesn’t answer that question.

  • It’s pretty incoherent, which is describes the MacFarlane’s humor in general. Throw everything against the wall and hope to elicit a response.

    South Park actually had a dead-on hilarious parody of the Family Guy writing style during the notorious censored Muhammad episode, depicting FG as being written by manatees who nudge random balls labelled with pop culture references into a mixing machine, thus leading to the attempted gags.

    After having watched the clip, it sure looks like a manatee job. I agree that it’s offensive, and a secondary shot at Trig, but I think it’s more of an attack on Sarah Palin than her son, projecting the latter’s handicaps on to the former. I say “secondary” because the depiction of the impaired character as an obnoxious, attention-mongering glasses-wearing diva is a direct attack on the former Governor herself.

  • [G]iven that Palin has been consistently vilified by the left for bringing a child with Downs Syndrome to term ever since she appeared on the national stage, I think it’s reached the point where making a point of it at all (especially in a venue like Family Guy, which has become an all purpose political/cultural attack program over the last couple years) plays as offensive.

    I can understand this as a psychological explanation, but if past attacks make people conclude that any reference to Palin is per se insulting then I think they are overreacting.

  • BA, I’ll try this one last time with you and I’ll put it in personal terms. My son is autistic. He is a constant joy to me and to his mother. He is unable to carry on a normal conversation, although he can answer yes and no questions. His autism may have caused retardation although with autism this is difficult to say. He can read although how much he retains is often a mystery for us and his teachers. His autism gives him all sorts of behavioral quirks so that he will never be able to live independently or work outside of a sheltered workshop. Things that other people can do without thinking, he, sadly, will not be able to do. Compared to most people his life will be hard, something thus far he has coped with magnificently.

    If I were to be a public figure, and a “comedy” show decided to feature a character who is mentally handicapped and who is the child of a person who is clearly intended to be me, I would be livid. My son was not brought into this world to be used as a prop by which an attack could be launched against me. That you fail to understand why I would be livid, and why the Palins are livid, I find baffling.

  • If I were to be a public figure, and a “comedy” show decided to feature a character who is mentally handicapped and who is the child of a person who is clearly intended to be me, I would be livid. My son was not brought into this world to be used as a prop by which an attack could be launched against me.

    This begs the question of how it was an attack, which is what I was asking. If I comedy show attacked my family I would be livid too. But I don’t see how the above clip constitutes an attack.

  • Because Trig can’t defend himself BA, just as my son cannot defend himself. Kids of politicians used to be off-limits. Now it is open season on disabled kids of politicians. I guess common deceny is a thing of the past.

  • BA,

    I think Dale summed it up well. The odd thing for me is that the scene was simply not funny. I don’t mean not funny because it was offensive, it was simply not funny period. I’ve watched the Family Guy before and found certain bits extremely funny…even some of the very offensive ones, but this one wasn’t funny and is quite transparent and unnecessary. It’s clear that it was framed with Sarah Palin in mind, which in itself isn’t a problem, but that the cudgel is Down Syndrome because of her son is rather distasteful.

  • Exactly, Don. It wasn’t that Family Guy necessarily depicted the disabled person in a negative light. It was the fact that the show’s creator felt the need to draw the connection between the disabled person depicted and a 2-year-old disabled person actually in existence.

    It would have been objectionable to use ANY of a politician’s kids to make a dig at that politician; to use a politician’s 2-year-old disabled child to do so makes it all the worse.

  • DarwinCatholic:

    Absolutely. And not only has the Left revealed how vicious the “compassionate” can be, they have managed to show that their socialist policies aren’t really motivated by compassion for the poor and downtrodden after all, as they like to pretend. If that was really their motivation, they wouldn’t behave this way.

    Which brings us to the question. If the Left’s socialist policies aren’t driven by compassion, then what’s their real motivation? The answer, I think, is a combination of a desire for control over others, and the worship of the state which they have divinized in their minds.

  • Let’s make it clear, if Rush does it, it is wrong. If Family Guy does it, it is wrong. There. Left and right — are both of them lacking compassion because of Rush or Family Guy? I think many on both sides are; but many are not. Don’t do guilt by association; Family Guy isn’t like Rush, though — one of the big differences is Family Guy is a rude, crude, nasty show and a “comedy” with its axe to grind but yet — it isn’t gearing itself as a piece of political opinion to help energize politics. Rush and Beck and people like them — are. But that doesn’t make Family Guy good. It’s a show which makes Beavis and Butthead look intelligent.

  • Because Trig can’t defend himself BA, just as my son cannot defend himself.

    Defend himself from what? All of your comments make sense only on the assumption that the Family Guy clip above constitutes an attack on Trig. What I’m asking is, how is it an attack?

  • I think Dale summed it up well. The odd thing for me is that the scene was simply not funny. I don’t mean not funny because it was offensive, it was simply not funny period.

    Dale’s theory, as I understanding it, is that the girl is supposed to be Sarah Palin. Watching the above clip, that idea would not have occurred to me in a million years.

  • I watch family guy – it’s very left, it’s very offensive, and occasionally it’s very funny, but that’s hit or miss. I’m generally irritated by the hyper-sensitive jump to offense behavior of people a la the recent hoopla over Rahm Emanuel’s comment which was clearly not directed at or referring to mentally handicapped people (incidentally, the much smarter and funnier South Park recently had a good show about about just this thing except instead of “retarded” it looked a homosexual slur that has now been adopted to mean something else in the culture, but I digress). However, I can understand how this could be hurtful b/c it’s definitely targeted at Palin and her son (the former to a bigger extent than the latter I think). I sort of see what blackadder is saying in that it doesn’t seem like an attack against the DS girl, but rahter that DS was used to tie her to Palin. I think the point is that whether he intended to mock DS itself (or Trig himself), the writer clearly used the real life handicap of one of Palin’s children to mock her. And I do think that crosses a line.

  • BA

    I agree it might be difficult to see, but the girl is not Sarah Palin. The girl represents Sarah’s children morphed into one. It is a girl and apparently has Down’s Syndrome. And it is being used to goad Sarah Palin — mock both her daughter’s dating choices as well as Trig. I can see where it is coming from, and I can see why this is not respectable at all (just like attacks on Chelsea were not respectable). If the girl were Sarah and she was shown careless with her children, that would be one thing; but taking it out on her children for their mother, no, not good.

  • The line goes that once you explain a joke, it’s not funny. This joke wasn’t funny in the first place, so far as I can tell, but we seem to be struggling with a situation where an insult isn’t insulting once you explain it. I’ll give it a shot, though.

    The gag here (to the extent that there is one) appears to be that Chris goes out on a date with a somewhat bitchy and demanding girl who speaks in a “retard” voice. When he asks about her family, she explains that her mother is the governor of Alaska. I guess one could see this either as a “boy, they all seem to be retards in Palin’s family, don’t they” joke or as “oh, Down Syndome, heh heh, Palin, heh heh” joke. Either way, it seems to get what little steam it has from associating mental disabilities and disagreeableness with Palin.

    Now, I suppose one could say, “Why is it offensive to associate Down Syndome or retardation generally with Palin’s family? She has a child with Down Syndrome, but there’s nothing shameful in that.” This would be true in a limitted sense, but it ignores the fact that in the instance in question it’s clearly being treated as something which is humorous or derisive, not just a “Oh, by the way, did you hear a child of the former Alaskan governor has Down Syndrome?” This is where the fact that Palin has been routinely mocked by the left for having a child with Down Syndrome would come into play.

    I suppose a comparison might be, say that the Family Guy episode had featured Chris going on a date with a bitchy and spoiled teenage black girl, who proceeded to wolf down a couple watermelons and speak in a heavily stereotyped “Black English” accent. If when Chris asked her about her family she explained that her father was the president of the United States, people might rightly take this as a racist attack on the Obamas. Now clearly, there’s nothing wrong with being black, so one could question how this was an insult, but the obvious answer would be that the show was attempting to make “Obama’s kids are black” an insult, and thus serving as both racist and anti-Obama.

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indicated by the way that she speaks.

    Thanks for the explanations. But as I watched the clip, my impressions were that reference to the former Alaskan governor was nothing more than a non sequitur. I saw the date as merely having a speech impediment, nothing more. Downs Syndrome never came to mind, because the character’s demeanor was very different to that of people with DS that I have encountered.

  • I suppose a comparison might be, say that the Family Guy episode had featured Chris going on a date with a bitchy and spoiled teenage black girl, who proceeded to wolf down a couple watermelons and speak in a heavily stereotyped “Black English” accent. If when Chris asked her about her family she explained that her father was the president of the United States, people might rightly take this as a racist attack on the Obamas.

    That would be offensive. But unless I’m misinformed, there isn’t a stereotype that people with Downs Syndrome are bitchy and demanding.

  • I had taken the “retard speak” voice as being the negative stereotype generic to mental disabilities, and assumed that eating watermelons and “Black English” would be the equivalent stereotype in regards to race.

  • Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that carries with it various physical characteristics that are easily identifiable even to the average observer. It’s pretty clear (to me anyway) that the intention was to illustrate the character as having Down Syndrome.

    Still, regardless of how ill conceived or executed the scene was, it’s clearly intended to be a dig on Palin which in itself isn’t a problem. Using Down Syndrome to do it would be tasteless in itself, but it’s certainly no coincidence that that means was employed because she has a DS child.

  • employed ugh

    [Fixed it for you Rick. 😉 – Tito]

  • Maybe I’m slow to catch on…

    The physical attributes I get. However, animation is a poor medium to convey that. Upon re-listening, I see your point about the speech, Rick. However, my initial impression was that of a woman with a lisp combined with an Elmer Fudd-ian style of pronunciation. DS never came to mind.

    Oh well, I guess I shall retreat back into my bubble where most pop culture influences do not dare enter.

  • I had taken the “retard speak” voice as being the negative stereotype generic to mental disabilities

    I’m not sure having speech problems is a stereotype about people with Downs as it is a reality. I mean, the actress who plays the girl has Downs Syndrome. That’s her real voice.

  • Let me also make a side point. Both from watching the clip and from reading about it in general, a theme of the episode seems to be that people with Downs Syndrome aren’t all that different from the rest of us. We live in a world where 90% of couples who are told there child has Downs abort, perhaps in part because they have an exaggerated image of the problems associated with Downs. The message of the show, in other words, is one that people desperately need to hear, and particularly for the FG viewer demographic I’m not sure if there would have been a more effective way of getting that message across.

  • Thanks Tito. I’d type this in huge letters if WP would let me. 😉

    BA, so yes, the speech issue is a reality. And based on what you just wrote, the voice actress has DS. Her character claimed to be the child of a former Alaska governor. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to assume that whole gag is about Sarah Palin due to her having a DS child. Yeah, it’s not like they were attacking Trig directly, but it is reflective of a rather nasty attitude. I mean, with all the things someone could use to rib Palin like her botched interviews, writing on her hand, leftist stereotypes of conservatives as dumb hicks, it takes a pretty vicious mind to use their child’s birth defect in an attempt to score a point and/or laugh.

  • Rick,

    Again, I’m not denying that the reference was to Palin. That’s obvious. I just don’t see what’s insulting about it, either to Trig or to Palin.

  • Somehow BA’s unique interpretation of how the mockery of Trig is good for handicapped people eluded Seth MacFarlane who manfully responded to the controversy by sending out his publicist with this statement:

    “The Times asked “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane for an interview regarding the matter. But he opted to send a statement via his publicist: “From its inception, ‘Family Guy’ has used biting satire as the foundation of its humor. The show is an “equal-opportunity offender.””

  • I think Henry Karlson is correct. The girl is a conflation of Bristol and Trig.

  • Dale’s theory, as I understanding it, is that the girl is supposed to be Sarah Palin. Watching the above clip, that idea would not have occurred to me in a million years.

    Just a cobbled together guess, based only on the clip and the one previous bit of venom directed at Palin (Stewie in an SS uniform wearing a “McCain/Palin” button). I bow to anyone who watched the whole thing for context. For my part, it would not have occurred to me in a million years that I would be carefully parsing FG episodes for narrative context. 🙂

    After all, the show peaked with the Benjamin Disraeli sight gag…

  • Somehow BA’s unique interpretation of how the mockery of Trig is good for handicapped people…

    It’s not that I think mocking Trig is good for handicapped people; it’s that I don’t see how the show was mocking Trig.

    My comment about the effects of the show generally was, as I said, a side point. As I understand it, many of the people here who think the show was offensive only have a problem with the reference to Palin, not to the show’s treatment of Downs Syndrome generally (certainly your comments have focused in this direction). So whether you agree that the show could serve a useful purpose in demystifying Downs is separate from whether you think the reference to Palin was out of line (and visa versa).

  • I think Henry Karlson is correct. The girl is a conflation of Bristol and Trig.

    I’m not really seeing this. The girl in the clip doesn’t look like Bristol Palin, Chris neither looks nor acts like Levi Johnson, etc. The only reason I can see for saying that she must be Bristol is that as a teenage girl she obviously can’t be Trig.

  • A link to Seth MacFarlane’s campaign contributions:

    http://www.newsmeat.com/celebrity_political_donations/Seth_MacFarlane.php

    Then we have his comments about the election when he was stumping for Obama:

    Then we have the McCain-Palin are Nazis scene from the Family Guy.

    MacFarlane is a bitter partisan of the Left. That is his right. When he decides to give vent to his hatred by mocking a disabled child of someone he hates, that should go way over the line for any civilized person.

  • Anchoress did not say Palin should not have spoken out. She said she should have done so differently, in a way that would have turned the tables on Family Guy.

  • I speak as a big-time critic of Sarah Palin as a potential political leader- I don’t see any valid point in targeting her as a parent of a child with a disability- she’s a human being- not one of us would find it acceptable for someone to take us on as public bloggers and start picking on our kids- especially our youngest most vulnerable children.

    Joe has pointed out that it is perhaps possible to include the disabled in a joke line that isn’t just picking on someone, but makes some larger relevant point about some issue related to being disabled. But clearly, making sly reference to a politician’s disabled child is cruel and unusual- and unless that part of the Left wing is ok with their alter-ego part of the Right wing, perhaps targeting Obama through sly put-downs of persons meant to bring to mind his daughters- then I would say the more reasonable folks should be able to bring public shame to this type of “humor”. With public shame in the offing, most commercial artists will learn that there is no pay-off for continuing such a trend. Public shaming has a role to play- it can be a check on out-of-bounds expression without having to resort to some kind of direct censorship.

  • I agree with Tim.

    If the tables were turned and a Family Guy clip had Mr. Seth McFarlane mocking President Obama’s precious little daughters using derogatory black stereotypes all hell would break loose in the form of constant media attacks in characterizing conservative Americans as hateful bigots.

    My two-cents worth.

  • A couple months back there was an episode of 30 Rock where one of the characters tried to infiltrate Obama’s “inner circle” by befriending one of his daughters. There were scenes of him talking on the phone with the daughter, etc. in which he adopted a valley girl voice and basically talked like a stereotypical schoolgirl. I don’t recall much of a fuss about this at the time, presumably because while the show quite clearly was referencing the Obama family there was nothing insulting about what was being said about them (one could argue that it was insulting to imply that Obama’s daughters act like little girls, but then they are little girls).

  • BA,

    So acting like a little girl is equivalent to a derogatory black stereotype?

    😉

  • Interesting counter example, BA.

    As per previous discussion, though, I assume that if the 30 Rock character had used a heavily “Black English” voice rather than a schoolgirl voice, people would have seen that as more offensive — because although some black people do indeed talk that way (though not the Obamas) it’s seen as connected to a negative stereotype about black people.

    I think the reason people are taking offense in this case is that although it’s true that people with Down Syndrome do have speech impediments, the social perception of those speech impediments is pretty uniformly negative.

    By which I guess I mean, it seems to me that simply making “hey, did you hear Palin’s kid has Down Syndrome” references (at least in a comedy show, especially one that emphasizes sharp political satire) will end up coming off as derogatory all on its own.

  • I don’t know Blackadder. I guess there are different thresholds or considerations people take into account on things. For example, I have a son who is developmentally delayed. He’s not classified as autistic though he has some similar symptoms. In fact, it sounds like he is not much unlike Don’s boy in functionality and prospects for his future. I didn’t take offense Obama’s Special Olympics joke a few months ago, yet many others did. I didn’t view it as a dig on special needs kids nor indicative of an underlying disrespect or contempt for them. I viewed it as a bit of self-deprecating humor on behalf of Obama and have used the same type on myself (still do in fact).

    In this case, it’s more a matter that I can see how many could be offended because there is nothing really humorous in it though it was an attempt to use a DS as a pretext of slamming a political opponent or at best forcing in a political jab where it has no business. I guess I’m looking at it more from where something like this must have come from. Unfortunately I think there are a number of hate filled people like that Hateful Fascist guy who insulted Don. It’s one thing to have such a hard heart and express it, it’s another to use or tear down innocent or powerless people to vent that hatred. It’s certainly not something in our Christian understanding of the dignity of the person that there is any room for, but it strikes me as the type of thing that just about anybody of good will would avoid. Nay, that it’s not even something they would conceive of. I guess I’m just offended that people think that way and act upon it.

  • Rick,

    I have to admit that President Obama’s joke was self-deprecating.

    The GOP and conservatives were politically opportunistic in bashing him and were not justified in their anger.

    In contrast, I believe Mr. Seth Mcfarlane was deliberately being nasty in this clip. Unfortunately I do watch FG from time to time (rabbit ears television) and I can say that Mr. Mcfarlane is a bitter left-winger who takes every opportunity he can to disparage the GOP and conservatives. Although he “claims” to be an equal opportunity offender, the balance is skewed grossly in disparaging conservatives than liberals by a 10-to-1 margin.

  • I’ve FG a fair number of times myself. I don’t particularly care one way or another about the politics. If something is funny, it’s funny. My uneasiness with the shows I have seen are some of the religious things. Unfortunately I have a higher tolerance for religious jokes than I ought, but FG can still manage to offend me in that regard. However, I find great humor in many of the gags whether they be G rated or R rated. The funniest gag I’ve seen on the show was quite R rated, but was right up my alley from a setup/punchline point of view (the scene with the blow-up dolls).

  • I don’t mind the unbalanced attacks as well. I like to laugh and whatever does it for me makes me happy.

    But you have to admit, FG is definitely not on the family viewing list. In fact if I were blessed with children I would stop viewing FG for the sake of the children not catching me watching such filth.

  • Largebill: “American Knight,

    The desire to go back in time and kick your own backside is the universal sign of maturity.”

    I don’t know if I am mature, but I am certainly more mature than I was when I was caught up in the Spirit of the World. It is easy, tempting, alluring and seductive to go with the flow of the present darkness because when you are in it, it doesn’t seem dark. In fact, it seems fun, light and quite right.

    It isn’t. FG could be funny at times; however, when it disparages the defenseless it crosses the line. That doesn’t mean that people with physical and mental limitations cannot be funny or even made fun of in a lighthearted way, but this was clearly mean-spirited.

  • AK

    I think a good example where there is a lighthearted way this was done, and yet misunderstood, was Tropic Thunder. The whole point was to ridicule the way some people with disabilities are used by Hollywood for the sake of self-glorification instead of any real concern for them. But many people felt disturbed by its representation, not understanding the point.

  • HK,

    Tropic Thunder!

    That is a funny movie, enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • HK,

    I did not enjoy the movie as much as Tito, but it had some good parts. I think those actors have so much talent (acting talent, they seem vapid in everything else) that more could have been done.

    Nevertheless, the scene you reference is funny and I agree, it is not offensive because the object of ridicule is not people with mental retardation or other handicaps.

    Stiller does not seem like the kind of guy who would cater to low humor as pertains to people with special needs. Mary’s brother in Something About Mary, which was funny and extremely inappropriate was not disparaged even though he was made fun of. Stiller’s character comes to his defense. Additionally, Dillon’s character refers to people with special needs when he is lying to Mary about how much he likes working with them as ‘retards’, but he is clearly portrayed as a man with very low moral character.

    We cannot be offended at the slightest mention or inappropriate view about sensitive things without referring to the context. I have noticed that many of us, me included, oft times have a knee-jerk defensive reaction when the Church is portrayed in most media. Sometimes it can be done well, I think Doubt was well done and not offensive, Bill Mahr is another matter all together.

    Humor, even off-color humor, can still be funny without being mean.

  • It will come out shortly that Palin used a couple of babies for publicity, and that Trig is NOT her son. I got this info from several non biased observers of the Internet.

    While I have no comment about Palin not getting an abortion (she certainly considered one), I also do not think she has told the truth about the delivery of her baby. I truly do not think the baby she calls Trig is HER baby. Maybe it is her daughter’s, maybe not. The fact is, we do not know for sure what is real and what is not.

  • Michael,

    It is HER baby. The problem is that she was inseminated by a space alien from Zorcon. The delivery was kept secret because it was performed on a Rian spaceship in the Torary Sector. This is what is real. I got it from non-biased sources. It really is.

  • Phillip,

    I’m afraid your ‘sources’ were a bit confused; insemination implies pregnancy and Palin was not pregnant. Trig was transported from the Zorconites via a Rian spaceship (you’re right about their involvement – too many sources have confirmed it at this point), and given to Palin during her flight back to Alaska from Texas. I am still combing through ‘Going Rogue’ for hints about why she was chosen, though.

  • John Henry,

    They’re Zorconians not “Zorconites.” How can I trust you if you can’t even get that right.

  • Pingback: Family Guy Actor Sides With Palin « The American Catholic

Previewing President Obamas State of the Union Address

Wednesday, January 27, AD 2010

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 1-27-2010 at 4:20pm CST]

Victimhood personified by a modern liberal of the Democratic Party.  Where is Harry “the BUCK stops here” Truman?

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3 Responses to Previewing President Obamas State of the Union Address

  • I am sure he will discuss his spending freeze proposal. Supposedly, he increased government spending by about 25% but only plans to freeze about 4% of his spending.

  • Maybe you should go back and read Ronald Reagan’s and George W. Bush’s first state of the union addresses. Did they personify Harry “The Buck Stops Here” Truman? I think not. They talked about where the country wason the day they gave their speeches in terms of how the country had gotten there – in other words, they looked back. So, Reagan and Bush 43 must have been cases of victimhood personified by “modern” conservatives of the Republican Party, don’t you think?

  • Linda,

    They talked about America in general.

    They didn’t cite the previous president’s name and blamed him for all the problems that they were still having.

Nouveau Poor

Wednesday, September 23, AD 2009

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  I am afraid even the Onion fails at milking humor out of the current economic hard times. As a matter of fact the whole thing is probably in bad taste, which is about par for the course for the Onion.  For a truly hilarious take on the economy I refer you here, here and here for attempts by the media to convince people that under Obama it’s funemployment not unemployment.  Seems sort of peverse to me.  Never fear however.  Once a Republican President is in charge, I assume the media will banish the term funemployment.

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The Degenerate David Letterman

Saturday, June 13, AD 2009

David Letterman Degenerate

[Updates at the end of this post below]

I enjoyed viewing David Letterman when he first came out.  He was nerdy, goofy, and most importantly funny.  I eventually stopped viewing his show not because he wasn’t funny anymore, but because I was no longer in college and I needed a good nights rest for the real world, ie, a job.  Once in a while I would catch his show and remember fondly my days of cold pizza and late night study sessions.

I was well aware of his politics, but unlike most liberals, conservatives do have a sense of humor, especially at our own expense.  I was able to suspend my politics to enjoy good humor because I loved to laugh.

Sadly Mr. Letterman went too far recently in one of his jokes.  Maybe he has been doing this for awhile, but I haven’t noticed since I no longer watch his show for the reasons I mentioned above.

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40 Responses to The Degenerate David Letterman

  • I stopped watching him years ago for the same reasons. I also gave up cable and broadcast TV for similar reasons (everything I need to know news, weather, or entertainment-wise I can find online anyway).

    Why, oh why, did Letterman have to follow up the excellent fisking he did on Governor Blago — which was actually better by far than a lot of “straight news” MSM interviews that were done with him — with crap like this? I suppose it was a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day 🙂

  • Yes, I stopped watching cable. And since I haven’t gotten my digital converter box, I haven’t watched rabbit ears television since this past Thursday. And I might add that it’s a good thing.

    You are correct, all the news I need I can get online and unfiltered, ie, without the leftist bias you get from most broadcast and cable networks.

  • Although as a former (newspaper) journalist I can’t help but feel there is something not so good about people being able to pick and choose only the news they WANT to hear, ignore what they don’t agree with, and find “evidence” to confirm just about any theory no matter how ridiculous.

    Of course, I realize that in the allegedly good old days when everybody watched Big Three network news, read daily newspapers, etc. they were not getting an entirely objective point of view. I make an effort to read a variety of news and politics blogs and I even listen to (gasp!) NPR News, which, no matter how liberally biased it may be, gives you information you don’t get anywhere else.

    To me the real problem with broadcast television news is that the amount of information it can provide is severely limited and inevitably lacks perspective. Plus, the nature of the medium requires visuals and relies heavily on conflict to attract attention.

    There’s nothing like watching on TV a story you just covered for a newspaper, or actually lived through or been part of, to make you turn off TV news for good 🙂

  • You make excellent points.

    But I find that I can get more accurate information online than I can watching Katie Couric babble on about the latest liberal talking points.

  • It’s disingenuous to say Letterman made the joke about Willow Palin. He later said that wasn’t what he meant, and we have no reason to assume Letterman even knew Sarah had brought Willow to New York. I didn’t know, and I automatically understood the joke to be about Bristol Palin. Bristol is 18, so the joke didn’t involve rape. Making the joke about an 18-year-old girl is bad, but not as bad as about a 14-year-old girl. David Letterman’s degeneracy ought to be evaluated on the basis of accurate information.

  • Disingenuous?

    It was Willow that attended the game.

    Regardless if it was either one of them the joke is simply disgusting.

  • Sarah Palin looks so pathetic and desparate. IMO, It’s Palin who is embarrasing her daughter.

  • Yep Palin is the one who looks pathetic and desperate, not the aging 62 year old comedian making sex “jokes” about the teenage daughters of a politician he hates in an attempt to convince the public that he is still edgy and cutting edge and not a tired man near the end of his career, who is so out of it that he can’t be bothered to get the facts straight on a news item before making an insipid attempt at humor.

  • I didn’t know most liberals don’t have a sense of humor.

  • Dave said that his joke was in bad taste and he regrets it but that he was talking about the adult Bristol Palin. He said he agreed with Sarah Palin that sexual jokes about minors are off limits. IMO, Sarah Palin is in the wrong for assuming the worst of Dave. Dave never makes any mention of under-age girls. In fact, the joke would only make sense if they were referring to Bristol Palin.

  • A first rate post on this subject at Protein Wisdom:

    http://proteinwisdom.com/pub/?p=2844

  • Too bad a Hoosier and a maybe somewhat basketballer has gone down this road. He’s real far from his roots. I attended Mass a few times in Evansville, southern part and even down there, there were Notre Dame coats and everything, this about 12 years ago.

    I saw Gov. Palin on CNN today but wasn’t able to watch the interview. I think she did well in responding to this, a well-balanced response.

    I worked in the business office of a Middle School which had a bunch of that age girls, including a lot of those Hmong we have in St. Paul. Just no way should one say these things and if there is confusion about who Letterman meant, he shouldn’t have said it or at least clearly identified who he meant.

  • Dang, Donald–Mr. Protein is spot on.
    The Palins also have a lot more in common with my redneck neighbors than do most of the inside-the-beltway-types. And she’s popular here in Geawgia.
    (One bumper sticker I noticed on a dusty pickup during the campaign last year stated, “I’m for Palin and the white-haired guy.”)

  • He is nothing more than a degenerate human being…. Oh, and lets not forget that we do need to pray for him…

    Oh brother, Tito!

    Surely you’ve written countless blog posts about Rush Limbaugh’s sexist humor, right? I mean, that’s way more common. Can you link to some of your posts on him in which you call him a “degenerate human being”?

  • Yeah, you just have to LOVE the response of those defending Letterman and slamming Palin because “he was really talking about Bristol” and she’s “assuming the worst about poor misunderstood Dave”.

    Is that REALLY how low we’ve sunk to in this country? Since when were the kids of politicians EVER fair game for this kind of crap? It wasn’t cool when Limbaugh made fun of Chelsea Clinton’s looks and it’s not cool now when EVERYONE piles on Palin’s kids.

  • Yes. I despise double standards.

  • This response “The Palins also have a lot more in common with my redneck neighbors than do most of the inside-the-beltway-types. And she’s popular here in Geawgia.
    (One bumper sticker I noticed on a dusty pickup during the campaign last year stated, “I’m for Palin and the white-haired guy.”)”

    It absolutely baffles me as to why she gets such criticism.

  • CMinor: So, would you find Palin more tolerable and likeable if she was making jokes about mentally challenged children on National Television? Is that what you are saying??

  • Tom your last two comments seem odd to me. I am pretty certain that cminor was not criticizing Palin, and I do not believe that cminor made any comment in this thread that is applicable to your last comment.

  • I do not have a problem with political jokes. Period.

    I expect the late night shows to poke fun at the political class.

    I laughed when Clinton was beat every night with jokes. I laugh at those about Obama, and did so with the latest Palin ones.

    I do not think we need to have anyone say if a joke is over the line or not. Folks at home can make that decision with the remote. To be honest I did not hear about the jokes until Palin let the press release fly. Had I been watching I would have laughed and not been insulted.

    Bristol, is an adult. She is fair game. She goes on national TV for interviews and has now put herself out there.

    In a larger context, I think once Sarah Palin put her whole family `out there’ for political purposes in 2008, her son the warrior in Iraq, her troubled daughter who was pregnant, her husband who had worked with a group to have Alaska secede from the Union, then I think Sarah made them all fair game. Politics is a tough business. That is not news. Sarah however decided her goals were/are more important than that of her family.

    And NO ONE..execpt Sarah Palin when she tried to make a political point about Letterman by USING her family again in a press release….thought Letterman was talking about anyone except for Bristol Palin. NO ONE. And NO ONE thought there was any rape at all in the joke. NO ONE…except Sarah Palin who wanted some press……at her family’s expense.

    Sarah Palin uses her family, and then some conservatives get all excited because she gets what she wants with the media hype.

    Sarah can not have it both ways.

    So in conclusion…….

    Listen to the Letterman joke then…..

    Read the Palin press release….

    Since there was no mention of the 14 year old in the joke….

    But there was mention of the 14 year old in the press release…..

    Ask yourself who is really to blame for this whole affair.

  • “Ask yourself who is really to blame for this whole affair.”

    An idiot fading comedian who gets cheap laughs attacking the teenage daughters of a politician he despises in order to hang on to his moment in the spotlight, and people sick enough to think the hatred disguised as humor is funny.

  • I also love the comments blaming Palin for “putting her kids in the spotlight.” As if Andrew Sullivan hadn’t spent months sickly obessessing about who Trig’s “real” mother was. As if the Palin family wasn’t trashed mercilessly by the media from the second they appeared at the GOP convention. Obama and Biden had their children onstage at the conventions too, but only conservative Republicans “exploit” their children, it seems.

    Now Palin has found she can’t even take her daughter to a sports event in New York without being slimed. I’m convinced that liberal hatred of Palin’s pro-life views is at the heart of this. Palin committed the unforgivable sin of giving birth to a Downs syndrome child. Her daughter had an out-of-wedlock baby instead of an abortion. For that the Palins must be ridiculed endlessly, months after the election.

  • Having been brought up in the television days of Jack Benny and Bob Hope and such good comedians, I think I am missing a point. Was Mr. Letterman’s crude remark about an 18 year old girl a joke?

  • Willow was the one at the game, not Bristol. So the comment was directed at her. Not that the same joke leveled at an 18 year woman is somehow OK. Actually, if I were A-Rod, I’d also be offended at the insinuation that I’d molest a 14 year old if given the chance.

    In the meantime, I’ve somehow missed Letterman’s “edgy” jokes about Biden’s kid with the drug addiction. (And yes, I thought Limbaugh’s joke about Chelsea’s looks was mean and uncalled for.)

    Even NOW, an organization with little love for Palin, has criticized Letterman. But those whose partisanship has dulled their sense of decency will go on excusing that unfunny old has-been.

  • Donna V:
    I believe that you nailed it – Palin’s pro-life stand is what the libs truly hate.

  • This is just absurd. It was not a joke, it was an obscene smear. It was not political, it was personal.

    Look how far we have come from the days when insulting a young girl or a woman’s honor was completely forbidden and was likely to get the offender disgraced, discredited, lights punched out and quite often shot…. Hey, there’s an idea. Dave vs. Todd? Hah… that’s not even fair, how about Dave vs. Sarah? What’s your pleasure? Fisticuffs? Pistols at 10 paces? leg wrestling? It wouldn’t really matter…same result. Sarah Palin 1 – Dave Letterman 0.

  • Eric,

    I said “most” liberals, not “all” liberals don’t have a sense of humor.

    Deke,

    Of course you would defend a 60+ year old man in making disgusting jokes about a 14 year girl being raped. You’re part of the problem.

  • Michael,

    I don’t listen to Rush and I don’t bother with him.

    Besides, when he made those Chelsea comments this website wasn’t in existence.

  • That’s still quite a broad generalization, unfair, and I’m not even sure on what the assumption is based upon.

    I surely wouldn’t say *all* conservatives don’t care for the poor. I wouldn’t think saying *most* conservatives would make it any better.

    The problem isn’t the joke–I agree with you. I am just saddened that everything takes a liberal-conservative divide when it’s unnecessary. David Letterman may be “liberal,” but I’m not sure if that subscribes every “liberal” to his specific views or brand of humor.

    I actually use the term “conservative” to describe myself. I might add (and I frequently do) that Rush Limbaugh doesn’t speak for me.

    So instead of this being a matter solely focus on the incident–which should not have happened; it took a political spin and pit liberals against conservatives, which I find to be unnecessary.

  • Eric,

    I’ve based it on my personal experience in my engagement with my liberal friends. I have been viciously attacked for clean jokes toward liberal politicians.

    I do I understand where you are coming from, but my personal experience has shown otherwise, I leave my posting as is.

    Sadly, most liberals do not have a sense of humor.

  • Tito – I’m glad you don’t listen to Rush. You get a point for that. However, you also said you no longer watch Letterman. So why single him out for his supposedly “degenerate” humor and comments and say absolutely nothing when folks like Rush and Ann Coulter do the exact same thing and with more regularity? (I’m not only talking about “that Chelsea comment.”)

    I believe that you nailed it – Palin’s pro-life stand is what the libs truly hate.

    This is kind of a stupid comment. I’m pro-life. You would no doubt describe me as a “lib.” I appreciate that Sarah Palin is against abortion (I hesitate to call her “pro-life” in any meaningful sense). I and many other “libs” in fact dislike Palin for other reasons that don’t fit into your binary and abortion-obsessed views.

  • I can’t keep track of what everybody says.

    Plus I don’t recall them saying anything offensive about other politicians under-age daughters.

  • Michael: we know you have reasons of your own to hate Palin. She’s a Republican. Her son is serving in the U.S. Army (horrors!). The Palins hunt and own guns (man, how you must despise the people of your own home state then. WVA also has, I believe, one of the highest percentages of veterans in the country. I’m surprised you can bear to set foot there.)

    The pro-life Catholic left is dwarfed by the secular left (and would be tossed overboard by the secular left in a heartbeat, come the revolution). My point stands: Palin is hated by them because she is not only pro-life but has walked the walk.

  • Ann Althouse, a University of Wisconsin law professor who leans left, but is a fair-minded woman, chides Andrew Sullivan:

    Nearly all politicians display their families. Do they brandish them? Brandish means to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly/to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner. Occasionally, one reads of some criminal swinging a baby around like a cudgel, but with politicians, the displaying of the family is non-aggressive and without any weapon connotations. Obama displayed and continues to display Sasha and Malia in the conventional political way, and I’m sure Sullivan would be steamed if anyone mocked them or said anything sexual about them.

    Bristol Palin’s abstinence effort seems pretty silly to me too, but there’s no reason to view that as opening her up to all sorts of vicious mockery. She found herself in an awfully uncomfortable spot. It’s embarrassing enough for a teenager to become pregnant by accident, but to endure this in the crossfire of a political campaign had to be excruciating. But she put up with it somehow, didn’t take the out of abortion, kept smiling, and tried to turn herself into a good lesson for others. How is this sowing something that she deserves to reap?

    Or — oh — it’s Palin who reaps what she sows. Is the girl not a person worthy of any regard? What did the girl do? “Family’s off limits. You don’t talk about my family.” Obama said that. It was intended to bind his harshest opponents to a standard of behavior. Sullivan offers absolutely no reason why the same principle does not protect Palin’s family.

  • Donna V.

    I’m surprised you can bear to set foot there.

    He lives in Toronto right now, so perhaps he can’t. 😉

  • Uhhhh…TomSVDP?

    I was replying to Donald regarding the essay he linked at Protein Wisdom. That would be the one proposing that Sarah Palin’s flyover-country normality is what has her detractors in such a lather, and makes her such a hit with those of us in flyover country.

    For the record, I like and respect my redneck neighbors (husband, relatives,)very much, and would rather deal with them than with any large random sampling of inside-the-Beltway government or media types. I’m also favorably impressed with Palin.

    In any case, I would never take a permissive view of attempts at humor that demean women or the handicapped. By anyone.

    The chivalry is appreciated, Donald.

  • By the way, dekerivers,
    Do you really think that it’s funny to imply that a young woman is a slut because she imprudently succumbed to an all-too-human weakness during a time in her life not normally associated with rational judgement or long-term thinking?

    What is it about Bristol Palin’s having reached the magic age of 18 or having made a few public statements (most of which seem to have been on the theme, “Single parenting is tough, girls; don’t make the same mistake I did,”) that makes it okay to label her a scarlet woman for the purpose of humor, or any other purpose?

    You suggest that Sarah Palin “used her family” to score popularity points–did you fail to notice the Obamas trotting out their cute daughters during the campaign, or the enthusiasm of a certain McCain child for the limelight? They aren’t being ridiculed on national television.

    By your logic, no parent should run for public office, or at least no parent who holds opinions that run counter to the sacred cows of the entertainment industry.

  • Speaking of the degenerate left. Could someone PLEASE call Obama or Biden and tell them that there is a struggling democratic movement developing in Iran, and if they would only lend it moral support it may be successful. If he won’t do it for moral reasons, perhaps pragmatism. Our problems with that totalitarian regime may some day come to an end, or at least be greatly diminished if this movement were to succeed….

    so far… nothing but twiddling of thumbs from the “One”.

  • Oh know, this link below may elongate the page, I don’t like it when that happens.

    I’m forgiving but Imus got such harsh treatment and I don’t know all of the ins and outs of that.

    One advertiser is dropping Letterman’s show and a “fire Letterman” move is underway. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2009/06/15/2009-06-15_fire_david_letterman_campaign_takes_root_protest_planned_over_comment_on_sarah_p.html

  • Pingback: Letterman Apologizes, Palin Accepts « The American Catholic

29 Responses to Not Funny Mr. President

  • Good Lord, he’s like the mean kid in the schoolyard who never grew up. One wonders if he knows any special-needs kids personally–perhaps they were all “taken care of” prenatally?

  • Good point cminor. I find it hard to imagine anyone who has ever cared for someone with a serious disability even thinking of making such a joke, especially on national tv.

  • As the godfather and upcoming Confirmation sponsor of a briliant nephew with similar condition, I’m not amused either. Thanks to Anchorette for picking up. More thanks to ABC’s Jake Tapper, risking career in providing solid, no-spin coverage of Dear Leader. Still calming down from his proposal to compel wounded veterans to handle some medical expenses out of pocket. Which he quickly tabled during AIG Hate Week. Seems to be sputtering too much stuff off cuff. Teleprompter will have to talk to him about habit.

  • Wounded veterans and disabled kids. Perhaps grieving mothers are next?

  • Perhaps this is just long years experience with being intentionally un-PC, but I guess I’m not particularly shocked and offended by the remark per se. What’s appalling is that he didn’t think better than to make it on camera to a national TV host.

    If Obama had make a joke like that among friends after a few beers, I wouldn’t necessarily see it as indicative of a character flaw. But that he threw it out while trying to be funny on national TV shows a lack of class and understanding.

  • Like Darwin, I’d say it was probably imprudent because he is a public figure and was speaking before a wide audience with a range of sensibilities as it is wide. That said, as a father of a special needs child and having an appreciation for self-deprecating humor and didn’t find it offensive. To me the difference in something like that would be the overall mentality of the person making the joke. If they were a rather normal and decent person who obviously cares for others, no problem. If they’re an arrogant and mean-spirited jerk and demonstrate no compassion for others, then it’s a problem. Generally speaking, I think Obama fits the latter category, but in this particular instance, I’m not getting that he was being a mean a-hole, but just knocking himself down for amusement. Just one dork’s opinion…

  • The next time he wants to knock himself down, maybe he can leave disabled kids out of his feeble attempt at self-deprecating humor.

  • Considering his pro-abortion credentials and culture he grew up in and seeing said children as a ‘problem’ that needs to be aborted, I can completely understand his point of view since he may already consider such children as non-humans to begin with.

  • Darwin is correct, and were it not for the fact that conservatives have had their careers ended for less I’d agree wholeheartedly that a carelessly-rendered private remark should not be used to blugeon a public figure.

    It is astonishing that a man so obviously concerned with image seems to have so little awareness of other people that he tossed off the comment on national television without apparent reflection. No wonder he’s tied to the teleprompter with an umbilical cord.

    File this story under “If George Bush (or substitute conservative/Republican of choice) had said it…”

  • He apologized. So said Special Olympics Head Honcho Tim Shriver on GMA. Rival network to Tonight Show, of course. Organization founded by Teddy’s sister/Tim’s mom. Dear Leader owes the Kennedys big-time, following Teddy’s early endorsement. And not doing enough to get Caroline on the Senate. Bill just increased. Prompter probably got in his face after the taping.

  • The last time I made a crack like this, I was 12 years old. By the time I was 13, I realized that this was no longer humorous. I wonder if the president still thinks farting is funny.

  • The problem will be solved the next time around when President Obama will be interviewed on the couch with teleprompters surrounding him.

  • Look at all the trouble Jackie Mason (a night club comedian) is in for calling Obama a “schwarza” – the yiddish word for…. my goodness… he called him….”black”.

  • It was an unfortunate, insensitive gaffe. He realized his stupidity in the instance, and acted appropriately, even before the show even aired.

    I, with special needs relatives, can forgive him and will not use this incident to make sweeping evaluations about his character and moral worth.

    Tito,

    “Considering …culture he grew up in..”

    What is that supposed to mean?

  • Mark,

    Considering that many liberals do not adhere to the culture of life, they tend to abort babies that have been diagnosed as having mental disabilities. So the lack of interaction with some of God’s precious children has insulated many liberals that autistic children are people too. Hence the insensitive comments proffered by President Obama.

  • tito,

    Dig deeper.

  • Hate to do it Mr. DeFrancisis since you and I basically get along, but I had to delete your last comment.

  • “Considering that many liberals do not adhere to the culture of life…”

    Sorry. Pet peeve. Neither do conservatives.

  • Eric,

    No need to apologize.

    Conservatives do likewise, though my point was that abortion of children with mental and physical disabilities are advocated slightly more on the left than on the right.

  • Your point is true and valid in terms of what you were talking about; I absolutely agree. I was just making a clarification.

  • If this was the first insensitive remark, perhaps a pass would be in order.But I recall his snarky comment about Mrs.Reagan when he was in office for day.And he slammed the wrong person to boot.It was Hillary who was channeling.He is not ready for prime time anything,IMO.

  • Mark D.,

    I, with special needs relatives, can forgive him and will not use this incident to make sweeping evaluations about his character and moral worth.

    would you have been so forgiving if it was say, Rush Limbaugh who made such a gaff? Or GW Bush? or any other conservative? Ask yourself HONESTLY.

    Eric,

    true enough, but it’s not part of our “creed”.

  • Matt,

    I think your question may reveal quite a bit about yourself, as you seem to see the world in binary terms, and, apparently, choose to identify yourself fiercely with one side of the binary opposition.

    I have no such identifications, so deeply held.

  • The problem will be solved the next time around when President Obama will be interviewed on the couch with teleprompters surrounding him.

    Speaking of which, Tito — Neo-Neocon has a good post on ‘Obama’s teleprompter addiction’. Good reading.

  • Christopher,

    That’s some good stuff.

    Hitting the hay, need to prepare for another addicting round of the men’s college basketball tourney tomorrow!

  • Mark D,

    quack, quack.

  • “Speaking of which, Tito — Neo-Neocon has a good post on ‘Obama’s teleprompter addiction’. Good reading.”

    And chilling reading Christopher.

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