Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sykes takes on the Limbaugh

I wasn’t going to get into the whole White House correspondence dinner thing, but after reading a few articles bashing Wanda Sykes I’ve decided to give my input.

In case you haven’t heard, she made a joke about Rush Limbaugh referring to his past drug use and anti-Obama comments.

Here’s the clip:

"Rush Limbaugh, "I hope the country fails." I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a good waterboarding, that's what he needs."

As usual, the thought of anyone taking a crack at Limbaugh has people everywhere concerned about the possibility of exploding brains and bleeding ear drums.

Here’s just one example of the criticism surrounding Sykes comments, from Toby Harnden:
There's not much room for differing interpretations of what Sykes said. She called Limbaugh a terrorist and a traitor, suggested that he be tortured and wished him dead.

What was his crime? Hoping that Obama's policies - which he views as socialist - will fail. That's way, way beyond reasoned debate or comedy and Obama's reaction to it was astonishing.

Imagine if a comedian "joked" that Obama was a terrorist who was guilty of treason and should be tortured and allowed to die. There would justifiably be an outcry.

I chose this comment because it clearly shows the hypocrisy of the people defending Limbaugh. While they’re busy bashing Sykes for making incendiary remarks, they’re also rationalizing Limbaugh’s incendiary remarks (that he spews everyday to millions of people).

The pathetic part is Limbaush’s not joking when he say the things he says. Though the ants will scurry around him and try to soften his racist bigoted false comments by blaming us for being “liberally brainwashed,” that doesn’t change the fact that Limbaugh has said much worse about liberals and the Democratic Party then a few jokes from Sykes.

This is a man who claimed he was defending free speech when Don Imus was fired for calling a group of girls “nappy-headed hos.”
I want to say something for the record here, folks, on April the 12th: We conservatives are the ones standing for free speech. We conservatives are the ones standing for diversity of thought and honest communication because we are not afraid of the free flow of ideas. On Don Imus being fired (12 April 2007)

I don’t think I need to point out the double standard here.

Maybe if Sykes was a wealthy white man her comments would have been better recieved. (I don't see any David Feherty defenders standing by her "free speech" rights.)

There is just no excuse for the people who defend this man day in and day out.

And isn’t this the same party that cries about how “political correctness” is ruining this country? You’re either for free speech or you aren’t. And if you aren’t for it for even the person you hate, then you aren’t for it at all.

Out of all the comments I’ve read though, I’m most disappointed in Christopher Hitchens’.

From New York Magazine:
By the end of the night, Christopher Hitchens was of course the last man (barely) standing, and he had some choice words for the evening's headlining comedian, Wanda Sykes. "The president should be squirming in his seat. Not smiling," he said. "The black dyke got it wrong. No one told her the rules."

Even though I disagree with Hitchens on many different subjects, I’ve always respected him. But this leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

I thought this comment from one of the readers of the Tony Harnden’s article captured the moment perfectly:
A joke about Rush Limbaugh?

Oh my God!

I assume that this must be the end of Western civilisation as we knew it. Everything might be lost.

Our whole Western heritage might be lost forever.

The heritage of ancient Greek philosophy.
The heritage of the European enlightenment.
The heritage of America's founding fathers.

LOST. Forever. All of it had been in vain.

And why? Because somebody dared to laugh when someone made a joke about HIM.

Yes. About him: THE MESSIAH!

The one and only RUSH LIMBAUGH.

I think Time Magazine's Joe Klein sums up the situation nicely:

"Comedy is by definition inappropriate. I mean, this is just comedy. And we're talking about a guy in Rush Limbaugh who is inappropriate half the time I hear him on the radio."

I do want to concede a point: I agree that 9/11 isn’t something we should joke about. I also agree that her comments went a little too far, but that has nothing to do with Limbaugh. (I would feel this way no matter who Sykes was talking about.)

The most depressing part of all this is the way it’s overshadowed President Obama’s speech, which was great. He made a lot of jokes about himself and turned a lot of the silly things people say about him (in all seriousness) into jokes.

You can see it here .

I can also see Sykes whole speech here .

1 comment:

  1. I also want to point out that as usual Toby Harnden misses the point that Obama was called a terrorist. He’s only right in the sense that they weren’t joking.


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