Among our President Incarnates various witticisms at tonights White House Correspondents dinner was this gem:
The Jonas Brothers are here; theyre out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans; but boys, dont get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think Im joking?
I think jokes about murder would be in better taste if they werent coming from an actual murderer. But hey, if Pakistani children are fair game for Obamas predator drones, why not the Jonas Brothers?
This is the same kind of moral imbecility that our previous president displayed when he mugged for cameras while pretending to search for WMDs in the Oval Office, thus making light of his fraudulent pretext for a war in which thousands of Iraqis and Americans have pointlessly died.
Well, I guess you can call that continuity of government ….
Good commentary, Roderick. Of course the whole event disgusts me. The power elite gets together with with the court scribes for a night of drink and merriment. Back when I was a reporter in Delaware I refused to participate in similar events staged by the governor.
Court scribes indeed, you must have been a unique sort of journalist if you weren’t “stenographers for the powerful” as most reporters seem to be now.
I expect the amoral sociopath in power to be so sick, but what bothers me most is that information flow is heavily dependent on the people to whom the joke was told. The connection between this atmosphere and the ambiguous narratives on drones, airstrikes, extrajudicial assassinations, McChyrstal’s night raids is pretty clear: to desensitize us into consent, this is how they’re worked–by bringing in the clown from Ivy League.
A similar reaction.
I for one do not think he was joking.
That joke: Dude Not Funny+Totally Radical (the Jonas Brothers are so 2008!) = Dethroning Moment of Suck.
I recently watched the movie Hearts and Minds. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, there’s a scene in which Nixon, in a tux, is standing at a lecturn telling lame jokes (I’m assuming it was a correspondents’ dinner, or something like it), and this is juxtaposed with a scene of a Vietnamese man anguishing over the death of his kids from an American bomb and saying things like “What have I done to Nixon?” It’s chilling. To Nixon’s credit, though, he didn’t make any jokes about indiscriminately bombing villagers in Vietnam–instead he tried to rationalize it (he seemed to be referring to a specific bombing campaign) with the “it was the hardest decision I had to make as president” line. So apparently Obama has fewer qualms than Richard M. Nixon did about killing innocent foreigners.
I think you bring up a good point Joe. Perhaps back then the people were not so drugged out or perhaps simply more rational. In any case the joking about serious matters of life and death coming from a President of the United States of America proves that government out of control and drunk with power. Just like the last one.
Tonight Olbermann actually suggested — very mildly — that the predator drones jokes might have been inappropriate. But he quickly allowed his guest to josh him out of it.
The real question for me is, how is it that evidence of corruption, deceit and crimes continue to be broadcast right in everyone’s faces but the majority of people can’t seem to do anything about it? Or worse, a week later and it’s “old news” or forgotten?
It’s seriously beginning to feel like everyone is walking around on some new drug and hypnosis combo.
The only venting seems to be taking place on the Internet, like this blog, which I’m glad to read but still, why don’t the people seem to have any control anymore?
Stockholm Syndrome? It’s frightening for people to think that the system that rules them and on which they’re dependent s seriously evil.
Of course, a lot of people in the 60s seem to have experienced that insight as liberating rather than frightening (because it also means you have no obligation to obey them). What determines which reaction predominates? Beats me. (Some would say it’s that four-generation cycle; I don’t know.)