The new Comedy Central show “Key & Peele” goes out of its way to protect President Barack Obama.
Hosts Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele deliver sketches that pump up the beleaguered president and/or trash his political opponents. Comedians used to see the president as an all-powerful leader to be brought back to earth with humor. Political satirists have been doing just that for decades.
Key even admitted “he hopes their work will help Americans better relate to the president and see ‘that he’s actually trying to help you.'”
So, instead of taking the powerful to task, the show’s hosts targeted ordinary citizens last night trying to speak out against the country’s deficit and overall direction.
This week’s new “Key & Peele” episode featured a skit where a black man whines about how much the government takes out of his paycheck. A stereotypically white man appears out of nowhere and forces him to join the Tea Party movement as the group’s first black member.
The white Tea Partiers hail his arrival, hand him a gun and force him to become the face of the movement – for political purposes, natch.
The brainless Tea Partiers rejoice, saying, “you hate the government, that’s great” and “show us your gun again.”
Meanwhile, the black character says, “look, y’all are just too creepy … you can have this back,” he says, handing them the gun he was given seconds earlier. The gun accidentally goes off, killing him.
“Great, where are we gonna find another black guy?” a woman Tea Partier asks.
The sketch hits on most of the baseless charges hurled at the nascent political movement – that the Tea Party is both racist and violent. You’d think biracial comedians would be sensitive about throwing the race card around without firm evidence.
The clip also is an insult to first-term Republican Congressman Allan West, a Tea party favorite who happens to be black. And lest we forget the Tea Party also rallied behind Herman Cain before the erstwhile pizza magnate’s campaign imploded.
The uncivil, law-breaking Occupy Wall Street throng is overwhelmingly white, too, yet the racist and violent labels were never affixed to it by mainstream press outlets or comedians.
Just to be clear – “Key & Peele” is doing its very best to coddle the president while unfairly attacking everyday citizens speaking out about his policies.
There’s nothing funny about that.