The shingle on Howard Kurtz’s office reads “media critic,” but these days “palace guard” is a more accurate moniker.
Kurtz, who toils for both the liberal Daily Beast and left-leaning CNN, is defending today’s comedian class for dereliction of duties. Namely, comics like David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and the folks at “Saturday Night Live” just can’t find much funny about President Barack Obama.
Now, let me go out on a limb and say I don’t think these hosts are politically biased — well, I’d make an exception for Dave, he is leaning left these days. No wonder Romney won’t go on his show. But as far as the others, Obama is just not that easy to ridicule. Saturday Night Live has tried two impersonators, and still hasn’t nailed him. Whereas jokes about a rich guy with a 1950s lingo — well, gosh, golly, gee whiz, isn’t that hard to make people laugh. Keep this in mind, the fourth most joked about politician in the study, after all these years, is that man of outsized appetites, Bill Clinton.
Kurtz is right about the Clinton jokes, but this is a different time and most certainly a different president. Today’s comedians are keenly aware of the power of their gags, witness how Tina Fey tag-teamed with a biased mainstream press to marginalize Sarah Palin four years ago.
And just ask Jay Leno if Obama is hard to mock. The “Tonight Show” host has been having a field day at Obama’s expense of late.