Late Night Propaganda

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Last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC.  As she walked onstage the pathetically unfunny comedy show – Fallon is so horrifically unfunny that he uncomfortably laughs at his own jokes onstage – the house band, The Roots, played “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.”  Bachmann didn’t catch it.  The Media Research Center and John Nolte at Big Hollywood did.  And it’s reprehensible.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, a member of the band (his moniker was likely garnered when his parents watched Dragon Quest and Love Story back to back), released a statement: “The performance was a tongue-in-cheek and spur of the moment decision. The show was not aware of it and I feel bad if her feelings were hurt.  That was not my intention.”

Seriously?  Not his intention?  Of course that was his intention.  Would he have played that song for Michelle Obama, who received scads of media sympathy when she was booed at a NASCAR event?  Or Hillary Clinton, who, if anyone, could accurately be labeled “lyin’ ass”?  Or how about Janet Napolitano, who spent this week using the Department of Homeland Security to warn Americans of the evils of turkey frying?

But those women are Democrats.  Bachmann is a Republican, and therefore cannon fodder for the idiotic musician, who has spent his life hanging out with racist Nation of Islam colleagues and tweeting idiocies like this one, in the aftermath of the killing of Osama Bin Laden: “I hope those rejoicing can hear O’s words that to engage in anti Islam/Muslim rhetoric is missing the point.”  Questlove, by the way, affixes to his Twitter account a photoshopped picture of himself standing next to Obama.

Jimmy Fallon apologized on Twitter for the debacle, stating, “I’m honored that @MicheleBachmann was on our show yesterday and I’m so sorry about the intro mess.  I really hope she comes back.”  He could ensure she comes back by canning this Questlove character.  But he won’t do that, lest he be seen as racist.  In the television world, it’s one thing to let a musician belittle a major American female politician in a blatantly sexist way.  It’s another thing to fire a black guy for doing the belittling.

But this is how it works in the world of late night.  The last election cycle saw the late night hosts go into overdrive for the Obama election campaign.  Between January 1, 2008 and July 31, 2008, the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and David Letterman made a grand total of 169 jokes about Obama, compared with 428 about Bush and 328 about McCain.  Comedy Central comedians were more even – Colbert made 129 jokes about McCain to 91 for Obama, and Stewart made more jokes about Obama than McCain, although the vast majority of jokes about Obama were fawning compliments and the vast majority about McCain were brutal slams.

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  • Herman Caintonette

    Benji is a real Shill, man.

    Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich and Cain are God's gift to comedians, and Sarah Palin has devolved into a caricature of herself. Republicans are easier to make fun of on account of their relentless hypocrisy, as exemplified by the revelation that Gingrich took 1.6-1.8 million from Freddie Mac whilst complaining that Barney Frank should be prosecuted. Comedians love low-hanging fruit.

    There is nothing like watching the old Dennis Miller excoriate the new Dennis Miller, who is about as funny today as Cream of Wheat.

    • stern

      this poster is a vile anti-Semite. The only way to rid these pages of this virus is to ignore it completely. Please do not engage.

      On Nov 15, the following comment was posted on these pages by Herman Caintonette:

      “[Palestinians] deserve to have a state on the land that was stolen from them. If killing Jewish kids aids in this endeavor, morally speaking, they are legitimate targets. "By any means necessary," intoned Malcolm X.”

      • Herman Caintonette

        Again, I am merely applying the moral code of the Jewish god to the facts at hand. It sticks in your craw, to the point where all you can do is repeat this calumnous canard.

        • לוחם נגד המנוולים

          Vile Jew-hater, a walking piece of feces with legs sticking out.

    • mrbean

      Your heroine, the post menopausal hag Hillary Clinton would rate Jimmy Buffet's A$$hole song.

  • DogWithoutSlippers

    In the world of "live" comedy no one said anything negative about Obama for a couple of years. Then the jokes started to slip in and people began to laugh – it was like they couldn't before – that they were not allowed! Now if a comic comes on stage lauding Obama it is generally met with a wall of sighs or silence!

    • filmklassik

      Nah. I wish to hell that was true, but it isn't.

  • WildJew

    If Ahmir has spent his life hanging out with racist Nation of Islam colleagues; if he has sympathies for the late Osama bin Laden and Barack Hussein Obama, who Bachmann rightly said "may have anti-American views" (do you think?), it is unsurprising that he despises Michele Bachmann who, when asked about the Muslim riots in France said, "Not all cultures are equal, not all values are equal…." Indeed.

    • filmklassik

      First I've heard about Fallon's bandleader having "Nation of Islam" colleagues. The shameless left-wing bias exhibited by most of the members of the media truly sickens me.

      I've been feeling more and more depressed lately…

  • davarino

    Not long ago some lefties were complaining that the media was run by conservatives. That some how Fox was controlling how news was reported in all of media. Now thats funny stuff right there.

    Its funny, when I was a child we learned about the Soviet Union and how they had Pravda, which was blatant propaganda. At the time we were prowd that America had an unbiased media. We were ignorant then, and you would be blatantly wrong now if you believe we have an unbiased media today. When I was a child it puzzled me how all the network news channels were reporting on the same things at the same time. Today they are not so blatant. Today they are more like snake charmers, lulling the people to sleep with half truths and misdirection.

    • dan

      Yeah, me too. As a teenager I learned that Pravda translated as "Truth" and the other Soviet news organ, Izvestia, translated as "News". And it was commonly said that in the Soviet Union/Russia the Russians themselves said that in Pravda there is no truth and in Izvestia there is no news. Perhaps in our networks (NBC, ABC, CBS) there is no reverence for that which is of our Nation, American, and for Columbia (a poetic name for the Americas, and the feminine personification of the United States of America). All thanks to New York, Hollywood, and the District of Columbia.

      • PassionTea

        Good usage of Columbia. Imma dream 'bout her while I grip my guns and bible in fear of what dem coastal elites are gonna do to my precious.

  • Questions

    People in this country are remarkably capable of forming their own opinions. Some turn out to be liberals. It happens. But it's not because they're "brainwashed" by the networks or Hollywood.

    • stern

      Nope, it's because they prefer to remain blind to reality. Life is so much easier when you kid yourself into thinking everyone loves everyone else.

  • parabolic

    Shapiro attributes the late-night joke tally to politics. But isn't it possible, perhaps likely, that it is simply easier to make jokes about Bush and McCain?

    • tanstaafl

      "continuing his apology tour, President Obama apologized to both Germany and Japan for the United States' role in spoiling their attempts at world conquest."

    • filmklassik

      Agreed parabolic that it is MUCH easier to make jokes about Bush and McCain and also Palin and Bachman, too. The reason being is that none of them are the first black President.

      Let's face it — it is very difficult for American Liberals to make hard-hitting, go-for-the-jugular cracks about Obama without feeling queasy afterward. Gentle, affectionate ribbing is usually all they are willing to venture with him.

  • NotaBene

    Show business is, as the name implies, a business. if you could find conservative comedians that people liked to watch, they'd have careers. 1/2 News Hour anyone? Oh yeah, it tanked – on Fox, so you can't claim it was 'set up' somehow.

    For whatever reason conservatives just aren't funny. If you think I'm wrong, please name some. There's jackie Mason, PJ O'Rourke, and, uh…Dennis Miller. None of those guys have made anyone laugh since 1991 at the latest.

    I thought you people believed in the market…

    • NotaBene

      'name some' as in 'name some conservatives who are funny', that is.

      • JoJoJams

        Bill Cosby

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,there are some. You've just mentioned one of them,Dennis Miller. Maybe you should buy yourself a sense of humor,NotaBene. It would work wonders for you.

    • NotaBene

      If you think Dennis Miller is funny you probably think raw sewage is delicious.

      So what do you recommend? Affirmative action for unfunny right-wing comedians?

  • MaoYing

    I wonder if they would have played the same song if Michelle Obama was the guest on the show. You see, late night shows must always be sensitive-to-the-needs of minorities that are guests on the show. Anything less than total loving care and total sensitivity would offend such minorities that are guests on late night shows, and if that should happen, then cries of racism would spring up all over TV land and everybody who is anybody on TV would be running for cover with Jimmy Fallon leading the way. Chasing after them would be all the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world that had come out of the woodwork to hunt them down and make them "pay". So, it seems there would be no way the same song would have been played for Michelle Obama. She deserves total sensitivity from TV land just as she does from all of government and society.

  • Hamzie

    Its sad that bulling and insulting behaviour is viewed as entertainment

  • tagalog

    Do you think that the next time President Obama makes a public appearance, the band might play the old Harry Nillson song that has a line in it that goes, "You're breaking my heart, you're tearing it apart, so f**k you!"

  • J Tariq

    Hey buddy it sounds like you’re really upset! Have you ever listened to Michelle Bachmann, does she not lie? Have you ever watched the keeping them honest portion of King’s CNN show? I loved the intro, it was truly befitting for her.

    • PatrioticUSGlory

      Bachmann has made mistakes, as conclusively proven by the fact she provides sources, however right or wrong they might be. I see no evidence of lying. But I see your agenda quite clearly, Tariq. Work on your own honesty, sir.

  • Andrew

    I would have appreciated if the author had identified the "enemies" — to whom he refers in the last line of the article — as "tolerance, free speech, free markets, limited government, fiscal responsibility, family-friendly values, personal responsibility, conservative women in particular, conservative Blacks in particular, capitalism, Christians, the wealthy and conservatives in general." Since I believe those are indeed their enemies.

    • BreathOfFreshAir

      Add "hygiene" and "good taste" to that list.