The President of Hollywood

12647794-essayThere was a time when the artistic community felt an obligation to speak truth to power. It was called the Bush years. Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner back in 2006, and proceeded to blast President George W. Bush repeatedly, suggesting that “reality has a well-known liberal bias,” that Bush was responsible for “the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world,” and that the administration was “rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!” For such quips, the media quickly labeled him a hero; his media admirers actually blasted other media members for not giving him enough plaudits. Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin slammed what he called the “Colbert Blackout,” referring to the media’s non-coverage of Colbert’s remarks. Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism professor Todd Gitlin called the performance “absolutely devastating.” New York magazine called it “brilliant.” New York Times columnist Frank Rich called it a “defining moment” in the 2006 midterm elections.

Now, however, Barack Obama is president. And that means that no one will have the gall to either pan his performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner or make jokes about his performance as president. The left got Stephen Colbert during the Bush years. The right got Conan O’Brien planting a sloppy kiss on Obama’s posterior last weekend.

Never mind that Obama left himself wide open for some kill shots. The overweeningly arrogant president opened by hopping onstage to DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win,” then celebrated himself from the first word: “How do you like my new entrance music? Rush Limbaugh warned you about this – second term, baby.” He added, “Actually, my advisors were a little worried about the new rap entrance music. They are a little more traditional. They suggested that I should start with some jokes at my own expense, just take myself down a peg.  I was like, guys, after four and a half years, how many pegs are there left?” Then he attacked the media: “The fact is I really do respect the press.  I recognize that the press and I have different jobs to do. My job is to be President; your job is to keep me humble.  Frankly, I think I’m doing my job better.”

So naturally, when Conan got his shot, he promptly pulled his punches.

“It’s no surprise Speaker [John] Boehner isn’t here tonight,” he joked, noting that Boehner and Obama don’t get along. “It’s kinda like a blind date between Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow. In theory, they understand each others’ positions, but deep down, you know nothing’s ever going to happen.” He blasted Bob Woodward, the famed journalist who had the temerity to question the White House’s bully tactics: “Earlier the waiter asked if he wanted regular or decaf. And he said, ‘Stop threatening me.’” O’Brien’s hardest-hitting joke directed at the president was a looping eephus pitch: “The president is hard at work creating jobs.  Since he was first elected, the number of popes has doubled. The number of ‘Tonight Show’ hosts has tripled. Congratulations.”

And that was about as hard-hitting as Conan’s humor got. “It’s been several months since you were reelected, sir, so I’m curious, why are you still sending everyone five emails a day asking for more money?” he jibed. “You won. Do you have a gambling problem we don’t know about?”

There were weak jokes about Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, Vice President Joe Biden, and Twitter. But nothing cutting about the president.

Perhaps that’s appropriate. But the press wouldn’t have lauded Colbert for doing the same with President Bush.

After the Correspondents’ Dinner, O’Brien stopped by the White House to stand behind the press secretary’s podium. That prompted the Deadline Hollywood team to remark, “Conan O’Brien Pretends To Be Obama Press Secretary for the Day.” But he’d already done that. After all, most of Hollywood is an Obama press office at this point.

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  • AdinaK

    Indeed, Obama Inc is more in tune with Hollywood than any segment of American society, as they reflect the leftist mindset to a tee ( in tandem with academia & media surrogates).

    But the nexus between Obama Inc and Hollywood runs even deeper, even to the point of "supervising" a major Hollywood production –

    Say what?

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • Mary Sue

    Him and Clinton both were "celebrity Presidents"

  • Ipso Facto

    Clinton Irrumator & Obama Metropoliculo

  • willy nilly

    morbosi pariter, uno in lecticulo

  • festus magill

    The wrong man for the job!

  • Asher

    He is unrecognizable as a President of the United States…something evil this way comes!

  • Educated person

    George W. Bush (and his henchman, Dick Cheney) lied us into a war (ignoring the Downing Street memo and other good intelligence that showed no WMDs)that cost several thousand American lives, over 100,000 Iraqi lives, and almost a trillion dollars, and all this money to pay for the war was kept off the books–it wasn't part of any budget. George W. Bush was responsible for the deficit that the Republicans are so so worried about now–but couldn't be bothered with even thinking about back when they got to sponsor mayhem with their friends at Blackwater and Halliburton, lining their pockets with the spoils from this bogus war (no WMDs were ever found, and now Bush is trying to re-write the pretext for the war as an effort to rid the world of evil dictator Sadam Hussein, nice try Bush Presidential Library).

    • Maxie

      How about filling us in on where all that Iraqi oil went? You know, the oil that Cheney, Halliburton and Bush were going reap from the war? The "spoils" they lined their pockets with? Details please.

    • Lady_Dr

      First of all there was intelligence from the British and others that Sadam had WMD. The 100,000 Iraqi lives theory was disproved years ago. What were we suppose to do after 9/11? To paraphrase Churchill "the Arab is at your throat, or at your feet."

      As to the deficit problem that was caused by such things as the "Senator from Country Wide (Dodd who got sweetheart deals from them), Barney Frank (chair of the banking committee who said that Freddie and Fanny were sound and furthermore refused to do anything about the economy for years – he was making too much money from things as they were), Pres. Carter decided to force banks to give home loans to those who could not afford them, then Clinton put the program on steroids so that it was possible to borrow 100% for a home loan even if you were on welfare. The GOP aren't saints but frankly most of this problem was caused by members of the DNC who just want to spend and tax.

      And by the way the Bushes are Republican, they are NOT conservatives.

  • Educated person

    Remember the SURPLUS left by Clinton? Remember stealing the election in 2000 (Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor now says that taking the Bush v. Gore case was a mistake by the Supreme Court and that the recount should have been allowed to continue, and after irregularities in voting machines in Volusia and Pinellas Counties, as well as the famous butterfly ballot in Palm Beach, where 80 year old Jewish Holocaust Survivors really meant to cast their ballots for Holocaust denier and anti-semite Pat Buchanan?, Gore would have won, and we wouldn't have had this mess–the war, the deficits, etc., and maybe we might even have a rational, science-based society, where global climate change could finally be addressed–(we're at the tipping point folks–praying to Jesus will not stop future Hurricane Sandy type storms, but stopping the use of oil and coal, and stopping the XL pipeline and other environmentally disastrous projects will).

    • FightForFreedom

      You are literally too stupid to insult

    • Mary Sue

      Remember the REPUBLICAN CONGRESS that took power in 1994?

  • Educated person

    THERE SHOULD NOT BE EQUIVALENCY BETWEEN THE POLICIES OF BUSH AND THE POLICIES OF OBAMA. I will give you Guantanamo, lessened civil liberties throiugh use of wiretaps, and the drone program, as Obama mistakes, but don't try to tell me that these are equivalent to Bush's costly (people and treasure) and illegitamate war, corporate socialism, tax cuts for the rich while the poor pay a larger percentage of their income in payroll and other taxes, the attempt to privatize Social Security & tie it to the stock market, Hurricane Katrina/ the lack of Federal Government response, so that you can then say that government never helps anything, (Ronald Reagan's so-called most dangerous words ever spoken–"I'm from the government and I'm here to help") and that we should shrink it to the point where we can drown it in a bathtub (Grover Nordquist), the concerted attempts to rig elections in this country, (rigging electronic voting machines/ laws to suppress the Democratic vote, etc. There is no equivalency in policy blunders, and therefore there can be no equivalency between Conan's rant, and the pointed and telling rant of Colbert's in 2006.

    • Mary Sue

      Um, stupid people getting an education does not make them smart.

  • Educated person

    There is no equivalency between the attrocious policies and actions of the Bush Administration and the policies of Obama. I will give you drones, Guantanamo and the Patriot Act, but this pales in comparison to 9/11–yes friends, George W. Bush was President then (and was warned by Condoleeza Rice that Bin Laden was intent to strike inside the US) the Iraq War–the wrong war–really payback for Daddy Bush not going all the way to Baghdad, Hurricane Katrina, stealing Ohio on 2004 and the Presidential Election a second time (with help from voting machine companies), attempt to privatize Social Security and tie it to stock market, etc., dismantling of environmental laws, banks and brokerage houses all allowed to be too big to fail, No Child Left Behind, etc. That is why Conan's rant can't compare to Colbert's rant in 2006–not the "link to the Hollywood crowd" that you'll insist upon.

    • Mr. Rational

      I haven't heard such a breathless stream of nonsense since Obama's last press conference. So many conspiracies and so little space! I used to enjoy Colbert on the Daily Show. Since he left and went on his own, it has been such a disappointment. It is at least clear that the Bush administration had the nerve to avoid getting a panting lapdog as a host to play to a roomful of fawning sycophants.

  • pavs avail

    What's with the Bush bashing ?He at least had lineage,and cultural diginaty this adminstration Leader is void of (the only redeeming quality the obamanation debacle has ) he makes trailer trash look good…And the idiot hype on Katerina( it was a democratic Gov.failure)…….oh how we forget ( and lets all reme"mber we no longer have Sadam the evil one(who used germ warfare,and mustard gas against his own people)" (W of M-D)"those same wepons transported to Syria..(remember)!..Why do we forget the "The ancient Watermen of the Ufraties"saved and there waterways re/established by Mr B…(His first renewal project in Iraq)…." We also forgave Sadam for all the damage done in Kawait the oil field fires"thousand of deliberate destructive fire"environmental damage beyond belief ……un/enformed liberal fools…… will get what you have sown (The massive spread of The Arab spring)…By our muslim leader………

  • Tracy

    This global situation is equivalent to a nightmarish soap opera. It has so many factors,cultures and religions that nobody knows the truth anymore.I was reading about Bush.v. Obama and they are saying that Obama is worst the Bush so far as whistle blowers, assassinations,secrecy yada,yada yada.

  • Tracy

    What we need to do is if we are not going to prosecute the 3 musketeers (Bush,Cheney,and rummy)get THEIR money they received for this bogus war and decrease the deficit.The rich are getting more money and the have-nots are getting the shaft.How come nobody tried to assassinate them? because their last names are not Lincoln,Kennedy, or King.

  • Educated person

    Hey pavs avail -your remarks are just so wrong, mean spirited and inaccurate. You think that because someone comes from money that that makes them have dignity? You call fake flying a plane onto an aircraft carrier in a flight suit and cod piece with a lie in the form of a Mission Accomplished banner waiving in the background while you use military personnel as props dignified?–especially when the mission wasn't accomplished and the "Iraq will be a cakewalk" argument by Bush administration advisors was so woefully wrong, leading to the deaths of thousands of Americans and other people. That's real dignified!–Katrina was "heck of a job Brownie" 's fault, not at the state level–wrong again. Sadam was evil, but that was not what we were told was the reason to invade Iraq–it was WMDs, and that was a lie–no "mushroom cloud" as Bush and Rice claimed. The Iraq war was about oil pipelines and control of oil revenues, period. Now you righties can't wait to aid the Syrian rebels–well guess what–many of them are Hezzballah, and Muslim Brotherhood types who hate us and Israel. Think about that.

    • Mary Sue

      Katrina was the Governor's AND the Mayor's fault! "School Bus" Nagin REFUSED to evacuate people on school buses that could have got people out; he insisted on waiting for top of the line luxury Greyhound buses that never came.

      The WMD Was NOT a lie. WHere do you think Bashir Assad GOT the Chem weapons HE'S BEEN USING?! They were trucked into Syria in the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq!

      Oil Pipelines? Oil Revenues? WRONG. They're not getting s*** out of Iraq right now.

  • Educated person

    Mr. Rational–everything I've said can be documented.
    You must be watching Faux News, and getting your "facts" from them. I'm sorry that you have bought into all of their irrational pablum–they are simply the press division of the GOP, not independent journalists who think critically and objectively, and report the truth–that's why Karl Rove couldn't believe that Ohio went for Obama in 2012–he had drunk the Kool-Aid from Dick Morris and others at FOX.

    • Mary Sue

      and you drank the kool-aid from Saul Alinsky, Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, et al. PMS-NBC, See-BS, ABC, CNN are all press divisions of the Democrat Party. None of those journalists there, nor at the NY Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, etc, are independent thinkers who think critically or objectively.

      BTW the definition of "critical thinking" is NOT 'accept the left wing Democrat Party Line without Question."

    • Mr. Rational

      Of the articles contained in Bush's request for authorization from Congress, only 2 out of (I believe) 11 mentioned WMD at all. The others pertained to Hussein's ruthless acquisition of power and danger to the region. EVERYONE agreed at the time, including John Kerry, the Clintons, the key Democrats in Congress, Mubarek, etc. Since they then voted in favor repeatedly, the consensus was quite clear. The turning point was Bush's address to the UN, where he asked the delegates what the point of the organization was if they made positon statements which everyone totally ignored. BTW, a reference to CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and the New York Times as critical independent journalists can only come from someone out of touch with reality. Enjoy the kool-aid!

    • Maxie

      "everything I've said can be documented. "
      Then quote VERBATIM the "lie" or "lies" you accuse Bush of having said. You know what verbatim means don't you? I didn't think so.
      Anyway, good work deflecting criticism away from Obysmal's failure in Benghazi.

  • Elliott

    Saddam Hussein didn't have any WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction)??????
    He fired 39 Scuds (WMDs to you, Mr/Ms Educated) at Israel during the 1991 "Gulf War", after he invaded Kuwait.
    A Scud missile has only one purpose, AND IT AIN'T MILITARY.
    It IS to strike TERROR into those on the receiving end. It worked, I was on the receiving end.
    I thank God that I, my wife and my children (aged 12 down to 6) are still here.
    Are you suggesting that after 1991, he destroyed all his long-range terror weapons?
    If so, please add another few (hundred?) lines explaining how!!!!!!!!!
    Otherwise, leave room for some meaningful comments.
    Yours really are a waste of space

  • Elliott

    In my first comment, above, the ages of my children are correct for January 1991.
    Within three days of the war (to free Kuwait from under Saddam's Jack-boot) starting I was called-up by the Army, and spent 3.5 weeks being on-hand, in one of the large hospitals in Israel, to assist any wounded in the event of chemical attacks.
    Are you now going to tell us that Saddam Hussein didn't have any chemical weapons??????
    Difficult, because he'd already used them against his own citizens.
    Please check your facts before you submit comments to this sight.
    It's aimed at people who aren't afraid of the truth

  • Elliott

    Sorry "site" not "sight".
    Didn't see that one until after posting.
    Good night all.
    You too, Edu Per

  • Educated person

    We were told that: " The US cannot wait for final proof "in the form of a mushroom cloud". In case you don't know this, a mushroom cloud is the result of a NUCLEAR explosion, not the explosion of Scud missiles. I feel for you and your family and what you had to go through, and I too have friends that lived in Israel during that time and were traumatized by the air raid horns and need to use bomb shelters, but please don't confuse your personal experience (and the experience of others in Israel with Scud missiles) with the actual pretext given to Congress, the U.N. and the American people for invading Iraq as a knee-jerk, hawkish, and unwarranted response to 9/11. Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were enemies. Yes, both were evil, but aren't we supposed to strike at the actual perpetrator of these terrorists acts in the US instead of trumping up non-existant "evidence" and ignoring the facts (The Downing Street Memo and General Eric Shinseki who knew that any Iraq war would involve many more Americans giving their lives and much more of our country's treasure than we were told about).

    • Mary Sue

      You know, hydrogen bombs make a Mushroom cloud, too.

  • Educated person

    To Elliott, continued–

    You don't just strike out blindly at anyone to avenge the deaths of those who died on 9/11–you go after the guy who did it–which is what President Obama did. Let's thank him for getting it right, instead of simply looking for more excuses to go to War perpetually (John McCain, Lindsay Graham, et al).(re" Sarin gas used in Syria.) Remember what I said above, the rebels in Syria include enemies of Israel and the US–to arm them is tricky at best, and deadly for Israel at worst.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Yep. First Black Woman MOOchelle Obama … a Barrel of YUCK-IES.

  • BLJ

    Obama is a tool.

    • Softly Bob

      No, tools are useful.

  • Douglas

    I would not waste my time with people who are bringing up the, "Bush lied" mantra. They are the hysterical types who simply can't move on and see this country reacted to the non-conservative policies of Bush by electing the least capable person ever to the office of presidency. The elite power structure has so much invested in the hope of a person of color that they simply cannot allow his failure no matter what the facts say.

    Speaking to one family democrat I asked, "what would you do if Obama started actively executing people." Their answer, "they probably deserved it."

    I am certain I am speaking to the choir here, but liberals are the most hate filled anti-liberal,(in the true sense of the word), people you will ever read. To read a good article on this, check out Takimags lead articles today.

    Whatever happened to the, "fight the power" types? The power now rests with the uber funded democrats with money coming from Hollywood, Soros, Buffet, Gates, etc…

  • Educated person

    Dear Douglas–
    Yes, Bush lied and is guilty of war crimes for torture, ditto Cheney. Remember the "Torture Memos" a.k.a. the Bybee Memo, authored by John Yoo, and signed off on by Jay Bybee, justifying Abu Ghraib? Democrats are "hate filled"? That's why Republicans want undocumented people to "self-deport", and why they can't wait to back the death salesmen of the NRA (who mostly represent gun manufacturers),haters all, and use the sequester to hurt people who need the government's help with paying for chemotherapy, etc., but make sure the air traffic controllers they need to get out of Washington, D.C. after stonewalling Obama aren't affected,

  • Educated person

    You GOPers claim to hate "big government" and want it out of our lives, but you have no problem passing Draconian trans-vaginal ultrasound laws to restrict a woman's right to choose ("they can turn away from the monitor"-Republican Governor Tom Corbett of PA), and try to prevent a brain dead woman from dying with dignity and without the government inserting itself in the process, and pass voting laws so strict that people who have an absolute right to vote are barred from doing so because of your added red tape that you claim to hate,all in an effort to steal elections, or try to get rid of Medicare Social Security and Obamacare. All of these Republican initiatives are not "hate filled"? Get your facts straight and then we can have a discussion, meanwhile I don't think that I want to waste my time with you.

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    The President of Hollywood
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