Wednesday, March 12, 2008


[Updated below.]

*Pleasure at the misfortune of Eliot Spitzer

Returning to a theme we've explored before: Conservatives can't do satire well because they can't distinguish it from mean-spirited wish-fulfillment.

Case in point: The fall of Eliot Spitzer. Don't expect to find a lot of "There but for the grace of God go I" humor from the right-wing media over this. Expect instead a lot of "Forget about us! Look at him!" chortling. Conservative humor will never advance beyond the larval stage until it can say, "Whew--glad to see someone besides us making idiotic mistakes like that."

Consider the treatment Spitzer's story got on "The Daily Show" last night. You can tell it's "liberal" humor, but certainly not by its choice of targets, which is fairly ecumenical. The giveaway is its stance and tone.

And they don't let up in the next segment--if anything, they twist the knife harder.

Name-calling without even a glimmer of self-awareness isn't satire; it's just name-calling.

By the way: If that is in fact Samantha Bee's husband in that second clip--and I'm betting it is--then I must grudgingly concede that he is indeed worthy of her. Not every husband would submit to the indignity of that sketch just so his wife could skewer a shortly-to-resign state governor.

And what the hell: La Bee is just so damned funny when she's deadpan, let's watch one of her all-time triumphs, even though it isn't on-topic.

(And for anyone who's wondering, I haven't said anything about the Spitzer mess because I don't have much to add to Lance Mannion's take.)

[Update: This just in from Doctor TV:

Jason Jones is Samantha Bee's real husband (if you recognize Canadian marriages).

So there you have it.]

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