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Not funny: Barack Obama laughs at Wanda Sykes "joke" about wanting Rush Limbaugh dead
Posted By: Toby Harnden at May 10, 2009 at 17:51:55 [General]
What was Wanda Sykes thinking? Perhaps more to the point, what was President Barack Obama thinking when he laughed and smiled as the comedienne wished Rush Limbaugh dead?
Although the Left is reporting her White House Correspondents' Dinner speech as "taking shots" at Limbaugh and mocking everyone, that's a gross misrepresentation of what turned into a hateful and disgusting diatribe.
I was at the dinner and I began by laughing at Sykes's gentle teases about the press loving Obama so much they never capture him on film smoking but often seem to get him on the beach.
It was amusing when she quipped that Obama trying so hard to be all things to all men that the next thing is he'll be seen mowing the White House lawn.
But the speech took a very ugly turn when she laid into Limbaugh.
This is what she said: "Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails, so you're saying, 'I hope America fails', you're, like, 'I dont care about people losing their homes, their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq'. He just wants the country to fail. To me, that's treason.
"He's not saying anything differently than what Osama bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker. But he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight."
She then concluded: "Rush Limbaugh, I hope the country fails, I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a good waterboarding, that's what he needs." Obama seemed to think this bit was pretty hilarious, grinning and chuckling and turning to share the "joke" with the person sitting on his right.
There's not much room for differing interpretations of what Sykes said. She called Limbaugh a terrorist and a traitor, suggested that he be tortured and wished him dead.
What was his crime? Hoping that Obama's policies - which he views as socialist - will fail.
That's way, way beyond reasoned debate or comedy and Obama's reaction to it was astonishing.
Imagine if a comedian "joked" that Obama was a terrorist who was guilty of treason and should be tortured and allowed to die. There would justifiably be an outcry.
But when the "joke" comes from a liberal, Obama-supporting comedienne and the target is a right-winger then the likes of Hilary Rosen and Donna Brazile are on CNN saying it's just comedy and Limbaugh is "fair game".
And Obama laughing when someone wishes Limbaugh dead? Hard to take from the man who promised a new era of civility and elevated debate in Washington.
Watch the video. What do you think?