Fresh from their latest round of conniptions and hissy-fits over Obama saying that "empathy" would be an ideal characteristic for his upcoming nomination to the Supreme Court, because Jesus hates empathy you see, conservatives are predictably aghast at Sykes' jokes and that Obama dared to enjoy them. Here's a sampling of commentary:
The UK Telegraph's Toby Harnden...
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.
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.
Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds...
YUKKING IT UP. "I hope his kidneys fail. As classy as we've come to expect.
I think that shot, which was really over the top... and I think it shook up some of the people in there, just said, ooh... they're talking about it, and I think it's gonna be all over the TV Monday with the radio talk shows and things like that, and it's gonna hurt the dinner, and it's gonna underscore that point that these people are all sort of laughing their heads off at the Republicans and conservatives. It's not fun for all, it's just a bunch of insiders going up to the outsiders in a crude way. I don't think the lady helped herself with that one, and I think it'll be very controversial.
And naturally the wingnuts over at the bastion of intelligentsia that is Free Republic had lots to say, this coming from "Las Vegas Ron"...
The good news is that stuff like this takes its toll, and not on the objects of attack. I don't know if Obama realizes it, but he is generating racial tension.
After reading how his pick to lead the US Forest Service had no previous USFS background, a fellow commented, "Why do I expect he's black?"
I thought it was in poor taste, but then, sure enough - the pick is a black man known for supporting fellow minorities.
Picking a trashy black lesbian to do bitter stand-up that will be replayed on TV doesn't help the President. In fact, it makes him look like what he is - a bitter racist whose chief qualification, in his mind even, seems to be "I'm Black. I'm Cool."
And having the adoring press there laughing reminds folks that the people who bring them ‘news' are firmly in Obama's hip pocket...or even further in his shorts.
I watched about half of her performance. The word I kept thinking was, "Ghetto". And I doubt I'm the only one.
A month ago, I made a joke about needing to be on the receiving end of some income redistribution. The salesman smiled and replied, "We're the wrong skin color - all we're allowed to do is give." I was shocked because I had never had a salesman say something like that in front of me. But I think a lot of folks are starting to feel like this is a BLACK Administration - no whites need apply. And that is very bad for racial harmony.
Even some liberals were offended, like Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke...
I've been to the White House Correspondents Dinner. And, if history is any judge, then comedians asked to perform there seem to do best when they joke with gentle jibes rather than go for the jugular. Someone should have reminded Wanda Sykes about that before tonight. Because not since Don Imus roughed up Bill Clinton at the annual event has a comedian been so mean-spirited.
And Matt Drudge has been running this headline and photo most of the day...
To all of this I say...IT'S A FREAKING ROAST PEOPLE! The humor is supposed to be below the belt. In my mind this isn't even nearly as bad as Colbert's evisceration of Bush in 2006. Not even close. But just wait until tomorrow when the chattering classes get back into full swing. It'll be insane! And I'll be listening to Limbaugh's show while hitting refresh on Michelle Malkin's blog every fifteen minutes or so. It'll be so grand!