Sunday, May 10, 2009

MSM: Missing the point on Wanda Sykes

Two selections regarding comedian Wanda Sykes and her performance at the White House, which included shots about hoping Rush Limbaugh's kidneys fail:

Libertarian Republican does outrage.

Delawareliberal expects outrage and argues that this is nothing compared to GOP rhetoric.

These two reactions, as you well know, will be repeated and juxtaposed across the blogosphere ad nauseum, but the interesting point is this:

If you got your news from USA Today you wouldn't even know that she made the comments. Here is the complete reference to Ms. Sykes routine:

That job went to the Wanda Sykes, the evening's entertainment, who made certain the president took some ribbing.

"It's hard to poke fun at the president. He's so likeable," said Sykes. "Even the media...It's funny to me, they've never caught you smokin' but they somehow always catch you with your shirt off."

Sykes hailed the president's efforts to maintain a normal routine. He's "taking the first lady out on dates...I wouldn't be surprised if I walked by the White House and saw you mowing the lawn," she cracked during her roughly 10-minute comedy routine.

The commedienne, who drew a standing ovation from the crowd, didn't pull any punches: "The first black president. That's unless you screw up. Then it's going to be 'What's up with the half-white guy?'"

"I thought that when you got into office you would put a swift end to your pickup basketball games. I mean, the first black president playing basketball. That's one step forward, two steps back!"

Even the former president wasn't spared. "President Bush, man, he knows how to leave town. We haven't heard anything from him! He left like that houseguest who breaks something in your house and gets out of there before you find out."

Then I looked at the AP story for references to Wanda's act:

Tart-tongued comic Wanda Sykes, the dinner's entertainer, poked fun at Obama giving the Queen of England an iPhone during a recent visit. "What are you going to give the Pope, a Bluetooth," asked Sykes. And she questioned First Lady Michelle Obama having patted the queen on the back "like she just slid into home plate — way to go, queen!"

Here's the original Wanda Sykes coverage at WaPo:

The mistress of ceremonies for the evening was Wanda Sykes, an actress and comedian who grew up locally and got her start doing stand-up while moonlighting from her day job as a procurement officer at the National Security Agency.

"It's funny to me that [photographers] have never caught you smoking," Sykes told the president, "but they always catch you with your shirt off. I know you're into this transparency thing, but I don't need to see your nipples."

So that's USA Today, AP, and WaPo who all--until the national blogosphere made it a story--covered the dinner without covering the story.

Because no matter whether you're going down the Eric Dondero route or following DelawareDem's line, you have to actually know that something happened in order to think critically about what it means. My guess (a safe guess because there is absolutely no way to figure out if I am correct) is that well over 70% of Americans will never even know this controversy exists. [And the number may be higher in Delaware because the WNJ simply reprinted the USA Today version.]

One of the things you can't do is investigate yourself: the MSM is no exception. Unfortunately, we don't have anybody non-partisan to investigate the manner in which the MSM does its job, because the alternative media is too fiercely partisan to do the job.

But it is becoming daily more obvious that the American corporate media has simply given up the idea of reporting the news.


Bowly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bowly said...

Reposted because of PEBKAC formatting issues:

But DelawareDem was just over here preaching to us that the type of argument he makes in his post is deflection. What a worthless damned hypocrite. His opinion and an empty sack is worth the sack.

First, recognize that for what it is: deflection. Supporters of the GOP and the right wing generally excel at that, just as much as they excel at projection. That their expected and usual first response deflects attention away from condemnation of Feherty is revealing.Plus, he compares what CBS Sports did with what he suspects Rush Limbaugh will do, like the two are some monolithic entity. I'll say here what I said about the Fleherty incident: can we not just call a jackass a jackass without dragging the rest of the planet into it?

Bowly said...

Well the bad formatting is still there, even though it didn't show up in the preview.

Hube said...

See Steve? That's what you get for saying DD made a "good point" in your previous post.

Why you even bother w/those ninnies is beyond me...

Eric Dondero said...

Excellent perspective on this. But perhaps this is precisely why the old media is dying, and sites like Delaware Libertarian and Libertarian Republican have seen their unique visitors increase by 300% over the last few months.

And yes, LR is proudly partisan, thus the name of the blog, which includes not only one, but two political party names.

Eric Dondero, Publisher
Libertarian Republican

PS - Steve may I reprint for LR? If so, please email me at Thanks bro!

Anonymous said...

can Hube make a point with out calling some one a name?

Seems to me a school teacher should know better.

Hube said...

Oh, gee. "Ninny" is soooo offensive. LOL...

BTW, hi Perry. Ever bother to call out the DLers for their "name calling? Why, of course not! They're your ideological brethren.

Hube said...

Y'know, what's interesting is that for all of DD's faux outrage at David Feherty's comments about Pelosi, he seemed to conveniently ignore his follow comments:
Here’s the thing: all of this visiting will be perpetrated by people who actually like 43! What about those who consider him the root of all evil? We have a few of those, and I can’t imagine what that bunch of self-righteous, indignant jerks might be like if they get the chance to visit. As for me, my politics are somewhere in the middle—and then way outside both wings. I believe in the death penalty, especially for pro-lifers, child molesters, those opposed to gay marriage, and for stupid dancing in the end zone. I believe in the abolition of estate taxes and the Pickens Plan. I’d lower the legal drinking age and raise the driving age to 18 nationwide, make Kinky Friedman governor of Texas, and make all schools, public and private, start earlier with one hour of physical exercise.
Why did DD focus exclusively on the [ridiculous] Pelosi comments? After all, isn't advocating the death penalty merely for one's abortion and/or gay marriage stance ... offensive??

h. said...


Don't you know the only reason Feherty added those liberal comments to the piece was because he knew he was going to take shit for the Pelosi comment. Wink , wink.

Bowly said...

It's just beyond laughable that DD accused Republicans of both deflection and projection, then did the same thing over the same incidence.

Unreal. I used to say that liberals were immune to irony. Then conservatives jumped right on board with the same problem. But posts and comments like DD's make me think that liberals might still be in the lead.

I'm sure that DD's cognitive dissonance will generate an excuse why it's different in this case, though, which will roughly amount to "I'm a liberal."