If you didn't see President Obama's comic monologue at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, here it is. I understand the qualms people have about the press and politicians mixing for fun, but I've never been able to get all that worked up over it, and always enjoy watching. This was the 100th anniversary of the White House Correspondents association and they began having their annual dinner in 1920, 94 years ago. So, I think we've gotten over the hump with it. But if they stopped, I wouldn't complain.
My only complaint is what a big deal so many people make of "how funny" the president is. Who cares? I mean, as an audience, I like to hear a good comedy monologue, but it doesn't have much meaning to me about how I think about the president. I'm quite fine with a president who can't do a comedy monologue, but doesn't a great job in the Oval Office. Besides, it's not like any president writes the thing. I do admire that Barack Obama has a particularly impressive comic timing, but I admire that as an audience member and appreciator of the craft of comedy, not having anything to do with politics.
I also think it's loony that networks have such a big buildup to this now. At least MSNBC did, devoting two hours to the President, the guest comedian monologue, and the special video. All that takes about 48 minutes. But they came on with about an hour and 15 minutes of pre-analysis...of comedy bits! To their credit, MSNBC at least has their fourth-string reporters at the anchor desk.
All that aside, it's a very entertaining monologue, and beautifully delivered. My own favorite joke is the one that concerns Nevada racist rancher Cliven Bundy. And I particularly like that the President doesn't actually mention the guy by name.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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