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Biden talked me into it.
May 2, 2010 8:53 AM   Subscribe

President Barack Obama, and Jay Leno at the 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner. (SLYT)
posted by timsteil (103 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
This was so funny! I thought President Obama was funnier than Jay Leno.
posted by anniecat at 9:00 AM on May 2, 2010


I thought ____________________ was funnier than Jay Leno.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:07 AM on May 2, 2010 [69 favorites]


I thought President Obama was funnier than Jay Leno.

* restrains self from making obvious crack *
posted by dammitjim at 9:07 AM on May 2, 2010


"But my approval rating remains high in the country of my birth."
posted by box at 9:18 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I bet watching that would be a fairly surreal experience for Snooki.
posted by Ms. Saint at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2010


"We've all seen what happens after someone takes the timeslot after Leno's." Funniest thing I've heard this week.
posted by ColdChef at 9:41 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought ____________________ was funnier than Jay Leno.

Check all that apply:

[ ] Carrot Top
[ ] Dane Cook
[ ] Carlos Mencia
[ ] "Family Guy"
[ ] Tertiary Syphilis
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:45 AM on May 2, 2010 [11 favorites]


[ ] Adolph Hitler
posted by gman at 9:47 AM on May 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Dane Cook is not funnier than Jay Leno. That's going too far.
posted by blucevalo at 9:48 AM on May 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


Jay Leno strikes me as the symptom of some societal disease that we all must atone for by watching unfunny comedy. That's how I rationalize the supermarket checkout TVs showing clips from his awful show and the fact that Conan's now on cable which I just cancelled.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:49 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


At this point watching Jay Leno is like watching Rodney Dangerfield.
posted by four panels at 9:57 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did he actually say "big fucking deal" or was that bleeped live? (I dunno why it seems like such a big fucking deal, but I don't think a president's done that before...)
posted by mdn at 9:58 AM on May 2, 2010


I love how he gets groans for the Charlie Crist joke.

Seriously, he just made a joke about the Jonas Brothers hitting on his preteen daughters, and how he was going to then send a predator drone to kill them because of it. But Charlie Crist? Mister President. Too Far.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 9:59 AM on May 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


[ ] Gentle comedy (1:15 on)
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on May 2, 2010


there's nothin' funny aboot a video which won't play in Canada.
posted by gman at 10:03 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did you guys hear? Obama admitted that he was born in a different country!!!

And hey, Jay Leno isn't that funny, but I'd soooooo much rather watch him than douchebags like Cook or Mencia.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:05 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"You know what really tickles me?"

"Eric Massa"
posted by horsemuth at 10:08 AM on May 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


So nice to see that the President's jokes are so in touch with reality. It's actually very important to me that he's willing and able to joke about things like birthers on film.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:08 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fake politico headlines: A+
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2010


You know when Bush looked under the table for WMDs? Funnier than Jay Leno.
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is the Biden talking him into it-joke funny because it is mocking the Cheney-Bush relationship? Forgive this ignorant Canuck for making you explain a joke.

Also, do we have anything close to this kind of yearly event in Canada?
posted by hala mass at 10:21 AM on May 2, 2010


"We all know what happens in Arizona when you don't have I.D......"
Outstanding.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:22 AM on May 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


To be fair to Leno, they kind of ruined some of Leno's bits when they didn't show the videos/photos he had.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:23 AM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is the Biden talking him into it-joke funny because it is mocking the Cheney-Bush relationship? Forgive this ignorant Canuck for making you explain a joke.

Before the healthcare bill was signed, Biden said to Obama, "This is a huge fucking deal," which was picked up on the microphone.
posted by alligatorman at 10:25 AM on May 2, 2010


Leno was unwatchable. He was just kind of barreling through it with his huge chin down.
posted by ColdChef at 10:28 AM on May 2, 2010


That was really funny. The only thing that made me cringe was the predator drone joke, which reminded me of Bush joking about WMDs.
posted by homunculus at 10:28 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


"As you know a lot of Republicans could not be here, because it's dollar drink night at the bondage club."
posted by box at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Here is an alternate link for Leno which includes the videos/photos not shown in the whitehouse youtube link.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:35 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


To be fair to Leno, they kind of ruined some of Leno's bits when they didn't show the videos/photos he had.

Are you referring to the "heartwarming family photos"? Check the CPAN video.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:39 AM on May 2, 2010


I didn’t think it was possible to come up with a worse comedic performance than Rich Little’s, at George Bush’s 2007 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, but last night Jay Leno managed to be not merely less funny, but also seemed uncharacteristically irritated. He rushed through one tepid joke after another. When many were met with only mild laughs, Leno resorted to that oldest of comedian complaints — he actually said, “Ooh, this is a tough room.”
posted by ColdChef at 10:45 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know whats funny?

Having an off shore oil drill blow up and spew hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into the ocean just one month after Obama opened up offshore drilling along the entire east coast. (and, of course, having it make landfall around the time of the white-house correspondents dinner)

And hitting the same region as katrina. That's like a pie to the face and then another pie to the face.

LOL.
posted by delmoi at 10:52 AM on May 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Also funny: How much Jay Leno sucks. LOL.

That guy sucks.
posted by delmoi at 10:53 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


But at least Obama didn't play the guitar.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2010


delmoi, apparently he considered canceling, and then made sure to make some remarks about the disaster so as not to appear clueless... It's a weird convergence of events, but this is a major annual event. He probably would have been seen as unlikable and overly politically conscious if he had called it off altogether for the sake of his image (since it's not like he could actually do anything).
posted by mdn at 11:33 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The WHCA dinner is loathsome and degraded. It's a complete mockery of objective journalism to have the head of government and the journalists who're supposed to be reporting on his actions getting together for a cosy little drink and a few laughs. Our 'representative' government and our 'free media' are all the same tiny elite. The same elite which at this event in 2004 thought it was the height of hilarity for George W. Bush to joke about lying the country into a war.

If they're really all in the same privileged club, who's going to ask the hostile questions and call Obama out on his bullshit? They aren't, which is a big part of how Bush got away with his preposterous lies for eight years.
posted by 7-7 at 11:43 AM on May 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


I love how he gets groans for the Charlie Crist joke.

The Romney bit, too. OTOH, Boehner is apparently fair game.
posted by aaronetc at 11:52 AM on May 2, 2010


Okay, I'm watching this now. The first part of Obama's routine was actually kind of funny,
"By the way, all the jokes here are brought to you by our friends at Goldman Sachs. So you don't have to worry, they make money whether you laugh or not"
But then it kind of tapered off.
delmoi, apparently he considered canceling, and then made sure to make some remarks about the disaster so as not to appear clueless... It's a weird convergence of events, but this is a major annual event.
Basically I agree with 7-7.
The WHCA dinner is loathsome and degraded.
Pretty much. If I were President, I'd take any excuse to skip this sleaze fest, at the very least just to spite them.
posted by delmoi at 11:55 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joking about a presidential assassination. Great.

I don't care how long ago it was. I don't care that there is no one with a living memory of it.

A poor choice, Jay.

Very poor.
posted by jgirl at 11:55 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stephen Colbert raised the bar so high in 2006 that they ought to just put a fork in it and call it done. Everything since has just been a disappointment.
posted by ambrosia at 12:12 PM on May 2, 2010 [39 favorites]


Our best real journalists with a national TV audience right now are Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart. When they interview people they don't let lies slide, they repeat questions until they get an answer, and the call out bullshit attempts to reframe questions.

And neither one is "really" a journalist. While both are advocates, both bend over backwards to appear fair and to provide space for responses that never come or when they do reveal intent to deceive. While both are good interviewers, the basic techniques of controlling facts, controlling the flow of discourse, and re-asserting fundamental frames should be known to anyone who practices the craft, no matter how media-savvy the subject.

The rest of them are apparatchiks of the classic sort, courtiers in velvet robes, vassals to power. Watching Wolf Blitzer or Andrea Mitchell or anyone at all on Fox "News" interview anyone is an exercise in futility, like they're all in on the "fair and balanced" joke and think the viewers are stupid because, quite apparently, some of them are. And then there's the invisible hand, where have the sources are also on the payrolls of half the interested parties (including the news organizations, themselves beholden to even larger corporate interests). With 7-7, I find this entire spectacle downright late Roman in its vision of complicity between watcher and watched.

I think Colbert's takedown of Bush at the WHCD a few years ago was a one-time tear in the space-time continuum. I had never heard of this event before that one moment of speaking truth to idiotic power crossed my radar. It set such a high bar, and no one will ever cross it again and I'm sure the folks who produce this event will make sure of that. Even Wanda Sykes managed to be coarse and unfunny last year. Jay Leno never stood a chance. Even if he had ever been even slightly funny once in his career. Which he wasn't.

The president got in some good ones. I wonder who writes his jokes? He's always charming, but there was something extremely decadent about it, especially while the Gulf Coast is dying.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:14 PM on May 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


On preview, what ambrosia said.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:15 PM on May 2, 2010


supermarket checkout TVs

What the hell?
posted by enn at 12:16 PM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Our best real journalists with a national TV audience right now are Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart. When they interview people they don't let lies slide, they repeat questions until they get an answer, and the call out bullshit attempts to reframe questions.

And neither one is "really" a journalist. While both are advocates, both bend over backwards to appear fair and to provide space for responses that never come or when they do reveal intent to deceive.


No, Stewart is not an advocate. If you think one of his top ten goals before any show is to advocate something, then you are missing something important about the Daily Show and Jon Stewart.
posted by aswego at 12:22 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm gonna have to agree with homonculus on this one. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that we don't take our leaders so seriously that they can't get up and crack some bad jokes. But I find it really distasteful for the person who actually has the power to affect the drones to joke about them killing people.

I don't get offended by jokes about violence at all, but when Bush made that wmd joke back in the day I was livid. It's one thing to make jokes as a way of laughing about tragedy you can't change; it's quite a different thing altogether to joke about a tragic situation that results in people's death when you have a way to change it.
posted by diocletian at 12:29 PM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I guess it depends upon aswego's definition of 'something', because most certainly Stewart is advocating something (and without doubt I'm missing something).
posted by found missing at 12:32 PM on May 2, 2010


PILF
posted by pianomover at 1:04 PM on May 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Our best real journalists with a national TV audience right now are Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart. When they interview people they don't let lies slide

See his blowjob interview with T. Boone Pickens, what was a backer of the Swift Boaters in 2004.
posted by delmoi at 1:06 PM on May 2, 2010


Dear President Obama,

Jokes about killing civilians with predator drones are kinda ghoulish when that is what you're actually doing on a regular basis.
posted by finite at 1:06 PM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


U.S. Drone Planes Have a Nearly Perfect Record of Failure
posted by finite at 1:07 PM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


(er, that should say "T. Boone Pickens, who was a")
posted by delmoi at 1:11 PM on May 2, 2010


The WHCA dinner is loathsome and degraded. It's a complete mockery of objective journalism to have the head of government and the journalists who're supposed to be reporting on his actions getting together for a cosy little drink and a few laughs. Our 'representative' government and our 'free media' are all the same tiny elite. The same elite which at this event in 2004 thought it was the height of hilarity for George W. Bush to joke about lying the country into a war.

If they're really all in the same privileged club, who's going to ask the hostile questions and call Obama out on his bullshit? They aren't, which is a big part of how Bush got away with his preposterous lies for eight years.


Thanks for that 7-7. I consider Obama a far better President than Bush, but he has really gotten away with too much, and has been far less taken to task than he should have been on several issues., by the press. All that said, Americans are going to see hard times for some years yet, until they learn to recalibrate expectations that have been passed on as the "American Dream". Ten Obamas are not going to be able to help with that; it's going to be a slow process, and when it's over, we'll be better for it, as a nation. We are spoiled rotten, collectively, and just as much as part of the problem that ineffective politicians and a weak press are. Long term, I'm optimistic, because we have such enormous diversity in America. Diversity rules when it comes to dealing with crisis, but the potential of American diversity has yet top be unlocked, as groups like the mainstream media and our politicians, and the money that supports that cabal, are still too embedded. We need to keep chipping away - and eventually a new class of politician and responsive media will evolve.

btw, Obama and the press are well-meaning; they want to do a good job, but they're locked in linear thinking (as most) where one remembers only wins. America has been winning for a long time, in spite of spewing incredible hubris. That's what we're going to have to change; it's going to be painful, but we're up to it.
posted by Vibrissae at 1:11 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stewart's not perfect, but he doesn't claim to be a journalist. My point is he's better at interviewing (most of the time) than the "real" journalists he mocks are (almost all of the time).

And I do think he's an advocate. For rational, moderate discourse.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:34 PM on May 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


Speaking of the Predator: Drone Pilots Could Be Tried for ‘War Crimes,’ Law Prof Says
posted by homunculus at 1:36 PM on May 2, 2010


They cut out the part of Leno's act where he showed the prez a bunch of newspaper headlines with typos on them. "Obama wavers on pubic option"? Hillarious.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:54 PM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Was taking a cab past the Hilton last night about the time this was letting out, and for about three blocks in all directions the place was a sea of limousines filling up the streets and making it very clear that the importance of the people in the back gave them the right of way, and bodyguards wandering out into traffic trying to figure out if someone in a non-limo vehicle needed killing. Took forever to get through there.

It was more entertaining than Jay Leno.

But on the other hand, who would you hire after Colbert and Wanda Sykes came in and and embarrassed powerful people and got you in trouble? Who would you hire if you wanted something utterly safe and inoffensive? (And Yakov Smirnoff was unavailable.) You'd hire Jay Leno. I mean it would be slightly (slightly) more pasteurized to just have the dinner at a Chuck E Cheese, but the Secret Service probably wouldn't go for that because of all the drunken fights that apparently break out there all the time.
posted by Naberius at 2:28 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


"And neither one is "really" a journalist."

I agree with this as it applies to Stewart but I'm confused (of perhaps not thinking well) as to how this applies to Maddow. Do you make this assertion because she chooses which stories to cover based on her political stance?
posted by vapidave at 2:36 PM on May 2, 2010


Obama's routine was okay, but he's no Clinton. I used to watch this thing every year under Clinton and he consistently upstaged the hired entertainment. Say what you will about the man, he has comic timing.

Bush, on the other hand? Ouch. Even if you supported his policies, you have to admit his standup left a lot to be desired.
posted by brundlefly at 2:38 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn near anyone could be funny with that comedy team writing for them.

Also I'm pretty sure it was "big [...] meal".

The 'predator drones' thing wasn't funny. That's a sign of the times.
posted by Twang at 2:40 PM on May 2, 2010


It isn't funny that innocent people die in predator drones attacks.

It is funny to think of the Jonas Brothers being targeted by predator drones.

/conflicted
posted by found missing at 2:49 PM on May 2, 2010 [10 favorites]


My point is he's better at interviewing (most of the time) than the "real" journalists he mocks are (almost all of the time).

Personally I don't think Stewart's a very good interviewer. He's got some good ones in there when he hunkers down and seriously talks to a guest, and whenever BriWi's on it's a serious display of manlove. But much of the time (especially when he's with a guest he can't agree with) I think he interrupts guests too often and never lets them finish. Even Jon doesn't consider himself a journalist, of course, so I don't think its a very apt comparison.
posted by mmmleaf at 3:25 PM on May 2, 2010


Time to bring back Steven Colbert. This was one of the lamest press core dinners ever.
posted by caddis at 3:34 PM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Obama is totally Team Coco. There was pure glee in his voice when he ragged on Jay. He didn't even shake his hand when he went to sit down.

...

Ok, maybe he already greeted him or whatever, but in my mind, Obama only invited him in order to sabotage him. He probably had people steal Leno's jokes (that he probably stole from actual comedians with original ideas), forcing him to come up with new material the night before, AND THEN HE WOULDN'T LET HIM USE THE TELEPROMPTER OH SHIT WHAT NOW LENO BETTER KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN AND STUDY THAT PODIUM.

STUDY IT.
posted by jnaps at 4:34 PM on May 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I consider Obama a far better President than Bush, but he has really gotten away with too much, and has been far less taken to task than he should have been on several issues.

In the context of history, the amount of press coverage of the President (and all politicians) comes from a near-infinite number of sources. This is not only unprecedented, but may be reaching critical mass. It is fantastic that we can discover, in real time, all of the things our President is getting away with. Seriously, Obama is being observed under a higher power microscope than former Pres. GW Bush.

But, in the context of history, is he really getting away with too much? I mean, the context of all history. I'm not just looking at GW Bush, or Clinton, or Reagan. Let's go all the way back to Truman, to Kennedy, to Coolidge, to Grant, to Lincoln, to Andrew Jackson. Looking back at our history, Obama hasn't gotten away with shit.

Just because he hasn't been impeached based on the predator drones attacks doesn't mean he's not being taken to task. I know if doesn't satisfy our instant gratification when, immediately after reading a critical article in Mother Jones, the President doesn't set up a press conference apologizing. But I am certain that this President, unlike other past presidents, is not only aware of issues like the predator drone attacks, but is aware of the external criticism, and is subject to internal criticism.

I'm tired of people criticizing Pres. Obama for not fixing the issue at the tip of your tongue immediately. Because, as it turns out, things do get done, things get addressed, even if it's not quick enough.

I have plenty of time to eat my hat on this, and odds are I'll have a few bite marks in it come 2012, but give the man some time.

I'm not saying stop criticizing him. Misuse of predator drones is terrifying. But stop criticizing him for not acting fast enough to satisfy your short attention span.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:26 PM on May 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


Personally I don't think Stewart's a very good interviewer. He's got some good ones in there when he hunkers down and seriously talks to a guest, and whenever BriWi's on it's a serious display of manlove.
Huh. I actually think he's a really good interviewer. Check out some of his longer interviews from before he had the show, and he's not going for a laugh a minute. They're really interesting. He seems to (usually) do a good job of establishing a connection and making people feel comfortable. Not always, of course.
Ok, maybe he already greeted him or whatever, but in my mind, Obama only invited him in order to sabotage him.
The president doesn't pick the comedian. You think Bush picked Colbert?
I'm tired of people criticizing Pres. Obama for not fixing the issue at the tip of your tongue immediately. Because, as it turns out, things do get done, things get addressed, even if it's not quick enough.
This line gets trotted out a lot, but I don't think all of Obama's critics are criticizing him for "not fixing things", but rather they're complaining about things he's actually doing.
posted by delmoi at 5:45 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know if doesn't satisfy our instant gratification when, immediately after reading a critical article in Mother Jones, the President doesn't set up a press conference apologizing ...

I don't want the President to fucking apologize. I want him to stop personally ordering the mass slaughter of Pakistani and Afghan civilians -- babies, 5 and 10 year old children, elderly men and women -- on a weekly basis. I don't demand this because I have a fucking short attention span or because it's the latest cool issue on the "tip of my tongue". I demand it because I don't want him to kill any more children.

Give the man some time

This isn't some intractable social or political problem Obama is riding in on his white horse to try and solve. For Chrissake, get it into your head. He is the one choosing to murder people by remote control. He is the problem. And the solution is going to come from those people criticizing him, not from the establishment itself.
posted by dontjumplarry at 5:45 PM on May 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


I hope it doesn't make me seem pro-drone or anti-Jon Stewart if I agree that Stewart is painful to watch in most (not all) of his interviews.
posted by found missing at 5:58 PM on May 2, 2010


The president doesn't pick the comedian. You think Bush picked Colbert?

Not really...but to be fair, it's not like it would have been the dumbest thing he's ever done.
posted by jnaps at 5:59 PM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


>Leno was unwatchable. He was just kind of barreling through it with his huge chin down.

+1
posted by spock at 6:40 PM on May 2, 2010


Have not watched this, but I just read about it in the Guardian. According to the article:

Obama picked out the singers the Jonas Brothers, also present, with the evening's only questionable joke, one that might not go down well in Pakistan or Afghanistan. "Sasha and Malia [Obama's daughters] are huge fans but boys don't get any ideas. I have two words for you: Predator drones. You'll never see it coming."

I find this in incredibly poor taste, and actually really emblematic of American arrogance--and I say that as an American who is not normally uber-PC or anything like that. But, I mean, for f--'s sake, predator drones have killed a lot of innocent people.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 6:50 PM on May 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


fuck has three letters after the "f"
posted by found missing at 7:36 PM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can't wait for pocket nukes.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 PM on May 2, 2010


At this point watching Jay Leno is like watching Rodney Dangerfield.

Uncalled-for. Rodney Dangerfield realized he was ridiculous.
posted by rokusan at 8:27 PM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Supermarket checkout TVs... What the hell?

Some supermarkets and big chain stores in the USA have mounted TVs playing on a loop to entertain/distract customers while they are waiting in line. (I believe it started with a certain retailer on the Fortune 1 list.) They're like the TVs in airport departure lounges, but sometimes they play faux-commercials for products on sale in the store mixed in with a sort of "highlight reel" of recent news/events/television. They're so uniformly bland that I assume they're licensed from some video-marketing/distribution company. "Monologues from last night's talk shows" seems to be a popular programming choice.

These screens always strike me as weirdly Orwellian, in the same way that giant video billboards make me want to order White Dragon noodles and fly around in my spinner.
posted by rokusan at 8:32 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


These screens always strike me as weirdly Orwellian

Those would be more Huxleyan, really. The surveillance cameras are Orwellian.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:21 PM on May 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yep. Socialized Media understood and implemented.
whitehouse.gov


Was it just me?
None of Leno's media clips showed in the video.
but all of Barry's did.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 9:34 PM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


But stop criticizing him for not acting fast enough to satisfy your short attention span.

Amazing how some in the blue, and elsewhere, can't stand to see their hagiography of Obama dented. Fast enough? How about permitting offshore drilling in sensitive coastal areas? How about making deals with insurance thieves, in private? How about screwing over millions of our fellow citizens with bank bailouts (with Congressional help)? How about running up troops in Afghanistan after he promised to get our troops home? It's not about waiting around for Obama to act fast, It's about waiting around for Obama to do the right thing. I could go on, but I don't want to spoil your day. In fact, it looks like you need to pay attention.
posted by Vibrissae at 12:18 AM on May 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those would be more Huxleyan, really. The surveillance cameras are Orwellian.

Not that you're wrong about Huxley also fitting, but I did mean Orwell.
A fruity voice was reading out a list of figures which had something to do with the production of pig-iron... Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely.
I mean, it's like page two, ken?
posted by rokusan at 12:39 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not about waiting around for Obama to act fast, It's about waiting around for Obama to do the right thing.

Your position is that he's done nothing right? Or that you've run out of patience for Obama because he hasn't done something at a pace of your liking?

In fact, it looks like you need to pay attention.

Sounds like you are asking me to WAKE. UP. SHEEPLE.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:13 AM on May 3, 2010


Your position is that he's done nothing right?

My position is that he's done a lot of things that he promised not to do, and done a number of other things that have completely disappointed those who put him in office. Yes, he has done some things right, but so far he's a more than an average disappointment, given the horse he rode in on. It's very clear that Obama is a gifted politician, and a very smart guy. I don't understand what he's angling for, with all the disconnects that have occurred, to date. He just doesn't seem to be connecting with policy the way he connected with campaign promises. That said, nobody is perfect, and staying with prior statements, no President is going to save America, or even come close to savign America.

We're in a mess because massive structural changes have made the "American Dream" nothing but an historical accident. We're going to have to recalibrate our ideas about the future, and get busy making it. This is not going to be easy, and it will take some time before we realize that we are going to have to do it collectively, together, with the help of enlightened leaders - completely different kinds of leaders than the current crop, including Obama. My prediction (made 6 years ago, in a well-known newspaper Op-Ed): Americans are going to throw politicians out of office, willy-nilly (Obama will not be immune), for at least the next 2-3 election cycles, until they realize that politics as usual just doesn't work, and that nobody is going to "save" us (including those that use the "I'm not playing politics as usual" game to get elected, and then go back to "usual", like Obama). We are going to have to save ourselves, and I don't know what the end game will be, but I'm optimistic, because we are a great, diverse nation. even population biology says that in diversity there is strength. We can take that to the bank if we can force social policy that unlocks diversity of all kinds, instead of stifling it. We're nto there yet, and it will take time, displacement, and discomfort before we get there - but we will get there.
posted by Vibrissae at 2:03 AM on May 3, 2010


At this point watching Jay Leno is like watching Rodney Dangerfield.

Man. That guy just can't get any respect.
posted by delmoi at 2:58 AM on May 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


How about running up troops in Afghanistan after he promised to get our troops home?

How about not misrepresenting his positions? He said [PDF] during the campaign he would "send at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan." He repeatedly said during the campaign that he would "refocus our attention on the war we have to win in Afghanistan." He's set a target date to "to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011." CNN's December 2009 report card checked on Obama's Afghanistan campaign promises.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:29 AM on May 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I first heard Tracy Morgan was invited, I was terrified he was going to be the comedian and it was going to go super raunchy.
posted by anniecat at 7:06 AM on May 3, 2010


Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan doing the White House Correspondent's Dinner is a prospect both terrifying and absofuckinglutely amazing.
posted by kmz at 7:45 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


He said [PDF] during the campaign he would "send at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan." He repeatedly said during the campaign that he would "refocus our attention on the war we have to win in Afghanistan." He's set a target date to "to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011." CNN's December 2009 report card checked on Obama's Afghanistan campaign promises.

First, trusting CNN's appraisal of anything is suspect; how about taking a look at what some security experts are saying about this. By and large, most say that there is a slight of hand happening; some few do agree with Obama. The jury is out. And please don't tell me that the American people, going into the last election, did not believe heart-and-soul that Obama was "going to bring the troops home", period. One can argue all sides on this, but taken as a whole, Obama has caved in a number of directions that I find shocking, and only partially delivered on initiatives - even in their admittedly early stages - that he has claimed as big wins, like health care.

You tell me, why is it that the same bankers who have caused more fiscal and personal harm to Americans than all the thieves and pickpockets that have ever been jailed in the United States, still in their jobs? Where's the justice on that? Where is the justice in negotiating (and caving in those negotiations) with the very health care scions who have literally been responsible for the death and discomfort of millions of Americans. I want a President who his on our side, completely allowing for the old saw about how the art politics is called the "art of compromise". Compromise can go so far for one or the other party in a negotiation, until one of them starts losing. I want the American insurance industry to lose! Who needs them? I want the automobile executives to be thrown out. Who needs them? I want the banking scions who raped America in jail - every one of them, along with the rating company slime, and the AIG criminals. Why aren't they in jail? Why are we still putting up with their egregious abuses, as they continue to come down hard on Americans.

Maybe Obama will redeem himself. I wish him well! That said, this American has had it with half-solutions. There is no more room for the American people to compromise with powers that have abused them so. Opening up sensitive areas for oil drilling, risking entire swaths of pristine coastline for a fraction of what we need for our oil supplies is pandering to the powers-that-be. I expect more than that from Obama. He needs to live up to his promise, and not just "survive". This is about the future of our country, not just someone's political career.
posted by Vibrissae at 9:39 AM on May 3, 2010


Found poetry:

period on our side
lose thrown out.
Who needs them I wish him well
pandering

posted by found missing at 9:47 AM on May 3, 2010


Our best real journalists with a national TV audience right now are Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart is great, but he's not a journalist. I've seen him softball, too.

Anyway, you forgot Bill Moyers, though it's not clear where he's going next. And, yeah, probably doesn't have the audience that Stewart has, but he's still national.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:31 AM on May 3, 2010


What Obama has promised and what he has done -- this site always seems up to date.

I am very, very happy that I supported him, myself. (Plus I think he is a genuinely funny guy. Unlike Bill Clinton, or the unbelievably arrogant George W, he really seems not to take himself too seriously.)
posted by bearwife at 11:36 AM on May 3, 2010


Bush, on the other hand? Ouch. Even if you supported his policies, you have to admit his standup left a lot to be desired.

Yeah, but even his detractors who've met him say that he's actually a pretty funny guy. I don't think he's much of a performer, in the sense that he's not good at reading jokes, and he was a terrible president, but I hear this a lot about him, that he's genuinely funny and likable.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:37 AM on May 3, 2010


I hope it doesn't make me seem pro-drone or anti-Jon Stewart if I agree that Stewart is painful to watch in most (not all) of his interviews.

He is kind to his comedic guests, but he's not that good at faking it when he doesn't think they're funny. He tries, but that's the part that gets me occasionally, because I can tell he's not really laughing.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:40 AM on May 3, 2010


And please don't tell me that the American people, going into the last election, did not believe heart-and-soul that Obama was 'going to bring the troops home', period.

If they believed that about Afghanistan, then they weren't paying attention. You said Obama ran up troops in Afghanistan after he promised to get our troops home. I provided several links showing that he repeatedly said the opposite. Can you back up your claim that he promised to get our troops home from Afghanistan?
posted by kirkaracha at 12:23 PM on May 3, 2010


Yeah, but even his detractors who've met him say that he's actually a pretty funny guy. I don't think he's much of a performer, in the sense that he's not good at reading jokes, and he was a terrible president, but I hear this a lot about him, that he's genuinely funny and likable.

Those weapons of mass destruction have gotta be around here somewhere! Ha ha ha ha...heh...heh...heh......
posted by Chuffy at 12:45 PM on May 3, 2010


This line gets trotted out a lot, but I don't think all of Obama's critics are criticizing him for "not fixing things", but rather they're complaining about things he's actually doing.

I find that many of the critics of Obama are complaining about things he's going to do. An example: Obama is going to take away our guns. Folks complain about that a lot...Obama is going to take away our guns! The only gun-related law he's actually signed is one allowing folks to openly carry a gun in National Parks. Still, he's going to do it, I don't trust him!
posted by Chuffy at 12:53 PM on May 3, 2010


Well, the problem is that Obama's a moderate in a country with very vocal liberals and conservatives. Thus, he gets attacked from both sides. Liberals want him to do more than he's probably capable of in the current political climate, and may not even be willing to do since he didn't actually promise anything that far-left on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, conservatives are upset at any motion to the left, and the media for the right wing is very good at riling them up, even over things there is no evidence of. Like Chuffy said, see what they think Obama is going to do about gun ownership.

I guess this is the sad state of liberalism in this country. Be even slightly progressive, and your own party will eat you alive, while you become a demon to the right.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:08 PM on May 3, 2010


My impression during the campaign was that Obama was very pro-Afghanistan war. I don't think you can really complain about being surprised about him boosting troupe levels there.
posted by delmoi at 5:29 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Leno jokes recycled - a montage of him telling the jokes on the Tonight show and then again at the dinner.
posted by Gary at 7:53 PM on May 3, 2010


I don't think you can really complain about being surprised about him boosting troupe levels there.

Like more USO shows? A Road Movie to Kabul, that sort of thing?
posted by rokusan at 9:30 PM on May 3, 2010


If they believed that about Afghanistan, then they weren't paying attention. You said Obama ran up troops in Afghanistan after he promised to get our troops home. I provided several links showing that he repeatedly said the opposite. Can you back up your claim that he promised to get our troops home from Afghanistan?

OK, 1 point for you. We're parsing. Obama did say that he was going to deploy troops to Afghanistan, but not to the degree that he did - a degree that shocked many who supported him. You may recall that the last campaign, before it became "about the economy", was "about the war". Obama gained a LOT of credibility and popularity by promising ti "end the war and bring our troops home". THAT was Obama's major message about the war; it sold on Main Street. Main St. is not the blue; Main Street is easier to take in. So, now look where we are. Do you see us pulling out of Afghanistan anytime soon? I don't think so. What about the drones? I'm not sayign obama is ievil, I'm saying that he has not followed through. We plainly disagree; you can collect points for the promises that Obama has kept, but the ones he has kept have been the easy ones. Sorry, Obama is doing his best, and tough times are upon us, but I'm still waiting for the man to fulfill the basic mandates that put him in office.. I see no leadership, just survival strategies.

posted by Vibrissae at 10:55 PM on May 3, 2010


You may recall that the last campaign, before it became "about the economy", was "about the war". Obama gained a LOT of credibility and popularity by promising ti "end the war and bring our troops home".

I watched the campaign pretty closely, I don't remember him ever saying he would end the war in Afghanistan, just that he would end the one in Iraq. He actually said he would escalate in Afghanistan.
posted by delmoi at 4:35 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I never got the impression that Obama wanted to get us out of Afghanistan. The big war to debate in '08 was the Iraq war, which he seems to be scaling down.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:40 AM on May 4, 2010


Leno jokes recycled - a montage of him telling the jokes on the Tonight show and then again at the dinner.

Now that I think of it, Leno's mood at the correspondence dinner as he plowed through his jokes (Leno didn't seem to make an honest attempt at delivery of any of his punchlines) was rather sour, and I think that maybe he's finally getting through his thick chin what a dick move it was to oust Conan like he did. Leno never struck me as an asshole (seriously, one of the nicest celebrity's you'll ever meet - he'll wave at you driving on the freeway!), and he must now truly understand that his maneuvering back to the Tonight Show was way worse, way more evil, than he anticipated.

As good as he may be doing in ratings, I'm sure the vitriol is pretty bad for Leno. It's no fun to be roasted every day, by everybody, including the president.

But, in case it hasn't sunk in for him yet, f*** you, Leno.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:00 AM on May 4, 2010


Leno, I never liked you before you did this. Also, mother-in-law jokes? Really?
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:26 PM on May 4, 2010


I never got the impression that Obama wanted to get us out of Afghanistan. The big war to debate in '08 was the Iraq war, which he seems to be scaling down.

Not quite right
posted by Vibrissae at 1:26 PM on May 4, 2010


Was Jay Leno high here? Did he just witness a murder? Did he suddenly develop advanced stage fright after 30+ years of high pressure stage performance?

I'm just honestly struggling to reconcile how someone at the top of the status hierarchy of comedy professionals, performing what he claims is the gig of his lifetime, can give such a terrible, amateur performance. There was zero effort at delivery. Even bad material can be sold if the comedian is on board and owning it, but Leno was joylessly reciting from note cards, with all the charisma of Rain Man.

This delivery was, without exaggeration, on par with that painfully butchered Famous Bowl routine linked here last week. Patton Oswalt is king at delivery. He should've been the one at the Correspondence Dinner. Fucksquatch would have killed.
posted by dgaicun at 5:11 AM on May 5, 2010


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