Currently viewing the tag: "Humor"

This weekend, on the NPR comedy news quiz show, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! there was a bit that poked a little fun at Michelle Malkin.  Malkin is not amused:  Hey, NPR: Fund your own lame liberal humor — and leave my family alone.

I get the feeling, however, that Malkin is utterly unfamiliar with the show.  The segment in question is a weekly one in which one news story is told alongside two fake news stories and the caller has to pick which one is true.  The conceit of the gag is the all of the stories, including the real one, sound so ridiculous that they can’t possibly be true (and yet, one is).  All three stories are presented in a somewhat over-the-top fashion.  The only commonality is that there is a shared theme.  This week’s theme was “stories about people uncovering a secret about their identity” and in the fictional story about Malkin, the alleged discovery was that her grandfather was a closet Muslim.   The real story ended up being about a guy finding out that Ted Nugent was his father.  The transcript (and a link to the audio) can be found here.

The notion that it might be funny if Malkin’s grandpa might be as secret Muslim is, actually, fairly funny.  Further, when taken in the context of three outrageous stories, it is, to my mind, less of a big deal because, again, the point of the gag is that all the stories are absurd.  Although I will grant, humor is a very subjective thing.

I actually enjoyed the following, although it is hardly the stuff of high comedy (Jobrani was the one reading the story):

Mr. JOBRANI: Yes, Grandpa Malkin, who is from the Philippines but lives with Michelle’s parents, had not told the family about his religion for fear of being ostracized and thrown out. “Do you know how hard it is to pray five times a day when your family doesn’t know?”

Mr. JOBRANI: “I had to excuse myself to the bathroom every time I wanted to pray.”

Mr. JOBRANI: “And the ham dinners, don’t get me started on the ham dinners.”

Beyond whether it was funny or not, I would note that a) Malkin is a public figure who, b) does have strong opinions, and c) has made a big deal about the threat of Muslims (her concern about Rachael Ray’s scarf in a Dunkin’ Donuts ad comes to mind as a particularly silly example).  As such, she is fair game and really, rather than complaining about a fairly innocuous riff (it hardly constitutes an attack on her family), it would probably have been better to take the high road and laugh it off.

——

Side note:  I will confess, in the interest of full disclosure, that I was once the subject of a question on Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me on July 15, 2006, so perhaps I am predisposed to liking it.  Getting mentioned was cool, although it would have been infinitely cooler had I been a regular listener to the show at the time.  They quoted this post from PoliBlog as part of the news quiz (i.e, who said…?).    You can hear it at about the 3:40 march:




Outside the Beltway

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If the obscure and has-been comedians who appear on National Public Radio want to mock conservatives and spread left-wing propaganda, they should do it on their own damned dime.

The government-sponsored radio conglomerate broadcasts a weekend show called “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” It leans heavily on laugh tracks to prop up the lame punchlines of the likes of liberal humorist Paula Poundstone and describes its purpose thusly: “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is NPR’s weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what’s real news and what’s made up.”

The “best and brightest” include a Muslim comedian named Maz Jabrani, whom NPR has been promoting as “the face of Middle Eastern humor in America today.”

Judging from his latest bit performed on this weekend’s show, the face of Middle Eastern humor looks a lot like the face of your typical CAIR mouthpiece. Tea Party-bashers Ron Schiller and Vivian Schiller may be gone and the House may have defunded the public radio enterprise, but the conservatives=racist smear narrative is alive and well at NPR.

Here’s a transcript and here’s the audio:

CARL KASELL, host:

From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I’m Carl Kasell. We’re playing this week with Amy Dickinson, Maz Jobrani and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, host:

Thank you, Carl.

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Right now it’s time for the WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you’re on WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME!

PATRICK: Hi, this is Patrick from Suffolk, Virginia.

SAGAL: Hey Patrick, how are things in Suffolk?

…[Lame chatter edited out for space]…

…SAGAL: I agree with you. Well welcome to the show, Patrick. You’re going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Patrick’s topic?

KASELL: Finally, I know who I really am.

SAGAL: Everyone has faced that moment of existential doubt and asked: who am I? Where do I come from? Well, this week, we read about someone who sought answers to those questions and was shocked at what they found. Our panelists are going to tell you three stories about people uncovering a secret about their identity, only one of which was in this week’s news. Choose that true story; you’ll win Carl’s voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Ready to play?

PATRICK: I am.

SAGAL: First, let’s hear from Maz Jobrani.

Mr. MAZ JOBRANI (Founder, Axis of Evil Comedy Tour): Conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin has expressed her fear that there are Muslims amongst us who are hiding their true identity. The most prominent, she claims, being Barack Obama. However, when she set out to find proof of these undercover Muslims, she found more than she bargained for.

It turns out that there are, indeed, some Muslims hiding their identity to fly under the radar. The most pertinent one for Malkin being her own grandfather.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JOBRANI: Yes, Grandpa Malkin, who is from the Philippines but lives with Michelle’s parents, had not told the family about his religion for fear of being ostracized and thrown out. “Do you know how hard it is to pray five times a day when your family doesn’t know?”

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JOBRANI: “I had to excuse myself to the bathroom every time I wanted to pray.”

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JOBRANI: “And the ham dinners, don’t get me started on the ham dinners.”

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JOBRANI: Malkin was in shock when her grandfather revealed his true identity to her. He explained that he had been closeted Muslim for too long and it was time for him to live his life and be happy with himself. Malkin used the revelation to confirm her argument that Muslims are taking over. First they wanted the youth, and now they’re going after my grandfather? My 90-year-old grandfather? This is sick.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: Conservative activist Michelle Malkin finds a Muslim in her very home.

The premise of Jobrani’s p.c. comedy gag is completely false, as actual readers of my work know. I was one of the first conservatives to criticize Birthers who go to the extreme and have never accused President Obama of being a “secret Muslim.” To the contrary, I’ve criticized him for his rather open and out-of-the-closet apologias for jihad and his perfunctory, bloodless, vague public condemnations of Islamic terror attacks on Americans. As for my “fear that there are Muslims amongst us who are hiding their true identity,” go ask Attorney General Eric Holder what “keeps him up at night.”

Jobrani’s a poor man’s Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert, pandering to progressives with lazy caricatures of the Right, with the encouragement and approval of high-minded libs practicing supposedly indispensable, public interest journalism that rural America can’t live without, don’t you know!?

How many conservative comedians (besides token P.J. O’Rourke, who panders to the Left with his attacks on Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio) get an equal opportunity to lampoon their political opponents on NPR airwaves?

Wait, wait…don’t tell me.

***

Big hat tip to Jamie Huston at Gently Hew Stone , who notes the timing of the NPR segment bashing my family:

…NPR’s mistake goes far beyond mere slander. Their joke targeted the family of a specific conservative at a time when that specific conservative’s family is suffering a tragedy. Quite a coincidence. It’s been two weeks since Malkin’s cousin Marizela Perez went missing…Malkin has used her media presence tirelessly since then to help find her young relative. Either NPR and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me are not nearly as well-informed in their news awareness as they’d like us to believe, or they cruelly decided to go ahead with a particularly tasteless joke.

Ironically, just before this segment aired, they made fun of Gilbert Gottfried getting fired for his tasteless jokes about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Pot, meet kettle…

…On top of that, here comes a radio show that singles her out during this crisis and makes fun of not just her, but goes out of its way to talk about her family. …If she were a liberal and Glenn Beck had made a joke like this, the mainstream media would be calling for blood.

Another day, another government media double standard…

(Cue soundbite of laughter/applause from tittering NPR listeners.)

Michelle Malkin

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An instant classic:





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

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A while back a few of my friends and myself decided to make mockumentary movie to parody negativity in hip hop such as Black on Black crime, materialism, drugs and misogyny, and the rappers who glamorized it. It was our goal to make a Gangsta Rap “Spinal Tap” or a Hip Hop “Hollywood Shuffle.” Recently, I lost someone who I watched grow up to Black on Black crime. Now I am all the more dedicated to fighting Black on Black crime with humor, journalism, education or whatever other tools I have at my disposal. Support the Monkey Gang. Not just because it funny, support the message, Stop Black on Black Crime.

R.I.P. James “Flames” Lature

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Jack & Jill Politics

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A while back a few of my friends and myself decided to make mockumentary movie to parody negativity in hip hop such as Black on Black crime, materialism, drugs and misogyny, and the rappers who glamorized it. It was our goal to make a Gagsta Rap “Spinal Tap” or a Hip Hop “Hollywood Shuffle.” Recently, I lost someone who I watched grow up to Black on Black crime. Now I am all the more dedicated to fighting Black on Black crime with humor, journalism, education or whatever other tools I have at my disposal. Support the Monkey Gang. Not just because it funny, support the message, Stop Black on Black Crime.

R.I.P. James “Flames” Lature

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For More Information Go To /> href="http://monkeygang.net/">www.monkeygang.net /> href="http://chickenandbeef.info/">www.chickenandbeef.info

Jack & Jill Politics

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Every morning, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s press secretary sends to Barbour’s staff and other allies a list of press clippings, along with a daily compendium of birthdays, historical notes, and jokes — which have recently included humor on the topics of the disastrous Japan Tsunami, Janet Reno’s gender, and the Cambodian genocide.

In Friday’s email, for instance, press secretary Dan Turner emailed that on that day in 1968:

Otis Redding posthumously received a gold record for his single, "(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay". (Not a big hit in Japan right now.)

In 1993: Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the first female attorney general. (It took longer to confirm her gender than to confirm her law license.)

An earlier email included notes that

1982 - Jamaica issued a Bob Marley commemorative stamp. (Actually, it was a combination stamp and tiny rolling paper.)

1998 - Khmer Rouge leaders apologized for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed 1 million lives. ("Oops. My bad," hardly seems sincere.)

The off-color jokes, circulated inside and outside of Barbour’s government office, underscore questions about whether the governor is ready for the intensity of scrutiny that will come with leaving the relatively forgiving world of Mississippi politics.

Turner, a former reporter and former spokesman for Rep. Jim McCrery of Louisiana, said Barbour doesn’t see the email, but receives a printed copy of the clips. 

"Look, I’m the one who started the lagniappe section; the comments are mine. If you feel the need to skewer someone over that, I’m the guy with the bullseye on his back. There is one person responsible — me," he emailed.

As for Barbour, "His sense of humor isn’t so much in the SNL vein," Turner said.





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Ben Smith’s Blog

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Selective outrage at the Washington Post.
American Thinker Blog

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I’m not sure if this is funny or proof we are doomed.


The Moderate Voice

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USA Today
Fennville's Wes Leonard celebrated in funeral with humor, rap-song tribute
Detroit Free Press
Mourners wait for the start of the funeral for Wes Leonard, 16, of Fennville, at Christ Memorial Church, Tuesday, March 8, 2011, in Holland, Mich. Leonard died last week after making a game-winning shot during a high school basketball
Fennville High basketball star remembered as prankster, ultimate jockThe Detroit News
Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Mich. playerHouston Chronicle
Wes Leonard's funeral celebrates life of kind, talented, humble young manMLive.com
HollandSentinel.com -KGAN -ESPN
all 2,789 news articles »

Sports - Google News

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USA Today
Fennville's Wes Leonard celebrated in funeral with humor, rap-song tribute
Detroit Free Press
Mourners wait for the start of the funeral for Wes Leonard, 16, of Fennville, at Christ Memorial Church, Tuesday, March 8, 2011, in Holland, Mich. Leonard died last week after making a game-winning shot during a high school basketball
Fennville High basketball star remembered as prankster, ultimate jockThe Detroit News
Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Mich. playerHouston Chronicle
Wes Leonard's funeral celebrates life of kind, talented, humble young manMLive.com
HollandSentinel.com -KGAN -ESPN
all 2,789 news articles »

Sports - Google News

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Recently, the leader of the Wisconsin Senate Democrats-in-exile, Sen. Mark Miller, offered to meet with the Senate GOP at the Wisconsin-Illinois border. This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald responded to this odd request. Behold a thing of beauty.


0307fitzgeraldresponse

No matter what the national media is trying to say…Wisconsin Democrats are not winning. Must be out of tiger blood.


Big Government

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Via The Onion Sports which is the best parody news site out there. A little joke at the expense of Duke and the Plumlee clan.

Hat tip: Joe Ovies

Tar Heel Fan

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Written by Betsy Fisher

Jordanians will tell you that they are not known for being a happy people. On occasions such as a football victory, with cars honking and shouts of joy, onlookers will point out that, unlike a typical day, Jordanians are smiling. Participants of the hashtag #Jordanianlies are out to prove the stereotype wrong. #Jordanianlies features statements Jordanians hear that are often untrue. Thus, the hashtag uses humor to point out faults in Jordanian society. While the majority of #Jordanianlies posts center on gender relations, work situations, and everyday life, a few have ventured into political criticism.

Ammar Haider posted the slogan that the Jordanian government used to promote participation in November's parliamentary elections. Humorously calling it a lie, he suggests that the government was not so interested in listening to popular demands:

سمعنا صوتك #JordanianLies

Let us hear your voice.

Ola Eliwat also poked fun at an announcement related to November's elections:

#Jordanianlies هذا وقد شهد الأردن عرساً انتخابياً مثالاً للديمقراطية والنزاهة نفاخر به العالم من شرقه لغربه

Jordan has just witnessed a wedding, an electoral model of democracy and integrity of pride for the world from East to West.

Ola Abu Salim took aim at the police, posting:

الشرطة في خدمة الشعب! #JordanianLies

The police are in the service of the people.

Aya Al-Musa criticized a similar slogan:

#JordanianLies النواب في خدمة الشعب

The members of parliament are in the service of the people.

Hazem Dmour joked:

#JordanianLies ما في اي فساد بالاردن ابدااااااااااااا

There isn't any corruption in Jordan eveeeeeer!

Ahmed M. Khalel was skeptical about the government's desire for political competition:

#JordanianLies الحكومة بدها معارضة و أحزاب

The government wants opposition and political parties.

3TonMantis was similarly doubtful of the government's agenda for reform:

#Jordanianlies الاصلاح السياسي والاقتصادي

Political and economic reform

Yazan Mousa questioned Jordan's political designation by Wikipedia:

#Wikipedia: #Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a representative government. #WikipediaLies #JordanianLies

Ala Awaysheh was appreciative of the humorous discussions:

At this stressful time all around.. it's so good to see Jordanians breaking the stereotype of we are not funny ppl #jordanianlies is a proof

And Yazan Shawabkeh, originator of the hashtag, agreed:

Thank you all #JordanianLies for funny tweets, and thanks for retweets, yes #newfact2011 All the Jordanian are funny, thanks again :D #JO

Within a few days, Jordanian tweeps added a new hashtag, #JordanianDreams, featuring things that Jordanians would always hope for.

Global Voices in English

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Digging to a depth of 1,000 meters last year, French scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1,000 years. The French came to the conclusion that their ancestors had a telephone network centuries ago.

Not to be outdone by the French, English scientists dug to a depth of 2,000 meters. Shortly thereafter headlines in the UK newspapers read:

“English archaeologists have found traces of a 2,000-year-old fiber-optic cable and have concluded that their ancestors had an advanced high-tech digital communications network a thousand years earlier than the French.”

One week later, Israeli newspapers reported the following:

“After digging as deep as 5,000 meters in a Jerusalem marketplace, they found absolutely nothing. They thus concluded that 5,000 years ago Jews were using wireless.”

Hat tip: Dennis Sevakis

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Daled Amos

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America is an Obamanation doesn’t say that “We must sink the Bismarck,” but he reports on the sinking of the Olbermann.

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Marathon Pundit

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