Words can’t describe how simultaneously surreal and awkward it was to watch President Barack Obama and late night host Jimmy Kimmel perform their respective monologues at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. My initial reaction is that Kimmel will not be invited back. Not because he wasn’t funny. Personally, I thought he killed it. A little too well. And that’s the problem. Satire is appreciated by the elites, until you start letting too much of the truth seep through.
“Mr President,” chimed Kimmel, “Remember – remember when the country rallied around you in hopes of a better tomorrow? That was hilarious.”
In any other setting, this joke is considered child’s play. At a dinner which featured much of the president’s base – who, as any political junkie well knows is extremely sensitive to the slightest criticism thrown his way – and the President himself (on the verge of a re-election campaign) it was a dagger.
“You know, there’s a term for guys like President Obama…probably not two terms, but there is (one),” joked Kimmel.
“Even some of your fellow Democrats think you’re a pushover, Mr. President. They’d like to see you stick to your guns, and if you don’t have any guns they’d like to see you ask Eric Holder to get some for you,” Kimmel added, in reference to the Justice Department’s embarrassing Fast and Furious, guns for drugs program.
“It’s incredible. What a collection of people. Here in one room we have members of the media, politicians, corporate executives, advertisers, lobbyists, and celebrites. Everything that is wrong with America is here in this room tonight,” exclaimed Kimmel.
Indeed, it’s hard to be funny with the political climate we live in today. But jokes about an administration’s shortcomings are not rare. It’s expected at dinners like these. Kimmel probably could have got away with this material, but what really seemed out of taste was when he started the show off with his White House Correspondents’ Dinner version of “This Week in Unnecessary Censorship.”
Within 30 seconds, the crowd got an earful via edited video of President Obama mouthing “A cock that I can suck.” I don’t know if it was because I was watching with my 79 year-old dad – a.k.a Obama Super Fan – but it was hard to sit through.
The second most interesting part of the dinner was, of course, Obama himself, and his expertly written monologue. I thought he performed exceptionally well. He made everyone laugh. His jokes were seemingly used as a way to poke fun at himself while also showing a lack of fear about the absurd rumors he’s had to deal with since he took office.
“Tonight for the first time, I am releasing my official birth video,” Obama joked.
Topics of his monologue included the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, celebrity Kim Kardashian, teleprompters, drunk texts from Hilary Clinton, Congress and much more. Enjoy video of the President at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner here:
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