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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Perception Speaks Volumes

I’m a little behind. I suppose if I were any slower I’d be going backwards. Even though the Wanda Sykes’ issue has been talked, blogged and ranted about, I didn’t give MY two cents. And I WANT to. So without further ado…

As just about everyone knows, Wanda Sykes was the comedian for the White House Correspondent’s Dinner May 9th. I’ve seen Wanda on the TV show The New Adventures of Old Christine and thought she was funny. Seeing her at the dinner was my first opportunity to evaluate her stand-up routine. I must admit, I thought a lot of it was witty. She took jabs at Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, G.W. Bush, the media, Animal Rights activists, Sean Hannity, and even the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Wanda made fun of how Michelle hugged and patted the Queen of England and Michelle laughed all in good fun.

Wanda made fun of President Obama, too, “This is amazing. You know. The first black president. I know you’re bi-racial, but the first black president. I mean, it’s proud. I’m proud to be able to say that. You know? That’s unless you screw up. And then it’s gonna be, What’s up with the half white guy, huh? Who voted for the Mulatto? What the hell?’”

THAT was funny, and President Obama laughed-AT HIMSELF; which is what is supposed to happen. A person with a good sense of humor laughs when a decent, witty joke is told. However, when the jesting turns ugly, demeaning in nature or attacks a person’s life, that’s when the line is drawn.

Wanda was downright nasty when she ridiculed Sarah Palin. I’m not going to repeat exactly what she said. You can Google the you-tube video. Sarah Palin wasn’t present and Wanda’s attempt at abstinence shouldn’t have been directed at Sarah. It wasn’t Sarah that had a child out of wedlock; it was Palin’s daughter, Bristol. If Wanda felt the need to bring up illegitimate children and birth control, she should’ve directed it at Bristol. The joke didn’t even bring forth a laugh from the audience. Heck, the crickets weren’t even chirping! Now, I’m not saying not to jest about Sarah Palin. I believe any public figure is fair game. I thought the spoofs about Palin on SNL were funny. What Sykes said at the dinner was NOT in the least bit funny. It was downright crude.

Wanda tried to cover up her gaffe by saying, “Aw, shut up. You’re gonna be tellin’ that one tomorrow, shut up.”

Ah, no, Wanda, I don’t think so; unless you have absolutely NO class.

Then Wanda went on an ugly rant about 9/11 and Rush Limbaugh. “Rush Limbaugh, 'I hope the country fails' -- I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? ... He needs a good waterboarding, that's what he needs."

This brought forth laughter from SOME of the crowd and Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America, joined in on the amusement. The President who campaigned on Hope, Change and Unity was unified with the laughing crowd. The President, who signed an Executive Order to close Guantanamo Bay within a year and stop Enhanced Interrogation of Terrorists because it could be PERCEIVED by other countries and Terrorists as inhumane, laughed with the other inconsiderate audience members. The President, who just returned from a world tour where he wanted to transform the PERCEPTION of America to those abroad from hostile to supportive, smiled a wide toothed grin with other insensitive members of the crowd. Yes, the President of the United States wants other countries and their leaders, like Hugo Chavez and the Castro Brothers to PERCEIVE the United States as a Country of humanity, civility and honor and is concerned with how other countries PERCEIVE him and the United States but could care less that AMERICANS see him chuckling when a comedian wishes death to one of his OWN citizens.

I’m quite bewildered. An honorable man would care MORE about his OWN people than that of other countries. A man with integrity would NOT have laughed, chuckled, smiled or grinned when someone made a joke about the death or demise of a fellow American, even if that American didn’t agree with his policies. An honorable man would’ve sat there with NO expression.

Wanda is NOT someone that Obama has to impress. Nor is she someone who will enhance Obama’s political career or agenda. But how Obama responds to her shenanigans reflects on him as a person. And in my opinion, laughing at the demise of a fellow human being shows ME a very weak person indeed. I would NEVER laugh at a joke that wished a person dead. Obama can hide behind his rhetoric of torture is inhumane and health care for everyone because I care so much; but actions speak volumes.

A LEADER would’ve sat there STONED FACED because it’s INSENSITIVE to wish a hellish demise to a fellow human being. A man that stands on a pulpit and preaches that waterboarding is inhumane, which doesn’t do bodily harm as some doctors have attested to, would NOT have cracked a grin at wishing a fellow human being the painful, torturous death of kidney failure. A LEADER would’ve SHOWN by example that that type of callous, disgusting humor won’t be tolerated. The man that ran a campaign on unity could’ve made a stand on May 9th. He could’ve proved to the United States that he was a man of integrity; but instead he ran with the crowd when his laughter filled the room…and that tells me more than any speech on a teleprompter ever could.


  1. So which is worse?

    A comedian who tells a bad, off color, despicable joke (and fails at doing it) or serious people (Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh) who have the ear of the country and its politicians, who seriously spout hate, bigotry, and fear to incite the same, throughout the country?

    Rush is not a comedian so I can't give him the same consideration when he says someone is faking their disease, or makes fun of handicapped people; because he's being serious when he says those things.

    Don Rickles makes a living at being an "insult" comedian. I see Wanda's act as the same poor attempt to make people laugh at sad, serious situations, or issues. I don't like insult comedians, or bad comedians that bring out the worst in humanity, just to get a laugh.

    Maybe we saw a different show? I did not see President Obama laugh at that particular joke. I did see him laugh at jokes (I thought were not funny) but I'm probably not the best judge of good comedy. Wanda does not make me laugh, but she is a popular comedian with a hit TV show.

    She was trying (but failed) to make a comedic comparison to a comment made by Rush (in total seriousness) that was so obviously outrageous, that most people laughed at his statement.

    One is a bad comedian, the other is a bad person trying to incite people to act based on the hate and fear he defines.

  2. And you don't have to be a conservative to see that Obama has a problem:

    "He's ruthless. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Obama described his economic policy as 'ruthless pragmatism.' Interesting choice of modifiers. Obama has a healthy disdain for the overrated virtue of political loyalty. Around the nomination process, this has been slightly chilling to watch. If you're useful, you can hang around with him. If you start to look like a liability, enjoy your time with the wolves. Before the inauguration, Christopher Hitchens described Obama as feline in his demeanor. The president is catlike also in his lack of evident affection for the people who take care of him. His cracks at the White House Correspondents' Dinner about Hillary Clinton being an envious loser, Larry Summers' woman problem, and training his dog not to pee on Tim Geithner skirted cruelty. Obama's jokes about himself were about how great everyone thinks he is."


  3. Rush isn't spewing hatred and bigotry. Time probably has never listened for more than a minute, if that.

    Please, Pamela, delete that comment by shaun. He/she is trolling what he/she thinks are right wing sites and saying absurd things and name calling.

  4. Time: I didn’t write about how Rush does his radio show and I never mentioned Michael Moore. I wrote about the President laughing when a comedian wished a fellow American a deadly illness, whether it was done in a so-called joke or not. I think it was despicable and it’s even more dreadful that the President of the United States laughed. And he DID laugh, go back and watch it on you-tube again, right around minute 3 of part 2. Obama’s smile didn’t go away until Wanda started talking about Sean Hannity. If Wanda’s joke failed then why did people laugh? Why did Obama laugh, smile, whatever one wants to call it? A comparison would have been: I hope his radio show fails. Because Rush said he hopes Obama’s policies fail, not Obama’s health.
    My point, again, is that I believe Wanda went WAY over the line of decency wishing Rush dead, which is what kidney failure will do and I don’t think Obama should’ve shown any amusement at all, unless he thought it was funny. And if that's the case...well...I think you know where I stand.

    Right Klik: I have noticed that about Obama. If one is useful one will not end up under the bus.

    Blue: I agree that Rush doesn’t spew hate, but we’ll save that for another day.
    And thanks for the head’s up; these trolls need to get a life!

  5. Bull,
    I have listened to Rush since before he became a national figure. You just can't believe that one could listen to the same words you here and come to a different conclusion. Rush indeed is a bigot and hater, but there are plenty of those on both sides. I know for a fact Rush has lied and misled people with his facts, because over the last 15 years I have checked his facts, they are wrong.

    My point is: saying dispicable things in public, which is what I thought your point was. I'll stand by what I said.
    I used Michael Moore and Rush as examples of people who have made dispicable statements in public. Again, one was serious, one was supposed to be humorous, but was not.
    If because President Obama laughed at one out of line joke, you see that as evidence that he is a total dispicable character, I disagree. Laughing at a joke, even a bad joke, does indicate a person lacking in good character.
    If your point is that he should not have laughed, fine, but you were making much more of it than that.

  6. Thanks for the Links to this post "The Debonair Dude's World"

    I enjoyed reading the Dude.

  7. Maybe the Devil made her do it.

  8. I haven't listened to Wanda Sykes for several years now, because I find her to be rude and crude. The way she behaved at the Correspondence Dinner just proved it. As for BO, because of Narcissitic Disorder, he is totally incapable of feeling anything for anyone except himself. In his little world it is about Obama all of the time. The man is also a consummate liar. At Notre Dame, he said that he would like to see less abortions. If that was true then why has he done every thing in his power to increase abortions?

    I would love to slip into a four year coma and wake up after he is out of office, because the man gives me heart burn.

  9. Pamela, please don't think there are folks on the left who are happy with the Wanda Sykes performance. It was tasteless, crude, and unfunny. However, I am more reserved in my criticism of Obama:

    Suppose, for instance, you hired a band for your kid's wedding, and the band turned out awful. While guests are still in the room, protocol requires you to put on your best face. Behind stage and in private, however, there might be a rebuke and a reckoning. I should imagine Obama was put in the same position.

    This is not to excuse, however, for policies that I find questionable. Such as the double standard between bailouts for Wall Street versus a callous disregard for Main Street, the continued erosion of our manufacturing assets, and the continued outsourcing of jobs by our corporations.

    If you are as concerned about these things as I am, then we have common ground to make whatever noise it takes to get Washington to take notice and change direction.

  10. good stuf pammy, but as you point out the perception of a leader is one who has proven to be "better" than those he guides. obama has NOT proven to such a man. and that lack of character has doomed him to forever be a man of little substance. no matter how many terms he should win!

  11. Interesting post. My take was somewhat different- I kind of resented the fact that Sykopath saved her really nasty material for people who weren't there, while letting the Obamessiah off with some relative softballs. The chummy "we're all cozy liberals here" air of the whole thing was really quite stomach turning. If Sykes really is as "edgy" as I keep hearing, why not REALLY be edgy and throw your barbs at someone who is actually in the room.

    Plus, I can't even begin to fathom the outcry if Rush had said "I hope Wanda Sykes gets a brain tumor" or something of that nature. The double standard the media applies on matters of taste continues...

  12. Time: I place my opinion that Obama is of low character not just on this one incident. This just enforced my belief. I had an opinion of him prior to this; however, I was willing to give him a chance, in case I was wrong. I think that as the Leader of our Country he should’ve made a stand when Sykes asked “Too much?” He didn’t answer her, he just kept smiling. He had an opportunity at that point to show true grit. He showed ME volumes, though with his wide toothed grin.

    Rev: I believe you’re right, it is all about him. He says one thing but does another. It’s really easy to talk the talk. Doing the right thing is hard, that’s why so few people do it. Honorable people are hard to find.

    Octo: If I hired someone and they didn’t do the right thing (morally speaking), I’d fire them on the spot. I’m one of those people that do the right thing, regardless of protocol, although not playing good music wouldn't fall under this category.Now if it was vulgar music, I'd walk right up and pull the plug. I’ve found over the years if one can’t look at oneself in the mirror without flinching one’s life’s purpose has no meaning. So, while Obama might think his polls are great…can he look in the mirror without flinching? Maybe, because there are plenty of people out there that don’t care about honor or character. I, on the other hand, put A LOT of stock in values.
    As far as the bailouts for Wall Street…I am outraged! I’m sick and tired of this entitlement attitude. Again, it comes down to integrity. If you failed, you failed. Get up, dust yourself off and start over. Failure can be a good lesson in humility. There are a lot of people that need a lesson in that these days.

    Pat: You’re right. We hear all the time about how our politicians are supposed to be better than the rest of us. But Obama gets passes on just about everything. Clinton got a pass. But Bush never got a pass. I believe people should be forgiven for a mistake, IF that person is truly remorseful and has made amends and changes the behavior. But if that person continues with the same behavior then it’s a personality trait, not a mistake. It looks to me like this is all a part of Obama’s personality, not mistakes.

    Pajama: You made a very good analysis. Why would Sykes go “Edgy” on Obama? She sees him as one of her own. She wouldn’t dare say anything that would be even slightly misconstrued as insulting. Goodness forbid if she went against the Left-wing machine. Again, it just goes to show HER character. My EXACT point.
    As far as the media…well let me say that there is NO honor there whatsoever. A good media outlet and journalist is supposed to deliver the news so that the population gets the truth. I’m not at all surprised that print news is going under. I predicted it over a year ago.

  13. i didn't see wanda sykes but my mother listens to limbaugh almost daily- and hannity. i realize that this isn't a post completely about that type of venue- but if you do listen with half an ear- they do spew venom against half of the population of america they call 'libruls.' it's true. i have listened also. that doesn't excuse wanda sykes or the folks who laughed- including obama- but let's not pretend that limbaugh isn't part of the 'hate media' crowd. because he is.

  14. This was a ROAST. People are expected to tell insulting, bad jokes. The worse the better. You are reading way to much into this.
    Proof of bad character is an on purpose, serious, public, insulting remark like: Cheney telling a U.S. Senator to fuck off, or Newt calling the first lady of the country a bitch, or Rush claiming someone with a life threatening disease is faking that disease, then physically mocking the symptoms of that disease. Yet these people meet your definition of honorable people????
    If Obama is a dishonorable person for his reaction to a bad joke a a roast dinner, then where is your condemnation for the actions of the people I just cited?

  15. Betmo: I’ve listened to Limbaugh and Hannity and I don’t hear hate. I hear them talking against the policies of the Left. When I hear the Left media outlets I hear them speak out against the Right’s policies. I suppose it comes down to what one perceives as hate speech. I know Hannity can go on rants about the Anointed One, Rahm Dead Fish, etc. He doesn’t let up on that, which can get very annoying, and that’s why I don’t listen to him all that often.

    Time: This post is about Obama’s character; but if you want to get into VP’s using the F-word, how about Vice President Biden recently saying, unknowingly to a live mic, “Gimme a F-ing break.” And our Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, uses the F-word on a consistent basis. According to Obama, the word ‘Day’ doesn’t follow ‘Mother’ where Rahm is concerned. As far as cussing goes…I know people that cuss and are the most benevolent, honest, honorable people in the world. Then I know some who would never allow a swear word to pass their lips; but they have no moral fiber whatsoever and I wouldn’t let these people walk my dog. I don’t believe cussing determines a person’s character.
    I don’t have the information where Newt Gingrich called the First Lady a bitch. If he did, then that was uncouth and he owes her an apology. Again, if Gingrich made a mistake, is remorseful makes amends, and doesn’t do it again, then he should be forgiven; because it was a mistake. If it’s something he does on a continuous basis, then it’s a personality trait. We ALL make mistakes. There is a difference between character traits and mistakes. I believe that Obama’s true colors are coming out. As I said before, it’s not just this one incident

  16. Wow, did I read that right? The people on the left aren't happy with Wanda Sykes comments? Right. They were laughing their asses off until people called them on it. The president was right there laughing along.

    Time, I doubt you really listened to Rush. You probably just went to wikipedia and looked up negative things about him.

  17. Bull,

    Is that all you can do, call people liars.

    A majority of Americans agree with my opinion of Rush, maybe it's you who needs to check Rush's facts instead of just regergitating his talking points. Educate yourself on the facts, if you know how to. You are a sheep being sheared.

  18. I've made enough quips about the irritating Ms. Sykes. Suffice to say, whomever the comedian invited to the Correspondents Dinner was, he/she would have made insults that would have outraged a bunch of people. Let's find common ground. Rush Limbaugh is overweight and thinks his "sh!t" don't stink. President Obama is not overweight and he also thinks his "sh!t" don't stink. There. I said it and I'm glad.


    As with Bull, you don't know me, read my blog, or know the first thing about me.

    You, as with Bull just spred hate, call people names, and have no clue what you are talking about.

    It is the same way I would describe Rush.

    No wonder you support Rush so much, you both use the same uneducated and hate filled tatics.

    This is how the right debates, with hate.

    So blinded by hate, they can't make an objective observation about themselves, their party, or anyone else.

    Pam, do your comment guides include this kind of hate filled name calling? I'm not a prude, but I reserve the right to respond in kind. And that's how these threads get out of line. So let me point out that I was attacked by your commenters with their name calling slurs, I did not attact them. I see no reason to "turn the other cheek" to such hatefilled, uneducated, bums who attack me without knowing the truth of what they say, they just say it out of hate for someone they don't even know. That's a deffinition of stupid.

  20. Time: As you can see, I’ve deleted this person called “I call ‘em as I see ‘em,” who I think is a Troll.
    I will not tolerate someone calling my readers names such as this person used. I just deleted him for a 2nd time due to some nasty name-calling. So, yes, I do review my comments and delete when necessary.

    I call ‘em as I see ‘em: If you come on my blog again and spew nasty names, you will be deleted AGAIN. You are only welcome here if you can act like a mature adult. I don’t care what side of the political aisle you are on, I will not permit you to harass anyone, Conservative or Liberal. This is MY blog and I EXPECT EVERYONE to follow MY rules.

  21. Pamela,

    Check out Don Imus making the Clintons squirm back in nineteen ninty-whatever for a classic example of the headliner of this event being truly edgy.

  22. Last paragraph...standing & applauding, sister, standing & applauding! Yes, you & I were both a little slow on the uptake w/ this one, but yours was worth the wait!

    Time, insult commedians are fine, if one likes that. But the purpose of this dinner is supposed to be 'roasting' the President & his cohorts in good fun, not wishing the death of political opponents. I think you're stretching your rationale too thin.

    AND, Rush is part political pundit, part entertainer. He's making his $$ on that 'schtick', just like the 'shock jocks' (who've said worse than him, btw). Michael Moore~ he's an uber-left-wing propagandist. He doesn't even have the status 'entertainer' to fall back on.

    The more I see of Obama (which I try to avoid), the more I see that he's "got a silver tongue & a black heart". 'Makes my skin crawl, frankly.

  23. Last paragraph...standing & applauding, sister, standing & applauding! Yes, you & I were both a little slow on the uptake w/ this one, but yours was worth the wait!

    Susannah: Thank you, what a nice compliment. I’d love to be able to write and blog ALL the time; but I have other obligations…such is life.

    Pajama: I’ll try to find Imus, thanks for the info.

  24. I saw that video of Wanda Sykes. The woman seated to her right and to the left of Prez Obama looked very uneasy.

    Bottomest Line: Sykes is a twisted, hostile, classless woman.


  25. Lorna: Too bad our President didn’t follow their lead and look uneasy as well. And you’re right, Sykes has NO class. Not many women do these days.


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