Laura Ingraham, for my money, is the most civil and entertaining of the far right talk show hosts. She does not engage in off-the wall rants, like fellow lawyer Mark Levin, she does not intentionally provoke the Left with politically-incorrect eye-pokes, like Rush Limbaugh (though he is awfully good at this, and sometimes very funny), and her passion for dignity and decorum in the culture is admirable, though Laura’s sense of what is smut and “poison” seems to have been formed while watching re-runs of “Father Knows Best.” Today, however, she hit the hypocrisy jack-pot while complaining about Jimmy Kimmel’s low-life performance as the MC at the White House correspondents’ dinner, and the unseemly tenor of the annual event generally. To be fair, she was absolutely right about a great deal:
- The event is a national and international embarrassment. When it was a private affair allowing the White House to show appreciation for the hardy crew of journalists that dogs its occupant’s every move, allowing the President to josh with the reporters and let his hair down if he had any, an argument could be made that the event was harmless at worst, and beneficial at best. Now that the dinner is broadcast on cable TV, however, it has become increasingly cringe-worthy, as the Chief Executive is required to play stand-up comic next to the likes of Kimmel, diminishing his stature and making foreign cultures even more contemptuous of the U.S. than they already are. It should be held privately, or not at all.
- The President should not be subjected to a performance that includes vulgarity and crudeness. Kimmel was both vulgar and crude, as he always is—don’t blame him, blame the fools who hired him. The President should not sacrifice respect and dignity to appear “cool.” Then again, this President does not comprehend Presidential leadership, and apparently never will. I am not a Reagan worshiper, but Ronnie would have been livid at an entertainer who resorted to such words as “asshole” in his presence. JFK would have made heads roll, and Ike would have had to restrain himself from having Kimmel shot.
- For the President to be seen and heard joking about life and death issues, policies and episodes is offensive. He is the one American who has to be perceived as taking these matters seriously…always.
The last is where Laura hit an iceberg. She played an audio clip of a White House spokesperson earlier this year declaring how serious the recent Secret Service scandal was (You remember, don’t you? South American hookers and all that?) being taken on Pennsylvania Avenue, and they played Obama’s scripted joke from the dinner making light of the episode. She then segued into the hypocrisy of the mainstream media, which happily gives this President, whom they all voted for, carte blanche to make such irreverent gags, but who attacked President Bush for his “searching for the weapons of mass destruction” video routine at one of his White House dinners. Good one Laura…wait, what? You didn’t criticize President Bush’s routine then. You’re being more of a hypocrite than they are. Not only are you applying a double standard to the Presidency according to who’s in the office, you’re criticizing journalists for applying the exact same double standard you are!
And here’s strike three on Ingraham: Bush’s joke was inexcusable, Obama’s was just a mistake. The WMD fiasco got the U.S. into war and led to the deaths of thousand of soldiers and civilians, American and Iraqi. There is no comparison to President Obama’s quipping about the Secret Service episode.
Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at firstname.lastname@example.org.