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Opinion: Oh, c’mon, <em>laugh!</em> Pres. Obama does have big ears

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Breaking News: President Obama spoke in public Sunday and did not utter one newly depressing economic statistic. Not one.

He said nothing about us living in the worst economic times since Joe Biden invented television during the Hoover administration. In fact, as some of us uncovered our ears and crept out from behind the couch, the new president actually smiled on-camera. No, really.

He wished everyone should enjoy the Super Bowl. And said he would not be waving a Terrible Towel during his White House game party because he might need the votes of some legislator guests.

Obama might be careful with his daily dose of national depression. Jimmy Carter, the last Democrat to breeze into Washington as an alleged outsider and the anti-Republican, only got one term. Why?

Because when he started talking about our national ‘malaise’ too much, Carter’s popularity plummeted, opening the political door wide for Ronald Reagan’s sunny Republican optimism. Carter got some bad news of his own in November of 1980. Reagan got two terms and his VP one more for good luck.

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Studies during the recent campaign showed that late-night comedians, almost 2-1 over Obama, chose to make jokes about Republican John McCain, especially the age of the former POW. They clearly shied away from the African American Democrat, his immense ears and anything else that might get a laugh. When late-night comedy did attempt humor about Obama, it was often to poke safe fun at his sycophantic media.

Rare now are the satirical portrayals of Obama like this photo from the wonderful Wonkette.com or cracks about Obama’s earnest but mediocre golf and bad bowling.

So we share with Ticket readers this morning a perceptive article from Sunday’s L.A. Times by our sometimes blogging buddy here, James Rainey. Jim writes about the surplus of earnestness and deficit of humor our nation is also suffering these days.

Have you noticed it? The muted studio audience reaction when Jon Stewart riffs on President Obama. The pained look the Leader of the Free World gets when his loose cannon vice president cracks wise about, say, the chief justice of the United States. Comedian Andy Borowitz has felt it in dozens of angry e-mails. They come flowing in, just because his website -- www.borowitzreport.com -- wove a provocative double entendre (which my editor wouldn’t let me repeat) about Obama’s economic package and tweaked the chief executive for attempting to ‘Calm Americans With Series of Boring Speeches.’

And Jim’s dead-on.

--Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credits: Wonkette.com (Obama as Honest Abe)


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