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Wanda Too Mean To Rush

When you clip and truncate quotes, or in this case, a comedienne’s routine, you’re actually guiltier than the person you’re attempting to smear, due to the dishonesty of your actions. You also don’t have to like the comic’s routine, but when you book her you at least know what you’re getting.

The final evidence is in on why journalism is dying and why political coverage is so pathetic. The press doesn’t have a spine. So let’s just stop the pretense and do away with the pain they’re being caused by being exposed to strong comedy. It’s time to stop the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The invitees just don’t have the stomach for it. That they invite a comic to their event, someone whose work they are fully aware of, as are her politics, then take her down for doing what she does best, is an indictment on our press, not the comic.

There’s a reason Rush didn’t mention Sykes on Monday and it’s not because she blew it.

I wasn’t even going to write about this, because I had real things to read, so it wasn’t exactly at the top of my list. I also wasn’t there, but in seeing the clips the Sykes pile on seemed, well, absurd. Then I got to talking about it with some friends and it started ticking me off all over again. Don Rickles and Joan Rivers should thank their bank accounts that they never had to live through the current crowd of collapsing ninnies who feel compelled to rush to the aid of –wait for it– Rush Limbaugh.

It’s hard to believe I just wrote those words.

This is what Sykes said, in full, not just the clipped segments that have made their way around, but were also featured on MSNBC, all without Sykes’s set up.

Rush Limbaugh, one of your big critics, boy, Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails. So, you’re saying “I hope America fails,” it’s like, I don’t care about people losing their homes, or their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq. He just wants the country to fail. To me, that’s treason. He’s not saying anything differently than what Osama bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, Sir, because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was just so strung out on oxycontin he missed his flight.

Rush Limbaugh, I hope the country fails, I hope his kidneys fail, how ’bout that? Needs a little waterboarding, that’s what he needs.

Emphasis on the bold section is for good reason. That’s Sykes’s set up no one is playing. Keith Olbermann cropped it completely, then went on to, well, make a fool of himself.

So when I unwound “Countdown,” needless to say, I had a reaction somewhere between is Keith kidding? and, of course, how fitting, Olbermann is now the arbiter of what’s over the line for comics. “A seasoned pro went well beyond the line,” says KO, wincing. That’s the plateau on which his ego now resides. In the judgment section of the gods’ eternal reckoning.

“Oh, no, not good. Not about him, not when you mix in 9/11, not about anybody.” – Keith Olbermann

For a moment I even thought he was saving his Wanda Sykes dress down for “worst persons.” Instead he had on Richard Wolf so the two of them could discuss just how inappropriate Ms. Sykes was in her routine, while truncating her routine making sure the “Countdown” clip matched their point. The minute Olbermann announced in a promo early on in his show that he was going to come to Mr. Limbaugh’s aid he should have known he’d jumped the fat man. However, Olbermann was hardly the only nervous Nelly. I mean, really, the noise of the teleprompter scared “the hell out of us,” said KO. Poor baby. How could a black chick eviscerating the fat man not too?

Cue Chuck Todd and the First Read wimps: The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza writes that Sykes’ remarks angered some Republicans in attendance.

Oh, no. Don’t you dare anger “some Republicans” by criticizing Rush.

Gibbs admits he didn’t bother to talk to the President about Sykes. Thank goodness. But he did prepare a statement to make sure everyone knew that making jokes had its limits, even if the jokes Sykes made were not at the expense of a national tragedy.

No wonder we aren’t going after the torture authors. We just don’t have the stomach for that.

But by all means let’s go after Sykes. Love or hate her routine, when taken in its entirety it was flawlessly delivered, with a smile, cutting to the bone. But only if you listen to it in its entirety, including the set up. Again:

Rush Limbaugh, one of your big critics, boy, Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails. So, you’re saying “I hope America fails,” it’s like, I don’t care about people losing their homes, or their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq. He just wants the country to fail. To me, that’s treason. He’s not saying anything differently than what Osama bin Laden is saying.

Anyone coming to Limbaugh’s aid on this one has no business in political analysis. They’re obviously too lazy and soft to be trusted.

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.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
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