US comedy shows

December 1st, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

I enjoy all the US comedy shows, but I do wish they were so not predictable with the targets of their jokes.

Two years after he has left office, and I’d say David Letterman is doing 20 times as many references to George W Bush as to Obama.

And Sarah Palin gets targeted more than I’d say anyone else.

Now don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the jokes at their expense. is .

But where are the Obama and Biden jokes?It’s not like there is a shortage of material – esp with Biden.

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60 Responses to “US comedy shows”

  1. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Its racist to make jokes about blacks and with Biden, most people were taught by their Mothers not to tease retards.

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  2. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I guess you’d have to try and see how often Bush was made fun of only two years into his second term. Bush also had eight years of Bush-isms which we came to know, love, and make calendars out of.

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  3. m@tt (612 comments) says:

    Oh come on. Under any objective measure Bush and Palin are a veritable goldmine of idiocy at which to poke the borax.
    Speaking of Palin. I’d love to hear your thoughts on her plea to use all ‘cyber tools’ available to shut down wikileaks.

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  4. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    You’re a cyber tool

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  5. big bruv (13,571 comments) says:

    Of course Palin gets targeted more than anybody else, she provides the most material.

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  6. Fletch (6,151 comments) says:

    It’s purely because leftist media is biased. The Right are prime targets for them, and they can’t bear to attack their own. Bush may have been a bit bumbling in his speech sometimes, but he was genuine and patriotic.

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  7. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Obama and Biden are relatively boring. Biden in particular has provided plenty of material but I don’t know whether to laugh or yawn.

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  8. davidp (3,558 comments) says:

    m@tt>Speaking of Palin. I’d love to hear your thoughts on her plea to use all ‘cyber tools’ available to shut down wikileaks.

    Pointless. Information won’t be contained. But, just a few days ago the US Homeland Security people seized a number of domain names for piracy and counterfeit goods sites and rediverted them to a DHS site:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101129/01445312034/with-domain-name-seizures-increasing-its-time-decentralized-dns-system.shtml

    That’s a cyber tool. Palin just thinks stolen documents that endanger the lives of US foreign informants are more important than counterfeit handbags.

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  9. kowtow (7,955 comments) says:

    Where are the O and B jokes.

    You know the answer already,those plonkers who pass themselves off as independent/comedians/whatever might as well be the Praetorian Guard for the left/liberal assault on the traditional values of the west.That’s why and Obie is hands offto them just like attacking Bush and Palin is “cool”

    That’s why…..look at that Stewart arse and his so called restore sanity farce and the Keynesians who turned up. Now that was real comedy.Wannabe liberals who don’t know a Kenyan from a Keynesian…..hahahahahaha…

    It’s like Penn and Teller getting the eco wackos to sign a petition against dihydrogen monoxide cos it’s in our water etc hahahaha,now that was funny.

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  10. Fletch (6,151 comments) says:

    ps, as I mentioned the other day, George Bush’s book Decision Points has sold over 1 million copies, and is currently the No #1 bestseller on Amazon, and has been 92 days in the top 100. Funny that, for an author no one is purported to like.

    Also, why isn’t it being sold in NZ? I’ve been to several stores including Whitcoulls, Paper Plus, Borders, etc, and no one seems to sell it. I guess the importers think that no one here wants to read it either – more loss for them.

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  11. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Sarah does give us lots to laugh about.

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  12. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    ps, as I mentioned the other day, George Bush’s book Decision Points has sold over 1 million copies, and is the No #1 bestseller on Amazon, and has been 92 days in the top 100. Funny that, for an author no one is purported to like.

    The fact he was President of the United States for eight years might’ve had something to do with it.

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  13. Herman Poole (297 comments) says:

    ps, as I mentioned the other day, George Bush’s book Decision Points has sold over 1 million copies, and is currently the No #1 bestseller on Amazon, and has been 92 days in the top 100. Funny that, for an author no one is purported to like.

    Also, why isn’t it being sold in NZ? I’ve been to several stores including Whitcoulls, Paper Plus, Borders, etc, and no one seems to sell it. I guess the importers think that no one here wants to read it either – more loss for them

    Because they are trying to move their stocks of Barack Obamas ‘Of Thee I Sing’.

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  14. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    The Daily Show takes the piss out of Obama regularly.

    Letterman and Leno and the other late-nighters are not yet into Obama is because they are hacks, whose material is always dated.

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  15. davidp (3,558 comments) says:

    Stephen>The fact he was President of the United States for eight years might’ve had something to do with it.

    Bush waited until after he was President to write an autobiography. Obama had written a couple before he even became President.

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  16. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    GW has already written a book – 1999 campaign memoir “A Charge to Keep.”

    This isn’t funny – in Decision Points GW says “we were blindsided by a financial crisis that had been more than a decade in the making”. If it was more than two decades in the making I wonder if they would have noticed it coming? They were caught by surprise by something caused by his predecessor? Blame away.

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  17. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Here’s something that I am very excited about. Joe Biden, the current vice president, was yakking away over the weekend. And he — remember when Dick Cheney was in an undisclosed location and everybody thought: Where? So supposedly top secret information, classified information. And Joe Biden just says, ‘No, I know where he was. He was hiding under his house. Joe Biden is living proof that people can give up sensitive information without being tortured.’” –David Letterman

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  18. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    @davidp

    It’s all about the material. Obama’s first book was a bestseller before he was a politician, seemingly because it was a story people were interested in reading. Same goes for Bush in 2010.

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  19. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    So you don’t have to read it Mudflats is blogging America by Heart.

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  20. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Bush waited until after he was President to write an autobiography. Obama had written a couple before he even became President.

    “You’re not a real candidate, Pinocchio, if you haven’t written your own book,” said Mark Halperin, the political director of ABC News. “If you know everybody else is doing a book, you’ve got to do a book.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/22/books/22book.html

    That article was written about the slew of authors constesting the 08 election. I would guess we’ll see the same from the next lot of candidates – I know Bobby Jindal Governer of Louisiana is, or will be releasing a book, for instance.

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  21. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Obama’s first book was a bestseller before he was a politician, seemingly because it was a story people were interested in reading.

    There was a lot of national interest in his being the first black guy to be Editor of the Harvard Law Review. May have sparked him off.

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  22. Herman Poole (297 comments) says:

    That article was written about the slew of authors constesting the 08 election. I would guess we’ll see the same from the next lot of candidates – I know Bobby Jindal Governer of Louisiana is, or will be releasing a book, for instance.

    He just has, and he skewers Obamas handling of the oil spill as ‘image obsessed’.

    http://www.leadershipandcrisisbook.com/

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  23. themono (132 comments) says:

    Try Saturday Night Live – they regularly get into Obama and Biden.

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  24. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    kowtow (747) Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Got it in one.
    Don’t know how anyone else here hasn’t, as they all seem to be educated?
    Its plain as day, they can’t attack the one they put there.
    Palin is a threat. By attacking here they are indirectly attacking those who support her too.
    The attacks on her and her family are viscious and over the line.
    It shows how wicked and devious the people are who do it, especially attacking the kids.

    those who do it (and those who don’t protest about that) are no better than animals.

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  25. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Mike, I’m sure there are worse things that you haven’t protested about, does that make you a moose?

    Palin supporters try to talk up the threat/fear thing. Most just wish to see her as an emperor with no clothes.

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  26. Graeme Edgeler (3,277 comments) says:

    I enjoy all the US comedy shows, but I do wish they were so not predictable with the targets of their jokes.

    Do you enjoy all the US comedy shows in the same way Sarah Palin reads all of the newspapers?

    [DPF: No I can name the ones I watch. Letterman, Daily Show and Colbert on a daily basis (when they are shown here). Saturday Night Live every week]

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  27. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Do you enjoy all the US comedy shows in the same way Sarah Palin reads all of the newspapers?

    That one will keep giving for a while yet.

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  28. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    MikeNZ says:

    The attacks on her and her family are viscious and over the line.

    I agree. But the situation isn’t helped by the loons who support her taking actions such as encouraging a vote for Bristol’s lacklustre efforts on “Dancing with the Stars” which kept her in till the final despite being panned by the judges every week, as some sort of “political statement”. It’s a sequinned dancing show FGS, not a presidential primary… you don’t use social media to motivate the base for that, or you just look… stupid.

    And it’s not helped, either, by Bristol assuming she’s a “star” to be danced with. She has no meaningful achievments of her own (aside from showing the world she has no judgment when it comes to choosing “baby daddies”, as they call them over there). She’s the daughter of a losing vice-presidential contender… imagine if, say, Annette King’s daughter appeared on the NZ version – there’d rightfully be derision.

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  29. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    BTW Mike, to show I’m not an animal I don’t agree with how a lot of political attacking is done, like some on Sarah Palin, like Swift Boating, like birth certificating. That sort of thing is nastiness playing on people’s gullibility.

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  30. Ed Snack (1,801 comments) says:

    Graeme, try reading the original interview where that “quote” comes from, not just the soundbite intended to make Palin sound bad. Rather like Palin’s slip of the tongue in saying “our ally North Korea” a short time ago. In contect it’s simply a slip of the tongue because she otherwise consistently referred correctly to North and South Korea for the entire interview. We even had a significant story on that in the Dom and the Herald. Whereas Obama can make a number of serious gaffes and they never get a mention here or in most of the MSM in the States. Just think of “57 States”, and seeing the dead servicemen, thinking Austrian is a language, the “inhalator”, and so on; so why the emphasis on Palin. And as others have pointed out, one could just about fill the Saturday edition of the NYT from end to end with a selection of Joe Biden’s gaffes.

    Everyone makes mistakes, it does come down to how aggressively your opponents focus on them and how much support they get when doing so. And given the dominance of “liberal” thinking in most of the MSM the Democrats have a significant advantage in this task.

    Me, I think it is partly a very successful Democrat campaign significantly aided by the Democrat’s near stranglehold on the MSM in the USA. It also a real antipathy by many who might otherwise defend Palin as a woman, for a female who has succeeded in her own way and not as the feminist blueprint would have one succeed.

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  31. Graeme Edgeler (3,277 comments) says:

    Just think of “57 States”, and seeing the dead servicemen, thinking Austrian is a language, the “inhalator”, and so on; so why the emphasis on Palin.

    DPF claimed to enjoy all of the US Comedy shows; I saw a similarity with a joke about Palin. Given the topic, it seemed apt to point out the similarity. That is all.

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  32. Ed Snack (1,801 comments) says:

    Graeme, OK, an excellent example of the way Palin has been “framed” by biased coverage compared to the other possible targets.

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  33. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Ed, it has little to do with the MSM, except that they showed the campaign interviews of Palin. To many people (left and right) she came across as totally out of her depth. She floundered.

    Can you point to any recent credible interviews where she has shown she is now capable footing it in national and international politics?

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  34. Fletch (6,151 comments) says:

    The clear case of media bias was illustrated only recently when Obama and Palin had speaking engagements at two different venues. Both were downsized, but Palin’s was reported everywhere –

    In August of this year, Sarah Palin was scheduled to make an appearance in Florida. On August 17, the Florida Times-Union ran the following bit of news:

    Slow ticket sales have bumped Sarah Palin’s appearance next week in Jacksonville to a smaller venue. “An Evening of Hope with Sarah Palin” was moved from the 2,936-seat Moran Theatre to the 609-seat Terry Theatre. Both theaters are part of the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.

    This relatively minor local story was picked up by MSNBC and the Guardian the following day. A day after that, the AP did its own version which appeared on the website of the local NBC affiliate and the local Fox affiliate in Jacksonville but also on the website of the Boston Herald. No word on why this would matter to readers in Boston.

    Not wanting to be left out of the news cycle, CNN wrote its own story about the downgrade. The Huffington Post ran its version the next day.
    The following week the St. Petersburg Times mentioned the theater downgrade on their blog. And finally, the Miami Herald included it in their Palin story the day after her appearance.
    I’m leaving out dozens if not hundreds of blog posts and mentions at places like Democratic Underground and Little Green Footballs. Remember, the entire story here was that Palin’s appearance was downgraded from a 3,000 seat auditorium to a 600 seat theater because of slow ticket sales.

    But when the same thing happens to Obama the media is completely silent –

    Thanks to Gail Sheehy at the Daily Beast, we learned that something similar happened to another politician last week:

    Only after I received four email invitations and two personal calls imploring me to come did I call Speaker Pelosi’s office to check the admission price. “You mean, to be in the room with the President of the United States is now on fire sale for $100..?”
    “Do we need to line up early to get in?”
    “That’s not necessary. Everybody will get in.”
    And everybody did—450 people in a room that holds 650. Even Obama’s fire sale didn’t sell out.

    Are you ready for the list of media outlets that covered Obama’ disappointing turn out?

    That’s it

    The leftist media make me sick sometimes with their obvious bias…

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  35. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    @Fletch,

    But you could view this in a different way. That people are fixated with Palin like a deers caught in the headlights, and the media is serving that fixation.

    As someone who is liberal, I confess that I cannot get enough of her. I don’t know fuck all about what Obama is doing, really, because I find right wing politics in America to be far more interesting. I think this is the same for a lot of people.

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  36. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Fletch, plucking one example of each out of the internet is not a compelling argument.

    Ephemera makes a more pertinent point, the media is obsessed with eyeballs more than anything else – what get’s viewer’s/reader’s attention. I don’t see them deciding if something is anti right or pro left, they are obsessed with what gets them ratings. They are catering for their perceived demographic.

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  37. tom hunter (4,568 comments) says:

    I can’t even make fun of Richard Nixon, and there’s a man who is screaming out to be made fun of. So, fuck it.

    That was Robin William’s character in Good Morning Vietnam. It got a lot of laughs from the Baby Boomer audience it was aimed at because was it was so true of Nixon.

    Since I don’t watch the likes of Colbert or SNL, and only occasionally The Daily Show, perhaps others here can inform me as to whether their “getting into” Obama and Biden actually involves carving up their personal characteristics that are screaming out to be made fun of (narcissism, cluelessness)? Or has it continued to be the sort of lame-ass attack SNL did in 2009 when they went after Obama for having done “nothing”.

    In short, satire only when he fails to live up to left-wing expectations – not when some gigantic left-wing idea fucks up. The usual media example of we’re balanced, we attack all sides: sure, but only from one ideological side. Boring, predictable – and safe.

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  38. Ed Snack (1,801 comments) says:

    Pete, that’s incorrect, it’s all about the framing of the events. Why the wide publicity about the NK slip ? In context, there’s a significant discussion about the Korean issue and Palin correctly identifies the sides every time except once there’s what really has to be a slip of the tongue, it’s not uncommon, and yet it hits just about every newspaper across the English speaking world. What’s more, she corrected it and continued the interview without any issues (and it’s not a bad interview, try watching it all, no link sorry but it should be easy to find).

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  39. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Ed, I know the NK slip was simply a trivial Palin mistake. But media knows that if they broadcast or print stories like that it improves their ratings. Biden is a boring old bugger in comparison, so they largely ignore him.

    What sells goes. It’s not a communist plot, it’s commercialism.

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  40. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Gaffing Joe is in the news, it’s just that no one seems to care.

    Biden can’t tell left from right for Kirk oath of office

    Joe Biden, the gaffe-prone vice president, strayed from tradition Monday at the swearing-in of Republican Mark Kirk, the new senator from Illinois.

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  41. davidp (3,558 comments) says:

    Pete George>I know the NK slip was simply a trivial Palin mistake. But media knows that if they broadcast or print stories like that it improves their ratings.

    Some people think the news media’s primary objective is to report news. It isn’t. They want to sell advertising, and will select and spin stories to achieve that. In which case, do people on the left believe advertising more than people on the right? Or do they have higher incomes and are able to purchase greater amounts of advertised goods? I’m thinking there must be a simple economic reason for explaining the general leftward emphasis of the media. Surely The Freakonomics bloke could explain it.

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  42. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    :D

    I’ve always found American humour rather dull, it’s repetitive and dry.

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  43. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Obama is so scarey he can’t be funny.

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  44. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Sarah Palin – But obviously we’ve gotta stand with our North Korean allies.

    :D

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  45. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I thought the number one rule in politics was self promotion, whether good or bad. Even if they are laughing at you you are still in the public’s minds. I bet old Phil of it wishes he was being laughed at.

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  46. Graeme Edgeler (3,277 comments) says:

    Graeme, try reading the original interview where that “quote” comes from, not just the soundbite intended to make Palin sound bad.

    I now have. Palin has recently said about that interview:

    “For people who only know me from that interview, I don’t blame people for thinking I was ill-qualified,”

    The full quote was:

    Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?

    Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

    Couric: What, specifically?

    Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.

    Couric: Can you name a few?

    Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?” Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

    I agree with Palin – she doesn’t come across well in this exchange. Edited, or complete.

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  47. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Most people would agree with Palin on that except, ironically, those in awe of her apparently don’t see her floundering.

    In which case, do people on the left believe advertising more than people on the right?

    There’s a good chance there are more gullibles on the left. But there’s plenty on the right, markedly in the US where they have more clearly segmented right radio and TV. Also here, I’m sure if Palin published a book there would be a few clamouring for it.

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  48. Dazzaman (1,132 comments) says:

    Obama and Biden are relatively boring. Biden in particular has provided plenty of material but I don’t know whether to laugh or yawn.

    Very true. Obama’s speeches, of which there are plenty of gaffes to be found, are usually pretty long-winded. Biden, well….exactly!

    As for the topic, these aren’t really comedy shows, SNL is meant to be but it ain’t even close to the old days. Americans tend to laugh at anything, which is really annoying! They did have real comedy once upon a time, Barney Miller, Three’s Company, early Taxi episodes….oh well. Seinfeld was good too.

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  49. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    Some current funny stuff from Palin:
    “Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book ‘America by Heart’ from being leaked, but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?”

    Her wee copyright case is very different.

    Hard case for U.S. against WikiLeaks’s Assange

    U.S. authorities could face insurmountable legal hurdles if they try to bring criminal charges against elusive WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, even if he sets foot on U.S. soil.

    Three specialists in espionage law said prosecuting someone like Assange on those charges would require evidence the defendant was not only in contact with representatives of a foreign power but also intended to provide them with secrets.

    No such evidence has surfaced, or has even been alleged, in the case of WikiLeaks or Assange.

    Mark Zaid, a defense lawyer who specializes in intelligence cases, said it would be “very difficult for the U.S. government to prosecute (Assange) in the U.S. for what he is doing.”

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  50. tom hunter (4,568 comments) says:

    Possibly ill-qualified…

    …everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed.

    It costs,

    when,

    if you,

    they just gave,

    you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment,

    and ah, a breathalyzer,

    or an inhalator.

    I haven’t had much sleep in the last 48 hours!

    What they’ll say is, well it costs too much money.

    but you know what? It would cost about

    it would cost about the same as what we would spend

    over the course of ten years it would cost what it would cost us

    it, it

    Huh. Alright. Okay. We’re going to

    the, it would cost us about the same as it would cost for about…

    hold one second. I can’t hear myself.

    But I’m glad you’re fired up though. I’m glad.

    Probably beyond the satirical skills of US comedy writers.

    Definitely beyond the editorial horizons of the MSM.

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  51. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Some current funny stuff from Palin:
    “Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book ‘America by Heart’ from being leaked, but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?”

    Her wee copyright case is very different.

    Hard case for U.S. against WikiLeaks’s Assange

    U.S. authorities could face insurmountable legal hurdles if they try to bring criminal charges against elusive WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, even if he sets foot on U.S. soil.

    Three specialists in espionage law said prosecuting someone like Assange on those charges would require evidence the defendant was not only in contact with representatives of a foreign power but also intended to provide them with secrets.

    No such evidence has surfaced, or has even been alleged, in the case of WikiLeaks or Assange.

    Mark Zaid, a defense lawyer who specializes in intelligence cases, said it would be “very difficult for the U.S. government to prosecute (Assange) in the U.S. for what he is doing.”

    You seem to be making her point for her Pete.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4442163/bridging-the-partisan-gap/#/v/4442298/should-journalists-that-reported-wikileaks-info-be-prosecuted/?playlist_id=87937

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  52. berend (1,676 comments) says:

    @Fletch, Decision Point probably isn’t sold here probably because of publishing issues. You can’t even get it in the Kindle in NZ.

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  53. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    What’s her point Sonny? Why isn’t copyright law the same as the first amendment?

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  54. davidp (3,558 comments) says:

    berend>Decision Point probably isn’t sold here probably because of publishing issues.

    http://www.fishpond.co.nz are showing it in stock. I’ve bought non-mainstream items from them before without any problems.

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  55. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Ebola isn’t funny because the idea of him in charge of foreign policy is like putting a 5 year old in charge of a speeding bus – utterly terrifying.

    Ready on day one, they said. Was that part of the joke as well?

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  56. travisb (18 comments) says:

    Oh David – you’ve missed what the onion has done with Joe Biden – they’ve gone to town parodying him:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/the-vicepresidency-of-joe-biden,18444/?slide=1

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  57. noskire (835 comments) says:

    American humour?

    I always thought it was the Germans who were for famous for humour, just as the Brits are renowned for their cuisine.

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  58. tom hunter (4,568 comments) says:

    what the onion has done with Joe Biden

    Ah yes. I was going to mention them. An honourable exception; witness their sly dig at this aspect of Barry’s worldview: Obama To Enter Diplomatic Talks With Raging Wildfire

    The President plans to make the wildfire understand that our difficulties are shared difficulties, that it’s not man against fire, but man and fire working out their differences.

    And also demonstrating that there’s no point bothering with the lame SNL, Letterman or Stewart message-pushing-via-humour on traditional broadcast media, when one can enjoy a superior product on the Web.

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  59. Herman Poole (297 comments) says:

    # berend (622) Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    @Fletch, Decision Point probably isn’t sold here probably because of publishing issues. You can’t even get it in the Kindle in NZ.

    Change, your amazon account address to the US. Very easy to do, just google a starbucks or something.

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  60. phobius (46 comments) says:

    You’ll find that Jon Stewart on the Daily show is pretty unforgiving of all political gaffes, be it from the left, right or other. :)

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