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Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Why So Serious?
Topic: Horowitz

As part of our continuing dialogue of sorts, David Swindle has taken us to task for having no apparent sense of humor, calling this blog "almost as bland and dull as a Nation editorial or a Noam Chomsky speech" and not finding Rush Limbaugh's joke about Barney Frank spending "most of his time living around Uranus" all that funny. Swindle adds: "It’s quite clear by the uptight, overly serious tone of his painfully boring blog that he was born without a funny bone."

Well, yeah, we're too busy documenting atrocities to regularly bring the funny -- we are a watchdog website, after all, which doesn't usually lend itself to knee-slapping humor. We will, however, occasionally display a bit of snark. But unfortunately for Swindle, telling the truth is simply not inherently funny; we're watchdogs, dammit, not comedians. If it's humor in liberal blogging Swindle wants, we recommend World O'Crap and Sadly, No!

Actually, we have quite a sense of humor in meatspace, with preferences toward the likes of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and (Swindle will be happy to hear) Bill Hicks.

Swindle goes on to defend Limbaugh's "Uranus" joke:

Yes, homophobic jokes are acceptable as long as they’re funny. And so are the racist jokes of comedians like Lisa Lampanelli, the anti-white racist jokes of the comedians on Martin Lawrence’s First Amendment Stand-Up, the gay stereotype jokes of Margaret Cho, and the anti-Semitic satires of Sacha Baran Cohen. Dark humor about the Holocaust, child molestation (Michael Jackson joke anyone?,) and dead babies is acceptable too — as long as the jokes are funny and not made at inappropriate times and places. Surely this isn’t a very controversial point that I’m making. And there’s no ideological component to it either. This is something leftists, conservatives, and the apolitical should all agree on.

There's another factor to consider: the intent of the person telling the joke. A gay joke from Margaret Cho is not the same thing as a gay joke from Rush Limbaugh. Simply summarized: Cho is gay-friendly; Rush is not. Plus, factor in Limbaugh's weird obsession with anal sex, and it's clear that his intent in telling a gay joke about Frank is to mock and deride. And what is Limbaugh mocking about Frank? The fact that he's gay. That's it. Yeah, Barney Frank is gay -- so what? We're just not seeing the humor in that, however clever a line it might be.

Swindle also takes us to task for dismissing his previous likening of Obama to gangsters as guilt by association:

Terry: seek first to understand before you criticize. This isn’t “guilt by association.” Read David Horowitz’s ongoing “Alinsky, Beck, Satan, and Me” series to understand better the connections between Saul Alinsky, his gangster influences, and the tactics employed by the modern Left. Deal with the argument, don’t just dismiss it as a malicious smear.

Just because one purports to offer a historical argument for a malicious smear doesn't make it less of a malicious smear. Does Hilmar von Campe offering a historical argument for smearing Obama as a Nazi make it any less of a smear? Technically, there's a historical argument for likening George W. Bush to Nazis, but again, that doesn't make it any less of a smear to call him that (even though those who criticized that smear have been eager to hurl the same smear at certain Democrats). And while gangster is arguably a lesser smear than Nazi, it's still a smear (and besides, Ellis Washington hurled that one a long time ago, so Swindle is a little late to the parade).

Further, since Swindle offers no evidence of Obama associating with gangsters -- only of purportedly emulating the tactics of Saul Alinsky, who once allegedly associated with gangsters -- the smear is, yes, guilt by association.

One final question: Swindle has seemingly declared all tactics pioneered or popularized by Alinsky to be akin to gansterism. But Swindle, by likening Obama to gangsters, is arguably using the Alinsky tactic of "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it." Doesn't that mean Swindle himself is acting like a gangster too?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT

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