Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When Idiots Try to Be Funny

Browsing the latest Young Turks clips, I came across this clip from Fox News' pathetic imitation of The Daily Show, which they've called Red Eye. Unlike The Daily Show, though, the ignorant idiots that they have on the panel as guests make little effort to be informed on... well, just about anything.

This clip that Young Turk Cenk Uygur introduces shows show host Greg Gutfeld and panelists Last Comic Standing loser Doug Benson, McLaughlin Group's favorite little Republican Monica Crowley and some guy I couldn't identify in a police line-up mocking Canada's participation in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the Canadian military announced that would take at least a year for the military to rebuild from it's efforts in Afghanistan, due to wear and tear on its tank brigades, Gutfeld ranted about how the entire Canadian military was taking a vacation. Then he turned to his list of little-known panelists and asked for their comments.

"I didn't even know Canada was in the war," guffaws Benson. "I thought that's where you go when you don't want to fight. Go chill in Canada." Uhhh... yeah. Doug? The Canadian death toll in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is 116. That's as of last Friday, when four Canadian soldiers lost their lives in two separate IED explosions. Canada has the third highest number of lost soldiers behind the US and the UK. So... how do I say this nicely?... fuck off.*

Then Unrecognizable Idiot Guy Who Can Only Get Booked On Shows In A 3AM Timeslot mocks the Canadian mounties for their attire and their perceived mode of transportation. First off, jerk-wad, the Mounties only wear the red coats for formal and ceremonial occasions. Their daily uniform pretty much consists of what you'd see on any officer in the UK, and many in the US -- white shirt, dark slacks, ugly-ass black shoes. As for the whole "riding horses" thing, it might interest the high-school dropouts at Fox to learn that the Mounties have discovered a new form of transport, though one might argue that it's equally as outdated -- American-built automobiles. The RCMP motor vehicle fleet consists of Ford Crown Victorias, Expeditions, Escapes and Super Duty pick-ups, as well several Chevy SUVs. So, since Canada has shown an abundant willingness to do something risky and dangerous that even Americans won't do these days -- invest in cars built by Ford and Chevy -- maybe you guys ought to help yourselves to a nice, steamy-hot mug of a some "Shut the hell up ahready!!"

Which is pretty much what Canadian Defence Minister Peter Mackay told the US the day after the Red Eye episode aired, calling the comments "crass and insensitive." Somebody made a phone call to somebody else, because, before you know it, there was the moronic Greg Gutfeld, backtracking like crazy and "apologizing" (as only a Fox News employee can). Said Gutfeld, "I realize that my words may have been misunderstood. It was not my intent to disrespect the brave men, women and families of the Canadian military, and for that I apologize."

Really, Greg? You mean you didn't mean it when you implied that the entire Canadian military was gay? And it was just a joke when you postulated that it was time to "invade this ridiculous country?" Seriously? And it never occurred to you that the families of dead Canadian soldiers fighting a war that didn't even belong to them might be just a little bit hurtful and offensive? Your words weren't misunderstood. You called them pussies. It's hard to misunderstand that, Greg. Even for someone with such a limited lexicon as yourself.

Every day, every aspect of conservative punditry becomes more and more cruel and out of touch. When Meghan McCain is the most cogent, coherent, rational, intelligent representative for the Republican party, the party is in trouble. And Ms. McCain would be the first person agree with me on this. (And she has, on her blog McCain Bloggette.) Not because she's very young and very blonde, mind you. But because she has made it clear she's not going run for public office... ever. This party is circling the drain rapidly, with no apparent hope of redemption. I keep trying to equate this to when the Democrats were in the same predicament. I think it was Howard Dean that finally turned it around for us. The Republicans need their Howard Dean, and soon, or they're not going to make it.

The claim that this show was an attempt at comedy, and their attempts to compare it to The Daily Show fail to take into account two things. One, the writers at The Daily Show take great pains to be not just funny, but also factually accurate.

And, two, that real humor is a sign of intelligence.


*Note: A quick check of Benson's My Space indicates that people had a thing or two to say to him directly. His quote section reads, "I didn't mean to offend anyone. Sorry." Further update: Turns out that Benson's flippant insensitivity has cost him more than an apology. According to this article in the Edmonton Journal, Benson's gig at The Comic Strip, originally scheduled for April 2 through 5 has been cancelled. The Comic Strip's press release explains the cancellation thus: "For the safety and security of The Comic Strip's patrons and staff, Doug Benson's shows have subsequently been cancelled." "Safety and security?" He's gotten death threats? From Canadians? Wow....

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