Voice of the People: Comedy shouldn’t be a one-way street

May 13, 2018 GMT

After having read Ron Jackson’s May 5 column “Commentary: Correspondence Dinner” I have to conclude that Mr. Jackson doesn’t realize that half of American comedy is already blacklisted or censured.

One of the reasons half of America was angered by Michelle Wolf’s comedic diatribe at the Washington Correspondents’ dinner is not only because they were offended, but rather because those Washington correspondents were not. Those self-proclaimed arbiters of thought, culture and tolerance tell us that any comedy directed at certain genders, ethnic groups or religions is misogynistic, racist, intolerant, Islamophobic, homophobic or just plain hateful.

But when a “comedienne” takes a jab at Vice President Pence by saying “...Pence believes abortion is murder”...(chuckles) “. . .well don’t knock it till you tried it.” (laughter from correspondents). And in the process demeans an entire religion and culture which the leftist media elite don’t subscribe to well...now that’s funny.

When Christianity is the butt of humor (indirectly in the case of Ms. Wolf) we Christians are lectured to be open-minded. But when a YouTube video mocked Islam (and was falsely accused of “causing” the Benghazi consulate attack) it was attacked by the Muslim community and the offending video clip was censured and removed by YouTube.

And no one spoke out in defense of “comedy” and how it sometimes offends some people. And there was no Ron Jackson column advising tolerance. I’m tired of the one-way street.

When Jerry Seinfeld recently performed his comedy routine at a college campus he was hooted off the stage by the “open-minded” college kids when he made a “gay” joke. Cries for tolerance?.. .none to be heard. If you’re a Sarah Sanders or a Condoleezza Rice or a Sarah Palm or any woman who doesn’t toe the leftist agenda you can be mocked and ridiculed with no one calling you a misogynist.

But if President Trump humorously refers to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” for lying about her Indian heritage — he is vilified as a racist and sexist. As a Christian and a conservative I’m tired of the one-way outrage.

In the old vaudeville days every ethnicity and culture was made fun of. Now, many comedians self-censure themselves to the point where there is a short and dwindling list of acceptable targets: conservative women, conservative blacks, Christians and white males top the roster. I’m tired of the one-way comedy.

Mr. Jackson probably won’t be defending comedians who target protected groups because I can’t think of any who exist. Of course there was that newspaper cartoon a fews year back which lampooned the prophet Muhammad but that cartoonist was forced to stop working — when he was murdered.

Some people just can’t take a joke. You see Mr. Jackson, the fact that we on the right are “offended” by so much humor is because almost all of it is directed against us. There is a stultifying intolerance which crushes half the comedy in this country; all humor directed at the political left is labeled “hate speech.” And all humor against the right is labeled “art.” I’m tired of the one-way condemnation.

So, please Mr. Jackson, be a little tolerant of those of us who are occasionally offended at being mocked for our Christian or conservative beliefs. We don’t kill those who deride us or even demonstrate in the streets to demand the silencing of those who ridicule us — we’re just voicing our concern at the growing intolerance of our values. Maybe, Mr. Jackson, you should be lamenting the fact that humor in this country is fast becoming a one-way Street.

Oh, let me end this with a hit of humor. Did you hear the one about the Daily Journal columnist who thinks that the famous “Washington Correspondent’s Dinner” which is given for and by actual people, is really called the “Correspondence” dinner which apparently is given for and by exchanged messages? Now that’s something we can all laugh at...right?

Kent Dickinson