Comics Spare Obama Amid Rollout Fiasco

Monday, 04 Nov 2013 09:27 AM

By James Hirsen

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The meltdown of the Affordable Care Act website, HealthCare.gov, has been eliciting some interesting responses on the late-night comedy shows.
 
Hosts of the late-night fare have made the White House’s infamous website a virtual punching bag. At the same time, though, comedy writers and joke deliverers, with the exception of Jay Leno, seem to be taking great pains to avoid making the president himself the target of any zingers.
 
Jon Stewart, who in the past took aim at the president’s healthcare rollout, used his Comedy Central platform to take cable news outlets to task for having used his comedic material to knock President Obama.
 
The “Daily Show” host apparently felt it necessary to explain to his audience and peers that his humor was not pointed at Obama.
 
After showing footage of cable news personalities as they discussed the significance of Stewart having actually lobbed comedic critiques in Obama’s direction, Stewart said, “Look, making fun of something, that's nothing new for us, so don't act like us making jokes about a certain program or president is evidence that that politician or issue has reached some kind of tipping point for action.”
 
Stewart then ran a video of a member of Congress, who is seeking the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius while citing jokes that were made on the “Daily Show” and other programs.
 
Stewart ended the bit by pretending to be a preacher in front of a group of gospel singers.
 
“The point is: Don't use our jokes as evidence that the thing you hate must be stopped,” he faux preached. “Because I'm sure when we joke about s**t you like, you're more than happy to agree.”
 
HBO’s Bill Maher did an appearance on CNN with Piers Morgan and came up with an obtuse form of mental gymnastics to explain away the false statements that were repeatedly made by the president in which Obama insisted that people would be able to keep their health insurance plans.
 
After Maher said that he didn’t “think Obama should have lied to people,” he heaped blame on the insurance companies.
 
“First of all, insurance companies are always dropping people from their plans. This goes on, this went on before Obamacare, went on after Obamacare,” Maher said.
 
The intransigent HBO ideologue then proceeded to steer culpability toward the GOP.
 
“On the other hand, since he got no Republican votes and no Republican help, and since three years after it’s a law they’re still fighting it, can you imagine what it would be like if he said, ‘Yeah, some people your rates are going to up.’ I mean, he, the thing passed by this much. If they said that, they might have lost the whole thing,” Maher said.
 
Newly hired MSNBC late-night host Alec Baldwin had accolades for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the diversionary testimony that she gave on Capitol Hill in front of a congressional panel. The actor-cable host used his Twitter account to sing her praises.
 
“Sec Sebelius shows more guts and accountability than entire meat and tobacco industries combined,” Baldwin tweeted.
 
The Obamacare website induced “Saturday Night Live” to produce a comedy skit with a seemingly prescient outcome. The SNL sketch that sent up the Obamacare website was spot on in its prediction of the number of people that would sign up for insurance on the first day of enrollment.
 
SNL opened with a Sebelius character giving instruction on the use of HealthCare.gov.
 
“Millions of Americans are visiting HealthCare.gov, which is great news,” Kate McKinnon, playing Sebelius, said. “Unfortunately, the site was only designed to handle six users at a time.”
 
Five days later it was revealed that the number of people who actually signed up for insurance within the first 24 hours after the site’s launch was precisely six.
 
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
 
 
 

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