This week we examine the fine line between humor and insensitivity in the comedy industry, as entertainer and Netflix host Norm Macdonald lands in hot water after defending some of his colleagues who had fallen from grace.
This week we lead off with a look at how the changing environment of political correctness in America today is not only affecting cultural attitudes, things we say, and how we say them, but also how this relates to comedy and satire. Are things that were once considered jokes, albeit sometimes inappropriate or edgy, now becoming too controversial even for comedy?
As far as comedy goes, we also take time to look at a few of the CIA’s old files on jokes they were keeping about the Soviets back during the Cold War era… and stepping over into the “unintentionally funny” department, we offer some analysis of Donald Trump’s recent appearance before the UN General Assembly.
Then getting to the MID, in keeping with our opening dialog on comedy, our point-in-case analysis involves comedian Norm Macdonald, who recently landed in hot water for defending friends like Roseanne Barr and Louis C.K., both of whom rank among the comedians that have recently fallen from grace due to unsavory things they were revealed to have done. Making matters worse, when Macdonald appeared on the Howard Stern Radio Show to talk about the criticisms, he made an insensitive remark (while apparently trying to be funny, as comedians do) which only added fuel to the media fire. This got him uninvited from an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon… but we want to ask about the bigger question: last time we checked, Norm Macdonald wasn’t part of the accused in the broader #MeToo movement, nor was he guilty of going on racist rants on Twitter. Is the way the media focuses in on those only guilty “by association” in this way missing the point of the broader #MeToo movement?
Similar circumstances recently unfolded in a Washington DC restaurant, from which Senator Ted Cruz and his wife were forced to leave after a group of protesters confronted Cruz about his friendship with accused Supreme Court Nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. While we think it’s sad that Cruz–not Kavanaugh–was treated in this manner at a fine dining establishment, the allegations from victims continue to pile up against Kavanugh himself, painting an ever-darkening picture of the nominee’s early years. Specifically, the latest charges against him involve a sworn statement from a former acquaintance that alleges Kavanaugh–and others–may have drugged and assaulted her in the early 1980s.
A special thank you to those who donated to the podcast this week:
- Stephen Walker
- Peter Arvidson
- Jennie Vongvith
- Mark Hankins II
- Ali Buchan
- John Jolly
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Finally, here are links to stories addressed on this week’s program:
- FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE: Hurricane Florence updates: 17 dead, including 11 in NC, as flooding continues
- SECRECY: The CIA has declassified a bunch of jokes. Here are the best ones
- NORM: Norm Macdonald on Howard Stern
- Norm Macdonald Clarifies Controversial Comments On Roseanne Barr, Louis C.K.
- #MeToo is coming for your thought crimes
- CRUZ CONFRONTATION: Ted Cruz is hounded out of DC restaurant by anti-Kavanaugh protesters shouting ‘we believe survivors’
- KAVANAUGH UPDATE: Christine Blasey Ford Reaches Deal to Testify at Kavanaugh Hearing
- NEW YORKER: Another Accuser?
- NY POST: Ronan Farrow’s Kavanaugh story causes media meltdown
- NYT FACT CHECK: “The Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge.”
- Jane Mayer: Accuser Told Ronan Farrow She Wasn’t Sure of Story
- Is he lying, or is she? Maybe neither of them are. (AP)
- BOMBSHELL: Michael Avenatti Reveals Client Making ‘Gang Rape’ Allegation Against Kavanaugh