Why So Serious?

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Remember when Bush critics made political hay over his 2004 Radio and Television Correspondence Dinner, which involved joking about no wmd found? Tasteless or not, he was poking fun at HIMSELF.

Well, now we have a similar faux outrage over a Cheney roasting, where waterboarding was joked about:

Conservatives gathered at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan Monday night to roast the former vice president at an event where many of the biggest laugh lines touched on the most controversial policies of a key architect of his administration’s war on terror. At the gathering, hosted by Commentary, figures including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey drew a mix of chuckles and winces with jokes that left few lines uncrossed, according to three guests.


“There were some waterboarding jokes that were really tasteless,” the guest said. “I can see the case for enhanced interrogation techniques after Sept. 11 but I can’t really endorse sitting there drinking wine and fancy dinner at the Plaza laughing uproariously about it.”

Cheney himself told one waterboarding joke, the attendees said, which he attributed to Jay Leno. It centered on a one-shot antelope hunting contest in Wyoming in which the loser had to dance with an Indian squaw. Cheney’s shot got caught in the barrel, producing a dispute over whether it counted as a hit or a miss — and Leno, according to Cheney, joked that Cheney wanted to go catch the animal with his bare hands and waterboard it.

Separately, Rumsfeld joked about Cheney waterboarding fish.

On a related note, Thomas Ricks takes umbrage with former NSA Director, General Hayden, joking about putting Edward Snowden on a kill list.

2 Responses to “Why So Serious?”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    I’m not surprised that, at a roast, one un-named guest might have been offended over a joke or two.
    Have you ever been to a roast?
    Roasts are vicious!
    Roasts are politically incorrect!
    Roasts are INTENDED to be riotous.
    I know the roasts I have been to could NEVER have been aired on TV, unless it was late-night cable.
    And, yes, roast jokes test the limits of good taste.
    What fun.

    PS, apparently today, neither the left nor the right could take a Mort Sahl.

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