President Obama’s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs distanced the administration from a joke Wanda Sykes made at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner about Rush Limbaugh being the 20th hijacker. The White House had no issue with Limbaugh jokes but said jokes about 9/11 are inappropriate.
Sykes joked on Saturday night that, “I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th [Sept. 11th] hijacker, but he was so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight.” Some on the right have been using the fact that Obama laughed at a joke as more evidence that he hates America.
Here is the video of Gibbs addressing the issue:
In answer to the question about the joke, Gibbs said, “I think there are a lot of topics that are better left for serious reflection rather than comedy. I think there’s no doubt that 9/11 is part of that.” Rush Limbaugh jokes are fine, but the White House doesn’t like jokes about 9/11. I thought the joke was a little tasteless, but funny.
I don’t have a problem with the 9/11 part because honestly, people tell 9/11 jokes all of the time. I don’t care for jokes about addiction, even if the joke is about a loudmouth clown like Rush. Every year somebody tried to make a mountain out of a molehill after the dinner. Democrats used to do it with Bush, and now Republicans are doing it to Obama.
What was Obama supposed to do in that situation? Was he supposed to walk out? If he left, the right would be using this as evidence of Obama’s arrogance and ego. The headline would be Obama can’t take a joke. Comedians aren’t always going to tell jokes that appeal to everyone, and the WHCD is really tough gig.
I only wish people would enjoy the night, and stop reading too much into it. There will be another dinner next year, and someone will get all bent out of shape over a joke, and we will go through this little dance again.