Wednesday, May 13, 2009

BILL Press WANDA Sykes: No Need to Apologize!

President Obama wasn't even out of the ballroom at Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner before the buzz started: “Did Wanda Sykes go too far?” Especially with her joke about Rush Limbaugh's being the 20th hijacker, but he missed his flight because he was whacked out on Oxycontin.

Give me a break! Of course she didn't go too far. And of course there's no need for her or anyone else to apologize.

Remember, Sykes is a standup comic. She's known for being edgy. She was invited to poke fun at the Washington establishment, and she did. Before she got to Rush, she insulted — in jest! — Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Cheney, Sean Hannity and Obama himself. “Mr. President, you may be into transparency, but I don't have to see your nipples!”

In other words, it's OK to insult the president and the vice president of the United States. But it's not OK to insult the titular head of the Republican Party.

Come on, Limbaugh's fair game. Especially because he routinely insults gays, lesbians, blacks, Latinos, women, liberals, feminists, environmentalists, even persons with Parkinson's disease. The difference is, he's not telling jokes. He's dead serious.

Limbaugh wasn't kidding when he accused Obama of being an “extremist tyrannical president.” Nor when he compared Obama to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, calling him “Barack Ogabe.” Nor when he accused Michael J. Fox of faking it.

Let's face it. The White House Correspondents' Dinner is planned and billed as Washington's annual equivalent of a Friars Club Roast — without the blue language. If we're going to start being so prissy about the jokes that are told, they might as well cancel the whole damned thing.