Michelle’s a Twit

Proving once again that she lacks a basic appreciation of traditional American culture and values, Michelle Malkin is outraged at Dana Milbank’s gentle ribbing of the Vice President on last night’s Countdown With Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

If you watch Countdown, you know that the program mixes humor with hard news. So it was not at all out of keeping with the show’s format for reporter Dana Milbank to appear dressed in an orange vest and hat. His current location was near the vice president’s residence, he said.

Cute, I thought.

But Michelle Malkin and others on the Right are on a rampage. Media bias! they scream. They want to know when Countdown will display a bumper sticker that says “I’d rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy.” Can they not tell the difference between good-natured kidding and hateful meanness? I’d hate to sit down to a family dinner with these folks.

In some ways its a sign of respect to be able to kid our leaders. It says we’re comfortable enough with them to tease them. And Americans have made fun of our leaders since the guys at Valley Forge sat around the campfire and badmouthed George Washington. Some of our most-beloved humorists — Mark Twain, Bob Hope and Will Rogers come to mind — showed how it was possible to poke fun at leaders — often in their presence — without being mean about it. Here’s an example from Will Rogers

The fire at the Treasury Department started on the roof and burned down until it got the place where the money ought to be and there it stopped. The Harding Administration had beat the fire to it. A fire in the Treasury Building is nothing to get excited about during a Republican Administration.

Damn, that’s still funny.

Malkin et al. will argue that Dana Milbank is not a humorist, but a journalist. To which I might say, since news coverage is a joke, what’s the difference? (Ba-bump BUMP) But I think it could be argued (to anyone not a twit) that Milbank’s costume showed a pro-Cheney bias. It signalled the audience that this is not a serious story. Nothing to get fired up about. Let’s have a chuckle and forget about it.

Believe me, a reporter with a real anti-Cheney bias would have taken a more sober approach to this story. In fact, I bet the White House has a crack team of joke writers on the job right now …

Updates: See “Cheney Accident Triggers Jokes on Late-Night TV“; “After Cheney’s Shooting Incident, Time to Unload“; “Groans at Home Re: (Cheney Joke Here).” See also Ezra Klein.

Update update: Boy, was I right about the White House crack team of joke writers, or what? Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press reports:

The White House has decided that the best way to deal with Vice President Dick Cheney’s shooting accident is to joke about it.

President Bush’s spokesman quipped Tuesday that the burnt orange school colors of the University of Texas championship football team that was visiting the White House shouldn’t be confused for hunter’s safety wear.

“The orange that they’re wearing is not because they’re concerned that the vice president may be there,” joked White House press secretary Scott McClellan, following the lead of late-night television comedians. “That’s why I’m wearing it.”

The president’s brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, took a similar jab after slapping an orange sticker on his chest from the Florida Farm Bureau that read, “No Farmers, No Food.”

“I’m a little concerned that Dick Cheney is going to walk in,” the governor cracked during an appearance in Tampa Monday.

14 thoughts on “Michelle’s a Twit

  1. Will they go after Jeb Bush next?


    TAMPA – Gov. Jeb Bush took a rare opportunity to preempt late night talk show hosts Monday when he appeared at the Florida State Fair Governor’s Day Luncheon.

    Like other guests, the governor was given a “No Farmers, no Food” sticker from the Florida Farm Bureau.

    Opening his remarks before the 1,000 or so gathered, Bush made a show of placing the sticker on his chest.

    The sticker was bright orange – like a hunting jacket.

    “I’m a little concerned that Dick Cheney is going to walk in,” he quipped.

  2. How many times has Rush Limbaugh defended himself by saying “it was just a joke”? Or Ann Coulter? Will Michelle Malkin be outraged next time Coulter ‘jokes’ about poisoning a Supreme Court Justice?

  3. maha, why do you even listen to her? She’s just gonna give you a headache.

    I liked Digby’s take on it; the right hates this story. It hits them hard in so many republican g-spots that they’re going to have to attack like harpies just to keep up.

    And yes, as you and I and everyone else has pointed out ad nauseum, those guys have no sense of humor. Lefty comedian = Jon Stewart. Rightie comedian = Dennis Miller. Need I say more?

  4. Since I heard the news of the shooting Sunday afternoon (and found myself laughing uncontrollably for about three minutes after), I’ve been waiting to see who brings up Chappaquiddick first. I was afraid someone on our side would make the inappropriate comparison, out of frustration for the Dick’s dodging proper law enforcement procedure after the fact. But noooo, leave it to the right, in their tireless quest to avoid reality. So we’ll sit here in 2006 and wait for their rightie time machine to return from 1969, although even then they’ll refuse to deal with present events.

  5. Hey Maha…

    Enough with the Continuing Saga of Deadeye the Dickster…

    When you gonna note the Beltway Boys Shanking of Paul Hackett?

    (I’d like to post a comment in a place where it won’t disappear – which my comment on “MyDD” swiftly did)…

    Short version: Nader was RIGHT!

  6. They sure as hell did, Maha…

    Thinkin’ on having my middle name changed…And Roscoe’s…

    There ain’t no fuckin’ Democrats in D.C.

    My Ancestors are spinnin’ like all those plates on the Ed Sullivan show…

  7. My God, getting the truth out of this corrupt republican admin is like extracting an impacted wisdom tooth without anesthesia. Now on CNN is the report that Whittington was shot in his heart by ShotGun Cheney and has birdshot/buckshot loddged in there somewhere. This is just fkg unbelievable but true…only in America!

  8. actually guys, from most of the right blogosphere, they have been joking about it as well. Most people aren’t taking this as anything serious, and honestly, from a political perspective, it shouldn’t be taken as such.

    The only ones getting all uppity are the hard core Bush cultists.

  9. Actually here’s some I got a few laugh from

    The Attorney General claims that the Vice President was granted the power to shoot lawyers under the resolution allowing use of force in Afghanistan.

    Look, you go hunting with the vice president you have, not the vice president you wish you had.

    Cheney: Hey Ted, wanna go hunting?
    Kennedy: Only if I can drive.

    Sen. Levin, the Vice President has invited you to go hunting with him

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