Laughter and tears are both physical responses to stimuli over which we truly have little control.
Most of us were moved to both at some point this weekend, perhaps even overlapping once or twice.
Occasionally one of them will emerge as victorious over the other, though we had no role in the struggle. We are often merely the vessel that is hijacked by the emotional response to a given situation.
I dissolved into a fit of laughter when, on August 16, 1977, my mother informed me that Elvis Presley had died. Granted, I was 17 and had just smoked a joint with some friends and by then Elvis had become an easily mocked caricature of his former self, but laughter was the most inappropriate response to the death of another human being, iconic figure or not.
It must be that part of the human soul that finds humor at the expense of others. I’ve always believed offensive humor is OK as long as it’s funny. If it’s not funny, the offensive parts are just, well, offensive.
That’s how I felt about George W. Bush’s (still not funny, to this day) bit at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in which he searches everywhere for those damned elusive weapons of mass destruction. “They’ve got to be somewhere… nope, not here....”
That former president was laughing at the lies he used to start a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people – and continues doing so to this day.
No. It’s not funny. Yet there was lots of laughter in that room.
And Saturday night, it was the 2015 WHCD, in which the “journalists” who cover the White House celebrate themselves. I noted on the show today that in Baltimore, not too far away from the DC Hilton, people were protesting the death by cops of Freddie Gray. We hadn’t known Gray’s name a week earlier, but now we do. He’s just the latest young black man to be killed by police under highly questionable circumstances.
Instead of their networks covering what was happening in Baltimore, they were there, at the DC Hilton, covering themselves! The DC crowd was out in full regalia, mingling with Hollywood’s current crop of famous and infamous, to hear the President of the United States take his turn at stand up.
At least this president is funny. And smart. And he made me laugh, in spite of myself. The images from the aftermath of the massive 7.9 earthquake that struck in Nepal that day made me cry. Protesters hurting in Baltimore, both physically and emotionally, made me cry.
I can’t help but wonder what the actual journalists in that room were feeling as the laughs were ringing out. Perhaps I’m pondering the wrong questions. Instead of what the actual journalists were feeling, I should be asking if there are any actual journalists left.
Today on the show
Joel Silberman joined me this morning to recap the White House Correspondents Dinner — pick out the good parts, and point out some of what I detailed above.
We also spoke about the latest manufactured scandal-smear of Hillary Clinton, as Joel explained what’s behind this one, and pointed out that there’s no evidence to prove what’s being alleged.
We’re still working out some of the technical issues, but beginning tomorrow (Tuesday April 28), the Bradcast will play on the radio or not stream (listen here at RoN or our Tunein channel) either before my show, from 8:30-9:30am ET), or following my live show at around 12 noon ET.
We’ll also repeat the Bradcast following the repeats of my show, all day, on the RoN stream.
Tomorrow, same-sex marriage goes to SCOTUS, and GottaLaff is here, radio or not….