Friday, November 20, 2015

Hillary says don't make fun of me or else



While in Los Angeles last week for fundraising, Hillary Clinton felt like updating her humor protocols by stopping off at the famed Laugh Factory. The roster of comedians that have performed at the renowned Los Angeles venue is no laughing matter: Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Dave Chappelle, Jay Leno, Damon Wayans, and George Carlin, to name a few. But when a former secretary of state enters a comedy club and makes her presence known, she is apt to become as much of a target for the performers as the middle-class club-goers she is hoping to champion. Result: Hillary isn’t laughing anymore. As reported by Judicial Watch, Hillary’s campaign is working to have a short video of her visit removed from the Laugh Factory’s website, featuring highlights of the comics that night and the pot shots they took at Hillary. Judicial Watch’s report is based on a statement by club founder Jamie Masada, who claims the campaign has threatened him legally if he doesn’t remove the clips from his website. “They threatened me,” Masada said. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.” Judicial Watch’s report goes on to state:

Masada told Judicial Watch that, as soon as the video got posted on the Laugh Factory website, he received a phone call from a “prominent” person inside Clinton’s campaign. “He said the video was disgusting and asked who put me up to this,” Masada said. The Clinton staffer, who Masada did not want to identify, also demanded to know the names and phone numbers of the comedians that appear in the video. Masada refused and hung up.

As of this writing, the Laugh Factory has complied with the Clinton campaign’s demands and removed the video from its site. However a quick YouTube search on “​Hillary Clinton vs. the First Amendment”​ can still turn it up.Based on viewing the video while it was available, I can give a brief description of the now-embargoed laughs. Comedian Greg Fitzsimmons greeted Hillary by complimenting her appearance: “You look great! Nothing like a skirt, suit, and shoulder pads to say ‘I’m all woman’” Fitzsimmons then turned his attention to the crowd. “What’s with those [expletive] skirt suits Hillary Clinton wears? She looks like she’s playing linebacker for T.J. Maxx.” That was some of the tamer material directed at Clinton. One can almost picture Her Majesty sitting courtside and demanding “Off with their heads” as they one by one took their shots.

That was some of the tamer material directed at Clinton. One can almost picture Her Majesty sitting courtside and demanding “Off with their heads” as they one by one took their shots. There is no comment yet from the Clinton campaign, but this could and should be a potentially damaging episode for Her Highness at a time when both PC and ridicule of PC are at an all-time high, and more and more comics are using their acts to lash out, and Clinton’s campaign is still test-running Grandma’s-humor protocols for her latest OS update.

Both Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld have said they will no longer perform on college campuses. After watching a blizzard of special snowflakes melt down at Yale and the University of Missouri, among other campus hot spots, these past two weeks, no on should blame them. Comedians such as Anthony Jeselnik, Jim Jefferies, and Bill Burr have gone on offense and made being shamed by the social-media PC mobs part of their acts. Self-proclaimed progressive and Democrat Bill Maher, for all his smugness, said last month, “I’m going to vote Republican, because I just can’t stand being on the same team as these humorless jackoffs.” As many have observed, South Park has used comedy relentlessly to assail political culture. Even Donald Trump allowed himself to be roasted on Comedy Central.

And in the end, the biggest tragedy of all in this latest dust-up is that most of the comedy-circuit denizens, fans and comics alike, will still vote for Hillary Clinton a year from now. They will open their pocketbooks and give Hillary Clinton in-kind donations as well as their votes. They will openly support the one candidate who is attacking those who make their living in an industry that can be soul-crushing for struggling new comics.

The threat to First Amendment rights in Clinton’s shutdown of comics is obviously grave. But Clinton has proved she’s never been particularly keen on that amendment to begin with. After all, she told the father of one of the CIA officers killed in Benghazi: “We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” And in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Hillary notably failed to defend free speech and, to date, has not even released a public statement. But if she wants to tour the country attempting to prove to Sunday-morning hosts and “everyday Americans” that she is in fact a real person, she might want to learn how to take a joke.


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