I am convinced that people like Will Rogers and Bob Hope must be rolling over in their graves as they look at the state of political satire in America today. They set a standard for poking the political elite that most of today’s writers and performers have no ability to reach.
Why is that?
I think the answer boils down to one word, or as Aretha Franklin would say R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Historically, Roger’s would skewer the politicians for their actions with the Republicans being a favorite target. I believe Hope poked the Democrats more than Republicans in his comedic insights into the two parties, but both of them maintained an underlying respect for the role of government and the necessary evil of the political parties and their politicians.
Today’s commentators and performers have so little respect for the people or institutions they are attempting to satirize that their words and actions come across as mean, petty, and vindictive rhetoric. Perhaps it is their perceived notion of shocking the audience by the use of profanity that contributes to this? I don’t know, but I can’t see the profanity filled dialogues or quotes of Bill Maher being held up to future generations as great American wit.
Then we come to Saturday Night Live, whose agenda is so blatantly bias that it is almost painful to watch. The hatred seems to ooze from the performer, like puss from a wound. When did this change? Was it with the election of GW Bush when the Democrat’s first enlisted the entertainment industry to de-legitimize the office of President, or is a bi-product of the snowflake generating education system?
I leave you with some examples.