RON HART: Did comedy lead to recent tragedy?
The bitter tone the left has taken toward the GOP, both in media and entertainment, made the shooting of Republicans practicing baseball quite predictable. Instead of debating policy differences, those on the left resort to calling their opponents "evil," and then seek to vilify, humiliate and destroy them. This is done nightly by hosts of the late-night shows.
The condescending "comedians" of late night have slowly abandoned humor and replaced it with belittling vitriol aimed at Republicans.
It has been a long time since late-night comics were funny and fair. Jay Leno tried to be balanced, but even he did 10 jokes making fun of Republicans for every two slamming a Democrat. Currently, late-night jokes run 90 percent against Republicans — about where they have been for a decade or so.
Instead of sharp humor, it now seems they try to outdo each other with profanity-laced diatribes against President Trump and his family and, by extension, his supporters. It is done in a smugly self-satisfied way, devoid of humor or cleverness. It's just mean.
The mainstream “comics” of late night are supposed to be more mainstream. Here are the jokes they did Wednesday, the evening after the shootings of GOP lawmakers, staffers and two U.S. Capitol Police at the baseball practice. Prior to this, their jokes were even meaner:
The nicest late-night host is Jimmy Fallon, who said this:
“During his testimony yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he hasn’t been asked to do anything illegal by Trump since taking office. Then he said, 'And frankly, I’m starting to feel a little left out.'”
And Stephen Colbert, who thinks his native South is so dumb he worked to change his Southern accent, said this about Trump’s birthday:
“Two hundred Democrats got together to give the president something he might like. But instead, they’re suing Trump over foreign payments to his businesses. At least they got together to give him this card: 'Congratulations, birthday boy, you’ve been served.'”
Courtly Englishman James Corden said:
"Turning 71 is a big occasion. To celebrate, I think Trump should take the day off, I do — and the week, and the month, and the next four years."
Conan O’Brien said Wednesday:
"Today is President Trump’s birthday. Melania surprised him by still living in the White House."
Keep in mind, these are the mainstream comics, on the night after the GOP shootings when civility should have existed. The normal nightly jokes are even harsher and more relentless. I know because I DVR them and used to watch — until they got so mean and unfunny.
Far-left loons like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Trevor Noah and Bill Maher are much meaner and even less funny. Sadly, there is not a right-of-center late-night comic. Thus, CBC, NBC, ABC, TBS, HBO, Comedy Central, etc. all have free reign to brutally hate on President Trump and his family as "dumb" and "evil."
They deliver their piously self-righteous, messianic musings with such utter contempt that they just speak to their echo chamber of Northeastern libs. It’s classic Saul Alinsky: When you cannot win in the marketplace of ideas, you destroy your opponents.
Given the one-sided verbal assassination of the right, is it any wonder how, in his mind, the MSNBC-watching shooter justified his actions?
A syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, you can reach him at Ron@RonaldHart.com or Twitter @RonaldHart.