It's no secret that late-night comedians traffic in yukking it up over simple stereotypes about presidents. Clinton was the horndog-in-chief while George W. Bush the bumbling boob. For his part, President Obama could be constantly lampooned as a vapid celebrity, especially given his penchant for skipping hard-hitting media outlets for fluffball interviews with the Miami's own DJ Laz -- aka the "Pimp with a Limp" -- and Entertainment Tonight.
But in response to Obama's appearance on yesterday's edition of ABC's "The View," comedian Conan O'Brien used a meekly-posed question from co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the economy to slam the program's token conservative for daring to ask the president something that rose about the fluff. Noted Mediaite's Alex Alvarez (video embedded below page break):
“Who the hell’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck?!” O’Brien demanded.
“To ask the President a question? I don’t know,” said Andy Richter.
“She won a reality show — she didn’t even win! She was like… FIFTH!” said O’Brien, his voice rather impressively rising several octaves.
“She was on Survivor, yes,” said Richter.
“Hey, leader of the free world! Answer this!” said O’Brien, doing an impression of Hasselbeck-as-angry-goblin-lady.
As you can see from the clip, Hasselbeck's question is incredibly deferential and respectful, hardly hard-nosed or belligerent. O'Brien may protest he was mocking the silliness of the nation's chief executive answering questions from a former reality TV contestant, but that poses the question: What's a president of the United States doing on such a program, especially given the fact that in the same trip to New York, he failed to meet with any foreign leaders in town for the United Nations General Assembly?
O'Brien is not a prolific political donor as far as entertainers go, but FEC records show he has exclusively given to liberal Democrats: $500 to then-Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) in December 1997 and $4,600 to then-Senate candidate Al Franken (D-Minn.) in March 2008.
O'Brien, who hails from an Irish Catholic family, is at the very least socially liberal. In 2011, he officiated a same-sex marriage ceremony on-air.