MSNBC Features Satirist to Poke Fun at McCain's Age

The day after many in the media jumped to Barack Obama’s defense over the satirical cover of the latest New Yorker magazine, MSNBC News Live host Contessa Brewer brought on comedian and satirist Andy Borowitz to make fun of John McCain’s age.

Borowitz founded BorowitzReport.com, is a blogger at the left-leaning Huffington Post and is performing an on-stage production entitled “Countdown to ‘08” with guests such as Joy Behar from “The View” and CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, both of whom are no strangers to NewsBusters criticism.

Brewer introduced the segment by informing viewers that:

When John McCain was born, there wasn’t even FM radio and forget about computers, they weren’t even a blip on the technological horizon.

Later, Brewer played clips of McCain trying to be humorous, including him parodying the Beach Boys hit “Barbara Ann” with the lyrics “bomb Iran” and joking that perhaps U.S.-exported cigarettes are shipped to the regime in order to kill Iranians. What followed was an exchange about McCain being too old to properly function as president:

BREWER: But there’s this medical research that says as people age, they lose the ability to filter what they say. They say that’s why, perhaps when grandma says something that’s inappropriate at Thanksgiving dinner, it’s not really her fault. But they lose the ability to be socially appropriate. Is that what we’re seeing?

BOROWITZ: Well what you’re saying is if we have John McCain as president, it would sort of be like having Estelle Getty from the “Golden Girls” in the White House which I think it would be awesome.

BREWER: Entirely entertaining.

BOROWITZ: I love that show.

BREWER: And yet, at all ineffective?

BOROWITZ: Um, I think it would be great. I think just hearing him, first of all, very hip choice to quote a fifty year old Beach Boys song. The kids dig that, and I think that’s a good way to go.

 

Brewer also mentioned McCain’s lack of tech savvy. Borowitz joked:

Look, clearly he’s uncomfortable with technology. All these new fangled inventions like the teleprompter, the telephone, these are confusing to him and I think it might be a problem. I think though that he has to show that he is comfortable with some technology. For example, the cotton gin, very, very comfortable with that and also the butter churn. We need to see more moments like that.

Later, Brewer chimed in:

I mean, I say come on, get with -- my grandmothers both are proficient in computers and emailing and the Internet.

The transcript of the segment, which aired at 9:24 a.m., follows:

CONTESSA BREWER, host: When John McCain was born, there wasn’t even FM radio and forget about computers, they weren’t even a blip on the technological horizon. And while his opponent is using the internet to bring in unprecedented funds, McCain himself has said he doesn’t email and is just now getting up to speed on the web.

CONAN O’BRIEN [from “Late Night with Conan O’Brient]: In a brand new interview John McCain admits that his staff has to show him Web sites because he has trouble getting on the internet by himself. That’s what he said. Yeah, yesterday McCain tried to surf the internet for half an hour until his staff told him he was actually holding an etch-a-sketch.

BREWER: On a serious note here, though, voters say age is an issue. A new poll found thirty-eight percent said McCain is just too old. Just thirty percent say Barack Obama is too young. John McCain will be 72 this year. If elected he would be the oldest first term president in U.S. history. Andy Borowitz is a comedian and a satirist and is the man behind BorowitzReport.com. It’s good to see you today, Andy.

ANDY BOROWITZ: Great to be here, Contessa.

BREWER: Okay, the fact that McCain doesn’t use computers at a time when young people overwhelmingly are turning out to vote, is that a problem going into a general election?

BOROWITZ: Look, clearly he’s uncomfortable with technology. All these new fangled inventions like the teleprompter, the telephone, these are confusing to him and I think it might be a problem. I think though that he has to show that he is comfortable with some technology. For example, the cotton gin, very, very comfortable with that and also the butter churn. We need to see more moments like that.

BREWER: And really that resonates with so many voters out there.

BOROWITZ: It does.

BREWER: I mean, I say come on get with -- my grandmothers both are proficient in computers and emailing and the internet. I get-

BOROWTIZ: They could be a possible VP pick for McCain then. Very helpful around the White House.

BREWER: And they’re women no less.

BOROWITZ: Exactly.

BREWER: All right so yesterday McCain made this comment that I have to play for you about a country in Europe.

JOHN MCCAIN: I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One is reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia. Apparently that is in reaction to the Czechs agreement with us concerning missile defense.

BREWER: I mean, look, here’s the problem. Czechoslovakia has not existed for fifteen years.

BOROWITZ: That is a problem. Czechoslovakia broke up a while ago. This would sort of be like referring to Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck as “Bennifer” today. You just can’t do that.

BREWER: No, ‘cause they split up.

BOROWITZ: They split up.

BREWER: I mean, we have to call them Jen and Ben.

BOROWITZ: He’s gotta stay in the loop here.

BREWER: Listen, I wanna play some more sound because these are the kinds of comments that get him in trouble and get a lot of headlines in the media.

MCCAIN: That old, that old Beach Boys Song, “Bomb Iran.” Bomb, bomb, bomb. Any way-

REPORTER: We’ve learned that the exports to Iran increased by tenfold during the Bush administration. The biggest export was cigarettes. Given that the, yeah, that the, supposedly-

MCCAIN: Maybe that’s a way of killin’ them. [laughter] I meant that as a joke.

BREWER: Now you can actually see the gear turning there. He’s like, “okay, now, wait a minute, that was a joke.” But there’s this medical research that says as people age, they lose the ability to filter what they say. They say that’s why, perhaps when grandma says something that’s inappropriate at Thanksgiving dinner, it’s not really her fault. But they lose the ability to be socially appropriate. Is that what we’re seeing?

BOROWITZ: Well what you’re saying is if we have John McCain as president, it would sort of be like having Estelle Getty from the “Golden Girls” in the White House which I think it would be awesome.

BREWER: Entirely entertaining.

BOROWITZ: I love that show.

BREWER: And yet, at all ineffective?

BOROWITZ: Um, I think it would be great. I think just hearing him, first of all, very hip choice to quote a fifty year old Beach Boys song. The kids dig that, and I think that’s a good way to go.

BREWER: Andy, thanks so much for joining us.

BOROWITZ: Thank you, Contessa.