As Tim Graham reported earlier, comedian Wanda Sykes was given the spotlight for the White House Correspondents' Dinner tonight. We wondered if she'd throw a barb or two Obama's way as is customary. All past hosts have spared no opportunity to skewer the current commander in chief and his administration. That is what the thing is for, after all.
Well, even if comedian Sykes did give a lighthearted whack or two to The One, we wouldn't know about it by listening to the ABC Radio news break at the top of the 10PM hour (central). During the radio news break a report was aired on the dinner that featured one of Sykes' jokes.
Was it about Barack? Michelle? Even an Obama staffer? Nope. ABC couldn't find its way clear to air any of those jokes. No, what ABC aired was Sykes' joke about... Dick Cheney. Isn't he out of office?
Barack Obama’s first White House Correspondents’ Dinner is tonight, and the comedian in the roasting job is Wanda Sykes. The burning question: will Sykes really make fun of the president, or go all gentle, since she is a big Obama fan?
I suspect she’ll do a few jokes in the usual accepted vein, some messiah jokes and some tax-evading nominee jokes, but nothing like Stephen Colbert’s 2006 Bush-trashing leftist routine, complete with Helen Thomas-like attacks on the media for being in Bush’s pocket. Here's some examples:
– To actually sit here, at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush, to be this close to the man. I feel like I'm dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You know what? I'm a pretty sound sleeper -- that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face.
From that quiet and lonely place where comedians consider the rare possibility and danger of making fun of Barack Obama, Amy Chozick of The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Wanda Sykes is trying out some Obama jokes on the road in anticipation of her May comedy gig at the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington:
"It's so crazy how everyone is just in love with this man," Ms. Sykes said. She imitated a love-struck teenager calling into a radio show. "I would like to dedicate 'Always and Forever' to my president."
The audience laughed.
Mr. Obama should have chosen New York Gov. David Patterson as his vice president, she continued. "Who's going to hurt the half-black guy if you're going to be left with the whole black, blind guy?"