Friday, April 23, 2004

Bill Mahrer: Condi Rice = Omarosa?

Last night, supposed comedian Bill Mahrer appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Now, I realize that the Tonight Show is primarily a venue for comedy. So, it is unfair to take much of what is said there too seriously. However, Bill Mahrer also fancies himself a political commentator. While mixing "comedy" and political commentary on the Tonight Show, Mahrer said something that should offend both women and minorities.

Mahrer was commenting on the fact that no one in the Bush administration lost their job as a result of 9/11. Then Mahrer suggested that Dr. Condoleezza Rice should have been fired. He then suggested that she be replaced by Omarosa because "that bitch" would be able handle tough enemies.

Now, I have no problem with Mahrer calling for Dr. Rice's head. But why suggest that her replacement be Omarosa? Because Omarosa is a woman? Because Omarosa is black? Is that all Mahrer sees when he looks at the highly educated and highly accomplished Dr. Rice? Does he see just some token black woman that can be replaced by any other token black woman? I'd also take issue with the use of the word "bitch" in that context -- even in reference to the much-hated Omarosa. That word becomes far more potent than usual when it's thrown into this racist and sexist discussion.

Mahrer also made some offensive comments about Iraq being better off under the Butcher of Baghdad's reign of terror. Mahrer did an impression of Hussein telling his US captors, "See I told you these people are hard to handle." Wow. Say what you will about the wisdom of US strategy in Iraq, but it is extremely offensive to suggest that "those people" were "handled" better under Hussein's brutal dictatorship. I just don't find that funny -- much like I don't find the Holocaust or Pol Pot's regime humorous.

One last comment about that Tonight Show episode. Jay seemed very uncomfortable with the overall tenor of the interview. However, Thursday's guest on the Tonight Show is Janeane Garafalo. Another supposed comedian, turned bitter talk-show host on Air America Radio.