There was a time when people thought parody was funny, but now I am not so sure. For example, in the recent sketch of President Obama meeting with President-elect Trump for the first time, it appeared to me as if President Obama could not quite remember his lines, could not force a smile, and finally just resorted to a grimace. It did not make me laugh. The material was just not funny. I kept thinking to myself President Obama should say, “My legacy, my legacy, please save my legacy.” Now, that would have been funny, but all we got were big ears and a grimace.
I have come to understand since that President Obama just doesn’t understand parody. In fact, it is one of the words he will not say, kind of like his not being able to say “Muslim terrorist.” In Germany recently, President Obama referred to parody as fake news, and at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he took the opportunity to blast “fake news.” He said, “If we are not serious about the facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.” I think this was another lame attempt at parody because he has never been one to concern himself with facts or serious arguments. Some claim that “fake news” will be his only lasting legacy.
Many will recall the “fake news” story he created in 2012 to confuse the facts surrounding the Benghazi massacre. You know the one, where President Obama and his minions claimed the attack on the American Embassy was caused by a YouTube video. Ironically the video he referred to was parody, but I do not think he got the humor. Of course, we heard the story for weeks on end, and we have not yet had an honest report on the matter.
Who could forget the memorable line so eloquently spoken by President Obama, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” That was fake news at its finest. Every time I hear that often repeated line, I visualized the minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany. In fact, the whole “fake news” campaign is Nazi-esque. It appears to be reverse propaganda designed to regulate the unregulated social media.
Everyone will remember the fake story of how paying $400 million to the Iranians to free American military hostages was not ransom. The fact that an unmarked plane was used to deliver the unmarked bills is irrelevant we are told. While the unmarked plane and unmarked cash may be irrelevant, it does not make for good parody. If the unmarked plane had delivered monopoly money, that would have been funny. The president just does not get it.
Oddly President Obama’s interest in fake news comes at a time when social media platforms are being criticized for carrying fake news stories. Claims have been made that fake stories helped to elect Donald Trump. Mark Zuckerberg the co-founder of Facebook initially called that idea “crazy”, but he has since reversed his stance. Zuckerberg has now outlined measures to help prevent fake news from being shared on Facebook (pronounced fakebook). Sources tell me that Zuckerberg would never have claimed it was “crazy” if he had not been late opening his emailed instructions form George Soros.
It is probably just me, but I think freedom of the press means “freedom of the press.” While social media platforms have a right to control what is on their site, the government and President Obama have no roll in interfering with freedom of the press. Given that President Obama’s administration is riddled with fake news, I find it ironic that he now wants to put a stop to it. Perhaps it is just another lame attempt at parody, and President Obama is pretending to be the Ayatollah of Iran.
All I can say for sure is that it has been a long eight years, and every time I have had the misfortune of watching the news, I kept wishing that someone would step forward and say, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”
Until next time…