Understatement of the Day:
Despite the applause his remarks received, Colbert acknowledged that the room full of celebrities wasn’t necessarily the toughest crowd to tell anti-Trump jokes.
–Fox report on last night's Emmy Awards
The Emmy Awards last night predictably turned into a glutton's feast of Trump bashing.
That's fine. It's a free country and in a less bitter time political jokes at events of this sort were often genuinely funny.
But here's what I wonder about the Emmy Award Trump bashers: don't they realize that in many instances they are also bashing a large segment of the public, who, benighted as we are, come in handy for ratings?
The more of us they turn off, the more insular the entertainment industry becomes. I watched "Giant" (now, there's a great American saga) on TCM last night, so it wasn't until this morning that I fully appreciated how many insults I had dodged.
Just as glad to have missed this:
[Colbert} then segwayed into a clip from the presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, where she criticized him for saying the Emmys were rigged and the then-candidate interrupted to say that he should have won.
“But he didn’t, because unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”
Hillary Clinton recently referred to the "godforsaken Electoral College," and this joke echoes that. It's fine to mock the Electoral College, Hollywood–but some Americans do not regard it as "godforsaken" but rather see it as the only reason that people in flyover country had a say in picking the president.
Jokes such as this one remind us that Hollywood wishes the election could have been decided solely by elite voters in densely populated urban centers and that ordinary voters had not been allowed to mess things up.
And how about this bon mot from Colbert:
“Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? I tell you this, if he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president. So, in a way, this is all your fault.” he said, gesturing to the whole room. “I thought you people loved morally compromised anti-heroes! You love Walter White, he’s just Walter much-whiter. And he never forgave you and he never will. The president complained repeatedly that the Emmys are rigged.”
So it's a hoot to imply that the president (and, by extension, those who voted for him) are racists?
The problem with jokes like these is that they are, as Colbert himself acknowledged,far too easy.
Anti-Trump jokes are sure to elicit applause in a ballroom full of coastal elites. But this is precisely what makes the jokes unfunny to a large swathe of the public.