Monday, March 22, 2004

Liberal Chatter: Lizz Winstead, of Daily Show fame, is supposedly one of the big guns at the Air America Network -- the folks that want to create the liberal Limbaugh movement. Here she is cracking up Howie Kurtz:
With her slipper-clad feet on the chair and her knees pressed up against her chest, Lizz Winstead is performing for an imaginary microphone.

"Dick Cheney is a man of the people -- the people who run the energy industries," she says.

"The administration is pushing a 'No Medic Alert' bracelet for some people. If they don't have health insurance, you'll know not to help them."

In 10 days, the co-creator of "The Daily Show" will be doing her shtick for a real audience. And her success in devising an entertaining but nakedly liberal program will help determine whether the country's newest radio network achieves liftoff or implodes on the launch pad.

Oh-ho! Stop, before I wet myself! Jesus. I hope for her sake she can come up with some better laugh lines in the next ten days. I doubt it. As we've discussed before, liberals are usually too sanctimonious or self-righteous to be funny.

More: I see, far down in the piece, that Air America has hired Rachel Maddow. I know her stuff well -- she did a morning show locally (full disclosure: she once gave me tickets to the movies and a blues concert, plus she cheered on my wife at a sunflower-seed-spitting contest). She's a natural for a big, pointedly liberal network, in that she illustrates the problem: She's funny and charming, with a hilariously understated out-lesbian schtick; but when she hits politics, her charm evaporates, and she sounds like a standard-issue liberal scold, like someone who wants to abolish fun. I even had to switch off her show when she would go after the religious right -- and I'm a libertarian atheist, for (um . . .) god's sake! It was Queen of the Bitch Valkyries stuff: "People who disagree with me are not only wrong, they're Eeeeeeee-vil!" (Declaring people stupid, wrong, or evil is always more nuanced -- hence legitimate -- when liberals do it.) It was like listening to a liberal Sean Hannity. (The glaring exception to the funny conservative rule.)

Anyway, I generally like her and wish her success. I hope she manages to be funny, but I'm not betting the farm on it.

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