I do not want to spend any time or energy making fun of The Half Hour News Hour, Fox News' "conservative answer to The Daily Show." There is such a thing, even in blogging, as wasting time and flogging a dead horse. Look, the show is fucking awful, it's a fundamentally-flawed premise (The Daily Show primarily makes fun of the media, whereas this retort is largely just a vehicle to push right-wing propaganda), and it will be cancelled in about 6 weeks. History will remember it somewhat more fondly than The Chevy Chase Show. If they're lucky.

I will point out just one thing and then leave this abomination to history. Check out this clip – a hilarious little skit about Rush Limbaugh….as president! Ha ha ha! Anyway, aside from how painfully un-funny the clip is, one thing blows me away: have you ever heard more laugh track on something in your life? Aside from the Americanized version of the British sitcom Coupling, I cannot recall watching anything in which the canned laughter was more egregious and out of place. I mean, in this Limbaugh clip the laugh track is going (and on full-blast "hysterical" setting) during parts that aren't even jokes. I don't mean "bad jokes" (like comparing Barack Obama to Marion Barry…is it 1990? How about some Tonya Harding jokes? John Wayne Bobbit?). No jokes at all.

This show cannot possibly succeed because there is absolutely nothing funny about the current ideological basis of mainstream conservatism. Moral prudishness, greed, and anti-intellectualism are not the building blocks of a comedy fortress. If you're shocked at how awful The Half Hour News Hour is, you shouldn't be. After all, the banal fratboy ramblings of Jonah Goldberg are currently considered to be tremendous wit on the right. I feel sorry for young conservatives. It wasn't that long ago that the movement had some intelligent people representing it. From Irving Kristol, Buckley and Safire to Coulter, Goldberg, and Hannity in one generation.

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  • Okay. I did not even crack a smile at that clip. And it's generally pretty easy to make me laugh.

    Good choices on your selections of intelligent neocons.

    Re: Irving Kristol. Anyone who converted from trotskyist to neocon HAS to have a sense of humor, right?

    Re: Buckley. He stated in the National Review three years ago: "It's an unreasonable polarization of opinion: 1) everything a neocon advocates is animated by a concern for Israel, and, 2) every criticism of neocon policy is animated by anti-Semitism. That is straitened thought, and should be resisted." I'm not sure I believe him, but at least he was a voice of reason.

  • When I saw the bit about Obama and Barry all I could think about was David Spade making a joke on SNL about how tired jokes about Marion Barry jokes were. That must have been at least 10 years ago.

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