News / USA

    Comics Seize on Government Shutdown to Mock Washington

    Comics Seize on Government Shutdown to Mock Washingtoni
    X
    October 04, 2013 3:00 AM
    U.S. comedians on late night TV love to make fun of American politicians whose feuds often paralyze national decision-making. When the disputes led to the federal government's shutdown this week, the jokes went into overdrive.
    Comics Seize on Government Shutdown to Mock Washington
    U.S. comedians on late night TV love to make fun of American politicians, whose feuds often paralyze national decision-making. When the disputes led to the federal government's shutdown this week, the jokes went into overdrive.

    The government shutdown has given some of America's most popular TV comedians new ammunition against one of their favorite targets: Republicans.

    In a YouTube clip posted by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the host pounces on Republican lawmaker Todd Rokita for opposing President Obama's health care law.

    "I just want to help the American people get by and through what is one of the most insidious laws ever created by man. And that is Obamacare," said Rokita in the clip.

    "Not just one of the most insidious laws ever created by America, which has Jim Crow and slavery on its resume of laws, but by man - putting Obamacare up with the Nuremberg laws, the Spanish inquisition and 'prima nocta' - the medieval law where on your wedding night the king gets to sleep with your wife," ridiculed Stewart.

    In another video posted to YouTube, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report sees irony in Republican Senator Lindsey Graham's criticism of the president.

    "Where is our commander-in-chief, why isn't he on the phone right now, calling the Senate and House leadership, and telling them our nation is at risk because of the government shutdown," Senator Graham told Fox News.

    "Yes, why isn't the president telling Congress that shutting down the government is bad? And why won't he tell them the stove is hot? Boehner keeps burning his hand over and over again," mocked Colbert.

    Conservatives are not the only ones being mocked. On a YouTube video of NBC's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, host Fallon finds it hard to sympathize with the thousands of furloughed government employees.

    "This is nice, actually. I saw several bars in Washington, D.C. are offering discounts on drinks to federal workers affected by the government shutdown. Or, as people who aren't federal workers put it, 'I'm a federal worker.'" said Fallon.

    And in a YouTube clip of NBC's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, the veteran comic points out that tourists have plenty of sites to see besides the monuments shut by the government.

    "Well, as you know, most of the tourist stuff is closed. Well, here's the story," began Leno.

    "With the government shut down, the impact is being felt far beyond the nation's capital, as zoos, libraries and national parks are now closed. However, there are some alternatives to the shutdown. For example, with the closure of the National Zoo, you can still see dangerous animals at an [Oakland] Raiders football game. The Library of Congress also will be closed, but don't worry about it - nobody goes to libraries, anyway. And for those of you hoping to get a glimpse of Joshua Tree National Park [in southern California], you might want to reroute your trip and head for the 'Kardashian butt-acle' forest," offered Leno's mock news report.

    Michael Lipin

    Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora