Donald Trump & the degradation of satire into vaudeville

The NY Times had an article titled “Donald Trump is a conundrum for political comedy” which is a banal analysis of why TV comics like Colbert, Fallon, & Myers, or SNL have a hard time satirizing Trump. Perhaps the NYT writer hasn’t noticed that none of those shows have done satire about anything for a long time but are strictly vaudeville. They get Trump’s hair right but his politics go right over their heads.

Part of the problem, not just with Trump but with all their political guests, is that it’s impossible to satirize & skewer at the same time as you’re fawning & drooling all over them. All those shows long ago ceded the ground of social criticism to kissing ass & in the process they don’t even provide good laughs anymore.

They bring candidates on for interviews & exchange quips & pleasantries to indulge the more personal side of those who advocate war, torture, xenophobia, & social hatreds of every kind. The candidates would never agree to come on if for one moment they expected to be challenged for their policies.

It isn’t that Trump is a conundrum for sarcasm but that comedians have made an art form of ingratiating to power. If there’s one thing political satire cannot be, it is respectful to barbarism.