If only John Edwards had a better sense of humor. Perhaps those pesky sexual trysts would not have ruined his political career.
At least, that’s the advice being given by Elizabeth Benjamin of the New York Daily News.
In the article, Benjamin hails the comedic styling of Governor David Paterson of New York, who made an off color joke about his past affairs with several women. The headline says it all:
Truth has set Gov. David Paterson free - to joke about sins
The implication in this piece is that had Edwards, or even Bill Clinton himself, simply been forthright with their affairs, then they too would be free to make light of them.
The tone of the article is one of waxing nostalgic, dreaming up ‘what if’ scenarios for the former liberal darlings of the media. What could have been for Edwards had he only confessed up front?
Governor David Paterson’s comedic moment came at this point:
The governor, who told the Daily News' Juan Gonzalez about his multiple affairs on the very day he was sworn in five months ago, has become so comfortable with the topic that he can even joke about it in public.
When a group of women greeted him Thursday at a New York delegation event here with shouts of "We love you, David!" he quipped: "Once again, my past has caught up with me."
My assumption is that this kind of joke leaves a bad taste in the mouths of a majority of readers or listeners. This apparently was not the case however, at the New York delegation event itself, as:
The audience didn't blink an eye. Far from being shocked, they laughed and applauded.
While there is a hint of truth to what is being said in the article, it still has to make one who endears themselves to conservative family values cringe to see a prominent politician joke about his extramarital affairs.
The truthful part lies in a forgiving America. The people of this nation are always more forgiving and have a shorter memory for those who admit their mistakes, and ask for public forgiveness.
It’s when the lies pile on one after another that we tend to hold a grudge. In Edward's case, he continued to lie. As a result, he continued to fall.
But does honesty really turn the topic of cheating into a stand up routine, as the Albany Times Union indicates? After all he:
…had the New York delegation rolling in the aisles…
Did the Governor’s wife find this joke particularly funny? Tough to say, as Michelle Paterson has the same pool of material to draw from when she begins her career in comedy.
Would the MSM be laughing along with a Republican who made light of their infidelity? No, Republicans are typically chastised for any attempts at humor.
It was only a couple of months ago that our President, George Bush, made an attempt at humor involving the U.S. as the world’s biggest polluter. I don’t recall too many articles following this that let Bush off the hook for having a lighthearted sense of humor.
I know - apples to oranges. Jokes about pollution and jokes about infidelity are separate issues. Though, I would charge that the former is less offensive than the latter.
The question remains – Is this really a laughing matter?
Would Bill Clinton truly be better off had he made a joke regarding his past as a cigar connoisseur? Would that have been more or less distasteful than the enduring clip of him saying ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky?’ Can you imagine Hillary rolling in the aisles?
Would Edwards have been better off quipping about a past video documentary with Rielle Hunter, than hiding in the bathroom of the Beverly Hilton at 2:30 in the morning? Is Elizabeth Edwards going to start convulsing in a fit of knee-slapping hilarity?
Paterson may be commended by some for being truthful about his affairs. But this doesn’t make them fodder for comedy bits.
If Paterson needs to flesh out his routine, there is other material to work with. Perhaps he could tell us about the one involving the state employee? Or maybe the one about the Governor who used campaign funds for bar tabs and hotel stays? Isn’t it just hilarious that he also used those funds to pay his girlfriend $500?
Leave it to the liberal media to brush this all aside, and think - if only John Edwards and Bill Clinton had followed the same path.
The truth may set you free, but an affair remains a humorless topic.
Photo Credit: MLive.com