Brandon Griggs of CNN.com reported from the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, that a panel of leftist comedians and comedy writers said yes to his question “Is political comedy inherently leftist?”
“Comedy has a recklessness that doesn't lend itself to the conservative lifestyle,” said Rory Albanese, an executive producer and writer for The Daily Show on Comedy Central. “It's the same reason why Christian rock bands aren't as good as regular rock bands.”
That’s a classic Comedy Central viewpoint: Christians are always less hip than we are. They are the fodder, and we are the cannons.
It might be argued that secular leftists by nature are more cynical and irreverent and "edgy." But are they any of those adjectives when it comes to their heroes, like Obama?
Albanese admitted that after eight years of making jokes about President George W. Bush, it was difficult at first for "The Daily Show" to take aim at Obama. He said Obama's measured statements aren't easy targets for parody.
"There's funny stuff on the left, but sometimes you have to dig a little deeper. I can't say all the lies in politics come from the right. I think a lot of them come from the left," he said during the event Friday. "I do think it's important to try and come at things from all sides. What we do is poke fun at the system, poke fun at the process."
This is the Daily Show equivalent of Brian Williams claiming he runs an objective newscast. Can any of these Daily Show people claim they don't careen to the left?
Griggs never mentioned whether major Obama donor/major CNN darling Bill Maher or Palin-smashing comedian Louis C.K. came up in the conversation, but naturally, Albanese said the Republican primaries, with targets like Rick Perry and Hermain Cain, have been comic gold for "The Daily Show" and other leftist comics.
"With all due respect to the candidates, there is the view that all of them are insane. A guy like Santorum, who's taking an anti-college stance? That's funny. I mean, who the f--- is against college?"
Satirical TV shows such as "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" can raise viewers' awareness about political issues. But Albanese believes they shouldn't be someone's only source of news.
"When people say, 'I get all my news from 'The Daily Show,' I say, 'Well, that's a good start.' It's a launching point. But it's not a place to form your opinions."
Griggs said when asked by moderator Alf Lamont to name a single right-leaning comedy site, the panel drew a blank. They also couldn't name any conservative comedians, save for maybe Dennis Miller.