Howard Kurtz Shocked Republicans Prefer Obama Jokes Over Those About Republicans

As NewsBusters reported Sunday, some liberal media outlets were spreading the idea that a Barack Obama impersonator was pulled off the stage at a Republican event this weekend because he was telling racial and gay jokes.

Although CNN's Howard Kurtz at least figured out that the real reason Reggie Brown was yanked was because he was starting to insult Republicans, the "Reliable Sources" host seemed shocked Republicans would rather hear jokes about Obama than about Republicans (video follows with transcript and commentary):

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Now, before we go, I want to play for you something that happened yesterday at the Republican Leadership Conference, where an Obama impersonator -- Reggie Brown is the guy's name -- told some jokes. First, a series of pretty risque and racially sensitive jokes about the president. That got a lot of laughs. Then he turned his comedic fire on the Republicans, and suddenly he's yanked off the stage.

Take a look.


REGGIE BROWN, OBAMA IMPERSONATOR: My father was a black man from Kenya, and my mother was a white woman from Kansas. So, yes, my mother loved a black man, and, no, she was not a Kardashian.

It's unfortunate that Tim Pawlenty couldn't make it here. But cut him some slack. He's having his foot surgically removed from his mouth.

Oh, no, don't worry. Luckily for him, it's covered under Obamneycare. So, yes, that along with spinal transplants.

He was a one syllable president --


KURTZ: And he gets escorted off.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's off the hook.

KURTZ: What do you make of the fact -- is this going to be a big story because we can all now play the tape that when this guy, Reggie Brown, started making fun of Republicans, suddenly the music starts playing and he's off the stage?

That deserves a second look: "Is this going to be a big story because we can all now play the tape that when this guy, Reggie Brown, started making fun of Republicans, suddenly the music starts playing and he's off the stage?"

So, you mean it wasn't a problem at a Republican event when a comedian was making fun of the incumbent Democrat president the attendees are all trying to defeat in the upcoming elections, but it WAS a problem when the comedian started making fun of Republican candidates these same people are likely to support both financially and with their votes?

Horrors! Somebody call the cops!

JULIE MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: I don't know if it's a major story. It's an interesting, kind of funny, sad story about this comedian.

KURTZ: Well, the Republican official who we saw there escorting him off said that he had gone too far. The first 10 or 15 minutes was fine. That's when he was making fun of Obama, talking about, you know, I grew up in Hawaii, but it was actually Kenya. Then it got inappropriate.

So it seems like perhaps there was a double standard here.

Double standard here? Obama jokes being acceptable and not Republican jokes? At a Republican event?

Honestly, is our friend Howard losing his mind?

JENNIFER RUBIN, "RIGHT TURN": I think this is a lesson in you have to know who you're hiring. This was a bad hire. And we've had all week long, for weeks now, bad behavior in public places.

And I think this is an example of that. I think it's an example of people who have no self restraint, no inner check, and I think they should have gotten out there on the stage earlier and --

KURTZ: Just briefly, John Avlon, former Republican spokesman Doug Heye tweeted that, "This is why many minorities have a problem with the GOP."

I don't want to make this into more than it is, but is that a fair criticism?

You don't want to make this more than it is? Haven't you already?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Sure. I think this failed on a judgment call from the initial impulse to hire an Obama impersonator, and then it just got worse.

And the fact that he got yanked when he started taking on Republicans with his humor, clearly a bit of situational ethics there. But there's a certain tone deafness which is pervasive, and this will become a new symbol of that, for sure.

Situational ethics? Well, yeah: jokes about Democrats at a Republican event good; jokes about Republicans at a Republican event bad.

Doesn't seem like rocket science, does it?

Apparently to Kurtz, it does:

KURTZ: All right. I think the story actually is going to have some legs for at least a couple days.

This story has legs?

Funny, because earlier in the segment, Kurtz was complaining about how much time the media spent on the Anthony Weiner story.

Now that's what I call situational ethics.

2012 Presidential Reliable Sources CNN Julie Mason John Avlon Jennifer Rubin
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