In 'Year in Review,' Humorist Dave Barry Mocks Media's Obsession with Russia and 2016

It was a little shocking to peruse humorist Dave Barry's comedic "Year in Review 2018" as the cover story of Sunday's Washington Post Magazine. The Post may have been a little sickened by just how much Dave Barry mocked the media's obsession over Russia and the 2016 election, and their thumping tubs for impeachment. 

It should be said there was a lot of the usual Trump mockery (and some Fox News-as-Trump's-servant mockery), but there were a lot of liberal-media jokes in there as well. This came in the introduction, as Barry expressed horror that the cable channel TLC now has a show called Dr. Pimple Popper: 

As you recall, we, as a nation, spent all of 2017 obsessing over 2016: the election, the Russians, the emails, the Mueller probe, the Russians, the Russians, the Russians. … That was all we heard about, day after soul-crushing day, for the entire year.

So when 2018 finally dawned, we were desperately hoping for change. It was a new year, a chance for the nation to break out of the endless, pointless barrage of charges and countercharges, to move past the vicious, hate-filled hyperpartisan spew of name-calling and petty point-scoring, to end the 24/7 cycle of media hysteria, to look forward and begin to tackle the many critical issues facing the nation, the most important of which turned out to be …

… the 2016 election.

Yes. We could not escape it. We were like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, except that when our clock-radio went off, instead of Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe,” we awoke to still MORE talk of Russians and emails; MORE childish semiliterate presidential tweets about FAKE NEWS and Crooked Hillary; MORE freakouts by cable TV panelists predicting that — forget about the previous 300 times they made the same prediction — THIS time impeachment was IMMINENT, PEOPLE. IMMINENT!!

Meet the new year: same as the old year.

So at some point during 2018, normal, non-Beltway-dwelling Americans simply stopped paying attention to current events. Every now and then we’d tune in to a cable TV news show to see what kinds of issues our nation’s elite political/media class was grappling with, and we’d see a headline like “PORN STAR STORMY DANIELS: TRUMP DIDN’T USE A CONDOM.”

That was when Dr. Pimple Popper started to look pretty good.

Then came the monthly humor reports, starting with January:

The intellectual level of the national discourse soars even higher when it is reported that, during an Oval Office meeting on immigration reform, the president referred to some poorer nations as “s—holes.” This upsets many people, especially the frowny panelpersons of CNN, who find the word “s—hole” so deeply offensive that they repeat it roughly 15 times per hour for a solid week.


Speaking of incompetence: Congress averts yet another government shutdown by passing, with President Trump signing, a bill under which the government will — prepare to be shocked — spend a truly insane amount of money that it does not have. With the spending problem addressed, Washington then turns to more pressing matters, specifically the Stormy Daniels crisis, which escalates when Daniels files a lawsuit to invalidate her nondisclosure agreement on the grounds that Trump didn’t sign it. This issue dominates the news cycle, especially on CNN, which puts Daniels’s extremely outgoing lawyer, Michael Avenatti, on Full S—hole Rotation, which means he is featured on every CNN news program and also handles weather and sports updates.


The Manafort-Cohen story gets massive coverage on CNN and MSNBC, with hordes of joyful panelists celebrating the now-inevitable impeachment of Trump by dancing around the studio singing “Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead.” For its part, Fox News presents a timely investigative series on preventing salamander-transmitted diseases....

In a coordinated nationwide response to Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, sternly worded editorials rebuking the president are published in more than 300 newspapers, with a combined editorial-page readership estimated at nearly 14 people. For his part, CNN’s Jim Acosta courageously confronts White House press secretary Sarah Sanders over this issue, despite the very real risk that he will have to feature himself prominently in his report on this harrowing incident.


Meanwhile the ongoing saga that is “The Jim Acosta Story, Starring Jim Acosta as Jim Acosta” takes a thrilling turn when Jim gets into a dramatic struggle with a White House intern over a microphone. The Trump administration, always looking for ways to make a stupid situation even stupider, suspends Jim’s press pass and releases a video that somebody apparently doctored to make it appear more violent by splicing in the shower scene from Psycho.

....As Thanksgiving approaches, two turkeys — named Peas and Carrots — are summoned to the White House, where the president, in keeping with a lighthearted Washington tradition, appoints them to high-level posts in the Justice Department. Two days later he fires Peas over what insiders describe as “policy differences.” Within minutes Peas is hired as a political analyst by MSNBC.


Fueling this confidence are reliable rumors swirling around Washington that special counsel Robert Mueller is about to do some major thing that, while not specified in the rumors, will definitely mean the downfall of Trump and THIS TIME IT IS REALLY HAPPENING, PEOPLE. In anticipation of this event, CNN unveils a special panelist desk that is the length of a regulation basketball court, providing the capability to have an unprecedented 170 panelists sitting side-by-side expressing outrage simultaneously, and bringing CNN one step closer to the day when it has more panelists than actual viewers.

Washington Post Humor Dave Barry Jim Acosta Michael Avenatti
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