Published on July 29th, 2010 | by Sharilyn Johnson


This just in: concept of “comedy writers” lost on media


So read the tweets this morning after details of US President Obama’s visit to The View started getting out (the episode aired today).

The scandalous comment he made? He’s never heard of Snooki, the bepouffed star of Jersey Shore.

GASP!! Oh, Mr. President, say it ain’t so!

Wait — that alone isn’t a concern, because one would certainly hope a sitting president doesn’t sit around watching crappy MTV reality shows.

But here’s the actual scandal: Obama made a reference to Snooki during this year’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner. He knew who she was THEN, right??


Mediaite, a site that I’ve expected better from, ran the Snookigate contradiction. It’s now spreading like wildfire among bored junior web editors everywhere.

Perhaps the most eyeroll-inducing example is from one of the million monkeys employed at Gawker. They pecked out this story, designing three different conspiracy theories to explain the discrepancy. But they seemed to forget that just months ago, they re-posted the Daily Beast’s scoop re: Obama’s WHCD speech being penned by some of the Daily Show writers.

I don’t think anyone is exactly calling for impeachment for this (though I haven’t checked Fox News yet), and some outlets do seem to get the ridiculousness of this. But it proves two things: how reporters’ brains shut down completely upon hearing that Something Happened That Can Become A Story If We Want It To, but mostly how ignorant people are when it comes to the function of comedy writers.

These guys were hired – and trusted – by the administration to help write a speech that was funny. They delivered. And Obama did a great read of it. What more can you ask for in a performer?

Had they insisted in removing the Snooki reference simply because Obama didn’t know the show, that would be a slippery slope of material destruction — a much bigger crime than “Snookigate”.

About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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