Jon Gabriel attends a panel discussion on progressive comedy at Netroots Nation. It wasn’t very funny:
Netroots Nation is an annual conference for online progressive activists. Over the past few days, the group held their ninth annual event in Detroit — America’s finest example of unchecked liberal policy.
Unbeknownst to the organizers, I attended the conference to see what the other side thinks about economics, education and the midterms. If their presentation on comedy is any guide, conservatives don’t have much to fear.
“The Left is supposed to be funnier than the Right, damn it,” the panel description stated. “So why do we so often sound in public like we’re stiltedly reading from a non-profit grant proposal?”
This defensive tone was apparent throughout the hour-plus session, brought up repeatedly by speakers and audience members. Much like a co-worker who doesn’t get anyone’s jokes but insists, “I have a great sense of humor!”
The audience had several questions about what they were allowed to joke about and even how comedy works. A white septuagenarian proudly stated that she no longer tells jokes to black people because that might expose them to unwitting racism. Camp and White sadly noted that her preface of “I’m not a racist, but…” confirms that she is, in fact, a racist.
Another audience member asked how progressives can shut down funny, effective lines coming from the right on talk radio, blogs and Twitter. “The right has short, pithy things to say because they lie,” Halper replied.
She explained that clever jokes by conservatives aren’t actually funny because such people lack empathy and nuance. “Progressives are more nuanced, statistically speaking,” Halper said. The science is settled.