This Again? Watch Mike Wilbon Make A Birther Joke On PTI Today
Oftentimes, a Pardon the Interruption segment will require Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon to wear ridiculous things (OK, fine, mostly Kornheiser). It's supposed to help us recognize these people aren't taking themselves too seriously, and won't mind going to absurd lengths to amuse viewers. Suffice to say, Good Cop/Bad Cop is such a segment, but today, Kornheiser and Wilbon upped the crazy ante: in addition to the outfits, they threw in a birther reference for good measure.
It all had to do with predicting how the U.S. women's soccer team will do at the Women's World Cup, which the American side opened with a 2-0 victory over North Korea today. Kornheiser argued in favor of the Americans winning it all, while Wilbon was more skeptical.
Neither side had much in the way of an argument - Kornheiser just started a "U-S-A!" chant, while Wilbon said we're not going to beat Germany in Germany "'cause we're not," and won't beat Brazil "'cause we don't." Rather, the jabs right at the end were what stood out to us:
First of all, we liked Kornheiser's "Why do you hate America so much?" zinger because, for whatever reason, accusing someone of hating America for a laughably inadequate reason is always funny to us.
But the birth certificate line...yeah, we know it was completely non-serious, but the whole birther "controversy" was so ridiculous and at times ugly, and was such a criminal waste of time and breath that even bringing it up jokingly, now that it's mercifully pretty much dead, still makes us a little queasy.
This "issue" allowed Donald Trump to get his horrible, disgustingly smug face on television even more. It provided an outlet by which subtle (or not-so-subtle) prejudices could see the light of day, aided by pandering politicians' gestures that, without saying it outright, strongly implied that yes, those prejudices are just fine.
It was a truly foul concoction of everything the political game can be at its worst, and for that, it deserves...well, actually, pretty much exactly the dismissive, sarcastic scorn with which Wilbon regarded it. But we still think we'd prefer just never hearing it spoken of, or even alluded to, again.
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