The phrase “political satire” has been around for a long time.
What is political satire? Here’s a good description:
“Political satire is a humorous, ironic, or sarcastic examination of the political arena in an attempt to expose absurdity and hypocrisy. A combination of humor and political analysis, political satire can skew more toward bringing laughs or toward activism, depending on the content and the intent of the satirist.
“There are many different forms of political satire, including prose, editorial cartoons, and fake news. A controversial issue, satire with a political bent may be viewed as anything from mere folly to unpatriotic or even rebellious behavior in some parts of the world.”
And as for my saying political satire has been around for a long time, some sources point back to the days of Aristophanes (c. 466 BC- c. 386 BC) in ancient Athens:
Aristophanes is also known as the “Father of Comedy,” as the inscription on the above image’s pedestal clearly states.
Since then, wherever politicians have existed, people have been satirizing them. First with prose, then cartoons were added, like this example from 19th-century France, poking fun at King Louis XVIII, nicknamed here as “Old Bumblehead”:
These days we can also watch political satire, like Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update”:
While closer to (my) home, San Diego Union-Tribune political cartoonist Steve Breen hits them out of the park on a regular basis:
But now, I’m concerned that our current political satirists could be put out of work.
Because these days, I’m seeing politicians actively satirizing themselves…
And doing it so well…
That our political satirists may have to consider a different career direction.
Take this recent headline:
Representative Mary Miller, R-IL…
…was at a Trump rally and, referring to the Roe vs. Wade decision said,
“President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.”
Don’t hold back, Mary. Tell us how you really feel.
No political satirist could have would have imagined this.
Next recent example:
Rhode Island Democratic state senate candidate Jennifer Rourke…
…was at an abortion rights rally at the State House in Providence “when my Republican opponent Jeann Lugo punched me multiple times in the face.”
Don’t hold back, Jeann. Show us how you really feel.
No political satirist would dare to even hint at such a thing.
And why would they, when the politicians are doing the satirizing of themselves – for themselves?
But here’s the best of the recent self-satirizing stories, and no surprise, it’s…
The short clip was shared by filmmaker Alex Holder, whose documentary Unprecedented…
…a three-part film about the final months of the Trump presidency, is slated to be released this summer and has been bought by Discovery Plus.
In the “bizarre clip” – filmed at “The White House, December 5, 2020” – Trump enters the set, seats himself, and looks up, fixated on the image of himself on a monitor.
At :13 seconds into the video Trump – known for his modesty – exclaims, “Beautiful!”
Trump remains mostly fixated on the monitor, and here’s what follows:
:19 I don’t think you want to have the water in the picture, right?
:21 You can take it (gestures).
:24 Yeah, put it over there, Nick.
:29 Yeah, might as well take the table (referring to the table that had held the water glass; someone briefly on camera removes both).
:32 Good, very good, thank you.
(And then, one second later:)
:33 You know what you can do, Nick? Put the table back cause it’s missing something. Put the table back and put the water on the table without the thing on top of it.
(Table returned, napkin returned, water glass returned “without the thing on top of it.”)
:50 OK… (Trump adjusting table and water glass) How does that look? (Lifts glass off napkin).
:58 Go ahead, take it out (Trump pushes away napkin).
1:01 Yeah. All right. (Trump makes more adjustments to water glass position.)
1:05 Right? Let’s go.
At 1:11 the video clip ends.
No wonder Holder’s documentary has three parts – it took most of Part 1 to get rid of the water glass, and table, then return the water glass, and table, and…etc.
NO political satirist could EVER have made up Trump’s behavior in this video.
Because no political satirist – no sane person, period – could be so obsessive, so narcissistic, and so stupid.
So Trump, Trump Jr, Ivanka and Eric all agreed to participate in a lengthy documentary about themselves – no surprise there.
But apparently this came as a surprise:
“The Jan. 6 committee has subpoenaed documentary filmmaker Alex Holder in regard to footage and interviews Holder and his team shot while following former President Donald Trump and his inner circle throughout the 2020 presidential campaign.
“Holder’s company, AJH Films, confirmed to Rolling Stone on Tuesday that he has been subpoenaed, will sit for an interview with the panel on Thursday, and has ‘fully complied with all of the committee’s requests.’”
And I think that is…