How not to be witty

How not to be witty: As I pointed out yesterday, the Tennessean had an article that had to be carefully parsed to understand that a U.S. congressman from Tennessee was actually taking a stab at humor when he he made an outlandish proposal on the floor of the House of Representatives (and, thus, CSPAN and YouTube, etc.). Today, in a follow-up story regarding a near-universal failure of late-night show hosts and bloggers to catch the sarcasm in the lawmaker’s remarks, the Tennessean buries this mea culpa: “The Tennessean reported on his comments on its Web site, portraying the event without indication of sarcasm. The story was online for approximately three hours Thursday before the newspaper posted a revision.” (Quote from my original post: “Actually, despite the way the article is written, I assume the congressman was using irony. However, I’d like to propose that it be a sin for lawmakers to try and be witty.”)

2 thoughts on “How not to be witty

  1. I read several reports yesterday where it was clear others must have read the TNan. Don’t get me started….

  2. I viewed it as Irony, too. I watch C-SPAN and understand speeches on the floor and worked within D.C.’s federal beuaracracy. I think a lot of bloggers got it,too, but used it to further discuss the slippery slope toward defending the sanctity of marriage to the extent of criminalizing adultery and banning divorce: two propositions that likely play far better to people’s nearly 100% opposition to divorce and adultery than people’s lesser opposition to gay marriage. If moralists on the issue of sacredness of marriage rights have their way, what’s to stop them from approaching divorce and adultery which are two real threats to marriage’s sacredness?

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