One of the most endearing qualities of political officials is their ability to laugh at themselves. Reagan had it in spades, his successor George H.W. Bush had it so prominently that one of his greatest tormenters, Saturday Night Live’s Dana Carvey, was a regular guest at the White House. And it seems former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer has it as well.
Last night at the extraordinarily politicized Emmy’s, hosted by the increasingly isolated entertainer-turned-political activist Stephen Colbert, Spicer made a cameo that was perfectly timed, and pretty funny.
In introducing how great the award show was going to be, Colbert talked them up before asking, “Isn’t that right, Sean?”
At that precise moment, Spicer came out on stage pushing a mobile lectern – the very thing that actress Melissa McCarthy had immortalized in some of SNL’s funniest political parody work in years. And mocking his own rhetoric that made him liberal’s favorite punching bag during his short stay in the White House, Spicer thundered,
“This will be the largest audience to witness the Emmys, period – both in person and around the world.”
In a not-so-veiled mockery of his own antics defending President Trump’s outlandish and exaggerated claims about inaugural crowd size, Spicer showed a self-deprecating side to himself that any normal, reasonably balanced individual could appreciate.
So of course the humorless left was indignant and outraged. The headlines were hilarious:
“Sean Spicer’s yucky cameo at the Emmys” – Washington Post
“Angry Viewers are in no Mood to Laugh at Sean Spicer’s Emmy Jokes” – HuffPo
“Why did the Emmys Help Sean Spicer Rebrand?” – CNN
“Sean Spicer’s Emmys Cameo was Amazingly Tone-Deaf” – Salon
“Stephen Colbert Welcoming Sean Spicer to the Emmys Stage was a Disappointment and a Failure” – Vox
On Twitter, the reactions were even more visceral from the perpetually offended left:
“We remember that @seanspicer lied for money, right? He lied for a living.” – MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell
“Shame on #Emmys. Spicey devalued the credibility of the USA. Now it’s all one big inside joke? Glad I watched PBS. Now watching @Nationals.” – Clinton adviser and CNN pundit Paul Begala
“I actually found this pretty gross. Using the White House to sell egregious lies isn’t really funny.” – Think Progress founder Judd Legum
While conservatives might be tempted to begin hammering away at the stunningly obvious double standard these critical leftists have for what constitutes humor (I mean, a Bill Clinton adviser complaining about devaluing the credibility of the country? Seriously?), there’s a much better approach to take.
Remember who is fighting whom here. The angst of liberals at Spicer’s appearance is directed at the liberals who run Hollywood and the Emmys. Conservatives would be wise to not get involved. Just sit back and watch the show. As former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer summarized:
“The east coast left attacks the west coast left. Get your popcorn.”