Sent this off this morning...
At first I was puzzled at Michael Gerson’s discourse on satire (“Vulgarian at the Gate,” Wednesday, June 18, 2008). Why, I wondered, does he use his forum at the Post to point out what a great many of us know already: namely, that Al Franken (now running for Senate) is a comedian who has occasionally used naughty words in speaking truth to power? Comedians are supposed to make people like Gerson uncomfortable — that’s what they do.
Then it hit me: Gerson’s column was itself satire! How else to explain a harangue on “civility” by a man who, in his role as White House speechwriter, was the leading advertising copywriter for the Iraq War, now in its fifth year, with more than 4,000 Americans killed, nearly 30,000 injured, and countless tens of thousands of Iraqis dead, and millions more displaced? The author of the “smoking gun/mushroom cloud” image, demanding more “civility” in political discourse! Hilarious!
Mr. Gerson can lecture us from his fainting couch all he likes. But as he does so, I encourage him also to consider the difference between that which is merely vulgar and that which is obscene.
Edit: Just received an auto-email back that strongly suggests that since I posted this here, my letter won't be published. Ah, well.