Who Knew Abortion Could Be So Funny?

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/05/08/who-knew-abortion-could-be-so-funny/

The crowd was entertained. Some reveled in the death of others. They weren’t dying, so what did they care? They just wanted to enjoy a good show.

If this was last week’s column, I would have been referring to those in the arena cheering the slaughter of men, women, and children in Nero’s Circus, in first-century Rome.

But the current focus is in Washington D.C., in the 21st century. For a laugh, a woman mentioned abortion. Credit her for not using the euphemism “fetus.” She clearly said “baby.”  Then she emphasized how to have to “really knock it.”

Really kill it.

Nothing spices a punchline like the death of a child.

There was muted laughter in the audience, among those attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

This was supposedly a celebration of journalism and, instead, it became another embarrassment for a profession fighting for relevancy. I have worked for newspapers for 37 years. I know the value of good journalism; have seen the difference it really makes. I also used to argue that most journalists are objective. I am losing that argument more often.

Giving the stage to a comedian like Michelle Wolf is not just an indictment of the White House Correspondents’ Association. What of us? Have we evolved so far that abortion is not a tragedy, but part of a comedy routine?

Wolfe is considered “edgy” – always an excuse for a someone who must rely on vulgarity for humor. It took her all of 14 seconds before launching into the first of countless sex jokes, most aimed at Donald Trump.

Our current President can be a vulgar, and embarrassing, so he is an easy target. Understandable. But Wolf even brought up Ivanka Trump and linked her to a sex joke about her father.  Repugnant, and it would not be tolerated if a man said it. But Wolf gets away with it.

Donald Trump will always be the subject of jokes – he was the key target of insults when Seth Meyers joked at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. (So much for the organizers’ defense that the party in power takes the brunt of the jokes; most of Meyers’ barbs were directed at conservatives.)

And now we know Wolf is mean and has a potty mouth, while her attacks are one-sided.

That’s not the biggest complaint here. It was her abortion joke, and the response that ranged from glee to silence.

The joke began as another jab at the Vice President:

“Mike Pence is very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don’t knock it till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there.”

Cue the out-of-touch crowd from the arena, and hear the brief laughter.

If it does not remind you of first-century Rome, then how about the future as detailed in the dystopia Hunger Games trilogy? In that story, the Capital District’s population is portrayed as one of supreme vanity and power, and in need of entertainment. The big annual event, the Hunger Games, features youth from the other districts killing each other.

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, an evening of vanity and power, invites a woman that believes the killing of a baby is a source of humor. “Really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there.” Was that a reference to dismemberment?

Why not joke about saline abortions? I’m sure that would be good for a chuckle.

I don’t think Gianna Jessen would be laughing. She is a pro-life speaker with an abundance of credibility. When her mother was single and pregnant, Planned Parenthood recommended an abortion. But Jessen survived the burning saline solution – although the abortion attempt caused her to be born with cerebral palsy.

During her testimony to Congress, Jessen said she had a question for Planned Parenthood:

“If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were mine?”

Now that’s a one-liner.

Gianna Jessen


Kevin Thomas is a writer and former teacher, living with his wife and children in Standish, Maine.