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Hey, NPR: Fund your own lame liberal humor — and leave my family alone

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 21, 2011 07:00 AM

If the obscure and has-been comedians who appear on National Public Radio want to mock conservatives and spread left-wing propaganda, they should do it on their own damned dime.

The government-sponsored radio conglomerate broadcasts a weekend show called “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” It leans heavily on laugh tracks to prop up the lame punchlines of the likes of liberal humorist Paula Poundstone and describes its purpose thusly: “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is NPR’s weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what’s real news and what’s made up.”

The “best and brightest” include a Muslim comedian named Maz Jabrani, whom NPR has been promoting as “the face of Middle Eastern humor in America today.”

Judging from his latest bit performed on this weekend’s show, the face of Middle Eastern humor looks a lot like the face of your typical CAIR mouthpiece. Tea Party-bashers Ron Schiller and Vivian Schiller may be gone and the House may have defunded the public radio enterprise, but the conservatives=racist smear narrative is alive and well at NPR.

Here’s a transcript and here’s the audio:

CARL KASELL, host:

From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I’m Carl Kasell. We’re playing this week with Amy Dickinson, Maz Jobrani and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, host:

Thank you, Carl.

(Soundbite of applause)*

*[MM NOTE: THE SHOW IS TAPED BEFORE A LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE, BUT THIS SOUNDS LIKE A CANNED LAUGH TRACK]

SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Right now it’s time for the WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you’re on WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME!

PATRICK: Hi, this is Patrick from Suffolk, Virginia.

SAGAL: Hey Patrick, how are things in Suffolk?

…[Lame chatter edited out for space]…

…SAGAL: I agree with you. Well welcome to the show, Patrick. You’re going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Patrick’s topic?

KASELL: Finally, I know who I really am.

SAGAL: Everyone has faced that moment of existential doubt and asked: who am I? Where do I come from? Well, this week, we read about someone who sought answers to those questions and was shocked at what they found. Our panelists are going to tell you three stories about people uncovering a secret about their identity, only one of which was in this week’s news. Choose that true story; you’ll win Carl’s voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Ready to play?

PATRICK: I am.

SAGAL: First, let’s hear from Maz Jobrani.

Mr. MAZ JOBRANI (Founder, Axis of Evil Comedy Tour): Conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin has expressed her fear that there are Muslims amongst us who are hiding their true identity. The most prominent, she claims, being Barack Obama. However, when she set out to find proof of these undercover Muslims, she found more than she bargained for.

It turns out that there are, indeed, some Muslims hiding their identity to fly under the radar. The most pertinent one for Malkin being her own grandfather.

(Soundbite of laughter)*

*[MM NOTE: THIS SOUNDS LIKE A CANNED LAUGH TRACK]

Mr. JOBRANI: Yes, Grandpa Malkin, who is from the Philippines but lives with Michelle’s parents, had not told the family about his religion for fear of being ostracized and thrown out. “Do you know how hard it is to pray five times a day when your family doesn’t know?”

(Soundbite of laughter)*

*[MM NOTE: THIS SOUNDS LIKE A CANNED LAUGH TRACK]

Mr. JOBRANI: “I had to excuse myself to the bathroom every time I wanted to pray.”

(Soundbite of laughter)*

*[MM NOTE: THIS SOUNDS LIKE A CANNED LAUGH TRACK]

Mr. JOBRANI: “And the ham dinners, don’t get me started on the ham dinners.”

(Soundbite of laughter)*

**[MM NOTE: THIS SOUNDS LIKE A CANNED LAUGH TRACK]

Mr. JOBRANI: Malkin was in shock when her grandfather revealed his true identity to her. He explained that he had been closeted Muslim for too long and it was time for him to live his life and be happy with himself. Malkin used the revelation to confirm her argument that Muslims are taking over. First they wanted the youth, and now they’re going after my grandfather? My 90-year-old grandfather? This is sick.

(Soundbite of laughter)*

**[MM NOTE: THIS SOUNDS LIKE A CANNED LAUGH TRACK]

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: Conservative activist Michelle Malkin finds a Muslim in her very home.

The premise of Jobrani’s p.c. comedy gag is completely false, as actual readers of my work know. I was one of the first conservatives to criticize Birthers who go to the extreme and have never accused President Obama of being a “secret Muslim.” To the contrary, I’ve criticized him for his rather open and out-of-the-closet apologias for jihad and his perfunctory, bloodless, vague public condemnations of Islamic terror attacks on Americans. As for my “fear that there are Muslims amongst us who are hiding their true identity,” go ask Attorney General Eric Holder what “keeps him up at night.”

Jobrani’s a poor man’s Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert, pandering to progressives with lazy caricatures of the Right, with the encouragement and approval of high-minded libs practicing supposedly indispensable, public interest journalism that rural America can’t live without, don’t you know!?

How many conservative comedians (besides token P.J. O’Rourke, who panders to the Left with his attacks on Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio) get an equal opportunity to lampoon their political opponents on NPR airwaves?

Wait, wait…don’t tell me.

***

Big hat tip to Jamie Huston at Gently Hew Stone , who notes the timing of the NPR segment bashing my family:

…NPR’s mistake goes far beyond mere slander. Their joke targeted the family of a specific conservative at a time when that specific conservative’s family is suffering a tragedy. Quite a coincidence. It’s been two weeks since Malkin’s cousin Marizela Perez went missing…Malkin has used her media presence tirelessly since then to help find her young relative. Either NPR and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me are not nearly as well-informed in their news awareness as they’d like us to believe, or they cruelly decided to go ahead with a particularly tasteless joke.

Ironically, just before this segment aired, they made fun of Gilbert Gottfried getting fired for his tasteless jokes about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Pot, meet kettle…

…On top of that, here comes a radio show that singles her out during this crisis and makes fun of not just her, but goes out of its way to talk about her family. …If she were a liberal and Glenn Beck had made a joke like this, the mainstream media would be calling for blood.

Another day, another government media double standard…

(Cue soundbite of laughter/applause from tittering NPR listeners.)

***

Jim Hoft gets it.

Moe Lane: “For those trying to play the “They didn’t know!” card: two minutes of research on the Internet would have revealed this, given that Michelle has been burning up the Internet trying to find her cousin. Although I suppose that it might make people feel better if it turns out that NPR is merely incompetent, not cruelly callous to other people’s suffering.”

***

The latest on Marizela’s case here.

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