Avoiding the shutdown — for fun and laughs

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

by Michael Reagan

No matter where you look, you can’t escape it.

“Government Shutdown – Day 27…” 

“Government Shutdown – Day 28…” 

The partial government shutdown – and who’s to blame for it, who’s being hurt most by it and who’s going to blink first — is the top topic on television, cable, talk radio, the internet and in the papers.

It’s so pervasive in all the news media it feels like you’re watching a daily “Groundhog Day” movie about partisan politics and biased journalism.

Everyone who is interviewed about the shutdown on Fox, CNN, NBC and elsewhere says the same predictable things over and over.

If Republicans are asked who’s to blame, it’s Pelosi and Schumer. If a Democrat is asked, they blame the President and Republicans.

You already know by now nearly everything you’re going to see or hear in the future about the shutdown. You don’t have to listen to today’s repeat questions because you already know the answers.

The same thing was true for those who watched this week’s Senate hearings on Trump’s Attorney General nominee William Barr.

It was the same bad TV movie starring politicians we’ve all seen in D.C. many times before. You knew every politician would go by the script, play to the cameras and pander to their party’s base — and they did.

You also knew how the media coverage would go down: You were going to love what Fox said and hate what CNN said, or vice versa.

So the big question is, why should you waste a minute of your time on the daily news coverage of the government shutdown? Why torture yourself? Why get frustrated and angry?

You know you can’t do a thing about ending the government shutdown or brokering a compromise deal between the Democrats and the president.

Instead of getting so mad you feel like throwing your beer bottle or coffee cup at the TV set, why not find something more enjoyable to do with your time?

Maybe you should do what I do.

Turn off the TV and talk radio for a few days. Don’t listen to the news. When you’re in the car, tune into to Y2 Country, the Highway or the Bridge on Sirius XM.

Turn on sports radio. Binge on Netflix. Watch an NFL playoff game this weekend.

Better yet, try to find a good laugh or joke in everything you do or see in your political world, as I do as often as possible.

Sometimes my search for humor in the swamp of politics goes a bit too far, I admit.

For example, when I had a colonoscopy a while ago the doctors found a bit of colon cancer. They cut it out and I’m good, thanks. (By the way, everyone should get colonoscopy. It could save your life.)

When I told people about my medical procedure, my little joke was that, “The president was lying next to me in the recovery room and he had a colonoscopy too — and they found Fox News. They did one on Chuck Schumer too — and found CNN.”

If I told that joke on TV, they’d never have me on the air again, but I still think it’s an example of good, bipartisan political humor.

The sad truth is, in the Age of Trump, jokes and humor of any kind are getting harder to find — or tell.

Too many Americans have not only lost their sense of humor, they’ve lost their ability to take a joke.

Comedians like Seinfeld won’t perform on college campuses because students are such over-protected snowflakes.

Meanwhile, people like me who grew up in the 1960s can’t bear to watch “Saturday Night Live” or late-night television anymore.

The openly partisan hosts of those shows today are not only not very funny, they think their nightly job is to prove how much they hate the president and Republicans.

They don’t want to send you to sleep with a smile on your face the way Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and even David Letterman did in his early days.

They want you to go to bed angry — especially at Trump.

The late-night hosts and their liberal soulmates in Hollywood have not just poisoned our pop culture with their political correctness and left-wing politics. By making it harder and harder to find a good laugh when you need one to make our bad politics go away, they’ve taken a lot of the fun out of America.

MICHAEL REAGAN is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Reagan.” He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.