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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

The Answer Man

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Q: What do the Daily Dunklin Democrat's syndicated columnists have in common?

A: Lack of a sense of humor.

Mike Royka was the legendary columnist for the Chicago Daily news, and later for the Chicago Tribune. He was a Pulitzer Prize winner whose acid comments could change the fortunes for many the politicos.

He also had an irrepressible sense of humor and no control over it.

Royka had little respect for California's cultural liberalism. He called it the world's largest outdoor insane asylum.

He once wrote a scathing article about the poor taste of ethnic jokes, saying they greatly undermined social values. He followed up by writing three hilarious ethnic jokes - each one funnier than the other.

The Daily Dunklin Democrat has syndicated columnist, Jim Mullen, who writes about inane subjects of no significance. He is a professional humorist.

The other syndicated columnists for the D.D.D. are all sour pusses - not a giggle in the gaggle.

* Nat Hentoff is a member of the "think tank" Cato Institute. He is considered an expert on the First Amendment, and uses most of his columns blistering people who mess around with our civil rights. (Not funny stuff.) Lately he's been socking it to President Obama for his approval of drone warfare in

Afghanistan. (Definitely not funny stuff.) He once gave strong support for the American Civil Liberties Union, but now is a vocal critic of the organization because of its advocacy of government enforced university and workforce speech codes.

* Cokie & Steve Roberts are too consummately correct to be funny. They use their column to advise and lecture the great unwashed. They don't leave out any facet of the human endeavor: politics, culture, religion, and reserve a special place for immigration issues. They have never found any significant difference between legal immigration, and the millions of undocumented illegals. They refer to those who might disagree with them as "Xenophobes." It's their favorite word.

* Gene Lyons is a writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is convinced that Will Rogers never met a Republican. Gene Lyons hates all Republicans - past and present. He would gladly pull the switch on George Bush (either one,)

and considers himself unfortunate he wasn't present that night at Ford's Theater.

He thinks that All conservatives get All their information from Fox News; that they have no other sources.

Can you imagine the humor that could come out of this sort of column? Not a chance. Lyons puts the "A" in acerbic.

* Diana West is adamantly against sharia law being instituted in this country, or anywhere else on the globe. Admittedly this subject leaves little avenue for humor because beheadings and illiterate women wearing burkas just won't tickle the ribs. But Diana would seem to have a jihadist hiding behind every tree. Diana West would much rather see a porno t-shirt factory at Ground Zero than that Islamic whatever.

* Donna Brazile is convinced that President Obama could walk to the bank of the Mississippi River at Caruthersville, and just keep on going until he reaches Tennessee. He would ever get his feet wet. She would also persuade us that by following his footsteps we would also come out high and dry. The river at Caruthersvlle has a strong current. This would be of no consequence to Donna Brazile.

There are other syndicated D.D.D. columnists who are equally unfunny. No point in going further, but the fact is that humor is often used to influence decisions; and at least give us some relief.

Will Rogers once said you have to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one. He also said he was not a member of any organized party; that he was a Democrat.

In a campaign speech Adlai Stevenson said "Indeed there are some Republicans I would trust with anything - anything - that is, accept in public office."

Argumentation, point, point counter-point, all would do better with an occasional line of humor. It serves as a diplomacy to persuade. And diplomacy, Ambrose Bierce once said, "Is the patriotic duty of "lying" for one's country."

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