COMMENTARY | Last week, President Barack Obama slow jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon. During a speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner he joked about Secretary of State Hilary Clinton drunk texting him. He also made light of the recent GSA conference spending and Secret Service prostitution scandals.
Does the president lack gravitas or does he simply have a sense of humor? It depends whom you ask.
Political pundits have weighed in on the slow jam. Fox News' Gretchen Carlson referred to the president's appearance on Jimmy Fallon as "nutso" and that it "lowers the status of the office." Rush Limbaugh decried it as unpresidential and Ann Coulter thought it was "pathetic."
The Republican National Committee rushed out with an advertisement called "A Tale of Two Leaders," interspersing clips of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney giving a speech with clips of the president's appearance on Jimmy Fallon.
The RNC could have interspersed Fallon referring to the president as the Preezy of the United Steezy with clips of Romney's appearance on David Letterman, where he greets America with, "What's up gangstas, it's the M-I-Double Tizzle" and notes "It's a hairpiece."
Is that any less dignified than the president discussing Stafford student loan rates to the sweet sound of the "Roots?" Or quipping that he must finish his speech because of the Secret Service's new curfew?
Romney and Obama were campaigning under the guise of comedy.
There is a long history of presidential hopefuls and presidents appearing on comedic shows and attempting to be funny, with varying levels of success. This is meant to humanize them and to reach out to a broader, younger audience. An audience that takes themselves less seriously.
So what is humorous and what goes too far? Are you a Republican or a Democrat and who is making the joke?
There is your answer. Pot, meet kettle.
Now that the president has dared to joke once more, another round of bashing is inevitable. It has already begun on Facebook, where a friend of a friend slammed the White House Correspondents' Dinner speech, writing a president should not "stoop to late night."
I responded with a link to Romney's Letterman appearance.
Believe whatever you want to believe, just do it with self-awareness and intellectual honesty.