Another interesting socio-political phenomenon under the Obama regime is that the Obama apologists are led by comics, not economists or political scientists, and many of these comics are actually high school and college dropouts: Joy Behar, Jon (nee Leibowitz) Stewart, Sandra Bernhard, Janeane Garofalo, Roseanne Barr, Bill Maher, Liz Winstead and today’s subject, Andy Borowitz. While a sizeable chunk of the tea party is reading von Mises’ Human Action or Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, Constitution of Liberty, or Prices and Production, the Democratic base is repeating rape jokes about Sarah Palin they heard from Sandra Bernhard and David Letterman. Former ENRON economic advisor Paul Krugman is in hiding from a challenge to debate an economist supporting Hayek’s critique of Keynesian economics for a 7 figure donation to a charity of the winner’s choice.
Andy Borowitz is one of the few of this lot of hucksters who had an education. He graduated with honors from Harvard College, though one suspects with a degree in literature (he’s publishing an anthology of American humor this fall) and a minor in something like gender studies, not math or econ or physics or something not given to pushing propaganda on the student. And though Andy once won an NAACP award, he too seems to only want to live among non-black people, maintaining two homes (to evade NYC income taxes?), one in an elite upper west side Manhattan neighborhood, and one, where he says he tries to spend most of his time, in a Hudson Valley town.
Mr. Borowitz has for some time done little other than stand up, some TV commentaries on channels I find it easy to ignore, and writing his free email zine, The Borowitz Report, which produces snarky fake news stories akin to The Colbert Show. (A friend of mine who worked at NPR once described the nationally syndicated commentator she worked for as having “a face for radio,” meaning that she would never be able to host a TV show. Writing snarky comedy may likewise have been Borowitz’s destiny.) The Borowitz Report is very popular among Obama’s shrinking base; Leftover internet addicts in google and yahoo groups robotically spam their copy of it the moment they receive it to anyone whose email address they can harvest, believing some joke about Michelle Bachmann’s hair will justify Obama’s failed policies.
Borowitz made his money in his only sustained creative effort, re-writing a popular sitcom of his childhood, The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971; Borowitz was born in 1958), as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996), replacing Rousseau’s noble savage found in Tennessee Appalachian hill patriarch Buddy Ebsen with Will Smith’s African American teen, and social climbing banker Milburn Drysdale and oppressed pre-feminist executive secretary Jane Hathaway with the Fresh Prince’s buppy uncle, aunt and cousins, who rescued him from the dangers of the Philly ghettos. Curiously, the working title for Beverly Hillbillies was The Hillbillies of Beverly Hills. And also curiously, the Hillbillies‘ Clampett family had banker, Milburn Drysdale, take them under his wing; Will Smith’s cousins are a family whose last name is “Banks.” The original show lasted 9 years; Borowitz’s remake lasted only six (274 versus 147 episodes). Tellingly Borowitz and crew in trying to imagine a wealthy black family came up with Mr. Banks being a Judge and Mrs. Banks being a professor of black history; in a world of Herman Cain, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, and Robert Johnson, Borowitz thinks a successful black person works for the government or an agitpropy educational program.
If Borowitz had been less successful this would have been described as a sort of plagiarism, but Will Smith, executive producer Quincy Jones and the other actors and writers helped Borotwitz make it a success, and afforded him the residuals he can now use to buy or rent real estate in ritzy all white neighborhoods and the time to write political jokes always aimed only against anyone who might oppose Obama, the Democrats, and the expansion of state power.
So to Andy Borowitz’s residential real estate choices and preferences:
Borowitz’s Westchester County home on Old Lake Street in the West Harrison/White Plains area is fairly white, with 968 black residents (less than 10%) out of a population of around 11,000 (though it does have a large Hispanic population):
Borowitz’s other home is a luxury rental at 241 Central Park West (zip 10024); one wonders if owning in Westchester County and “spending most” of his time outside the city, as he is careful to tell the magazines that interview him, means he escapes New York City taxation while living in Manhattan?
The upper west side yuppies have a much whiter neighborhood, around 90% white and 4% black:
Races in zip code 10024:
White population: 55,474
Black population: 2,218
American Indian population: 34
Asian population: 3,374
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population: 3
Some other race population: 249
Two or more races population: 1,407
Hispanic or Latino population: 5,689
This fall Borowitz is publishing a new anthology The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor From Mark Twain to The Onion, (Library of America, $27.95, Oct. 13). It actually sounds like an amusing volume, but Garrison Keillor and Wanda Sykes make the list, which shows it has a slight affirmative action for “liberals” with less than timelessly stellar talents.