Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore welcomed Canadian funny man Martin Short to its panel to discuss Rudy Giuliani's recent comments questioning President Obama's love for America. Short didn't miss an opportunity to offer up a headline-worthy zinger comparing the former New York City mayor to the reality show family most famous for being rich.
“Giuliani is a Kardashian now,” said Short. “You enter that element of politics where you are so desperate for attention, you just -- the only reason we are talking about him right now is because of what he said and how extreme it was. And that kind of rhetoric is very bad for this country right now. If anyone hates America, it’s that rhetoric!”
Short gushed on his home country, calling it a "social democratic country" that "thrives and prospers." He said the labels being thrown around in America are "completely and obviously insane."
Short's jab came after the host asked a ridiculous question of the panel's other guest, Frank Rich of New York Magazine. Wilmore asked, "Do you think Giuliani's statements are racist, and if not, why are you so racist?"
Recovering from laughter, Rich mustered, "Yeah, they're racist -- or it's about race, at least. Using his language, 'We don't know what's in his heart.'" While Rich couldn't speak for Obama's heart, he was sure what is in Giuliani's brain -- "mush."
Rich went on to make a case that these racial attacks have been aimed at the president since 2008, starting when Sarah Palin, et al, charged that Barack Obama doesn't have a correct view of America, then stigmatizing him as "the other," or a secret Muslim, and of course, questioning his citizenship.
Wilmore asked why the right feels the need to make up all of this "mythology" about Obama.
The lone Republican voice, CNN's Tara Setmayer, offered this answer:
I don't think it's a mythology. All you have to do is look at his own words. I mean, you know he grew up in Indonesia, he said the Muslim call to prayer was the most beautiful thing in his ears. Not saying there's anything wrong with that, what I'm saying is, his own words and actions and associations -- you know, his mentor growing up in Hawaii was a card-carrying communist. So you start to wonder, communist, love America? I don't know.
These comments were fiercely booed by the audience and Wilmore's sensitivities picked up that Setmayer was somehow implicating that Muslims can't be Americans.
Setmayer wondered how Giuliani's comments are any different than Obama calling George W. Bush unpatriotic. But in the language of the left, there is a difference.
"Hold on, Obama didn't call Bush unpatriotic," Wilmore interjected, "he said that his policy against the poor was unpatriotic." The difference, Wilmore explained, is that Giuliani questioned Obama's love for the country.
Curiously, when Wilmore brought in his final panelist, rap artist Big Sean, he said this: "Let's take this out of political language, let's put it in rapper language." Wilmore's racial hypocrisy was quickly pointed out as Short joked, "Why did you not ask me that? That's racist!"
Short then addressed Setmayer directly: "You must admit one concept here, that this labeling is childish and it does not help the country. It doesn't."
Respectfully, Setmayer said the standard should apply to both sides. Wilmore jumped in and shut her down saying, "But we're talking about this side right now." He continued:
I don't have a time machine on the show here, because I would go back and I would litigate the Bush and then the Clinton -- I mean, Hillary Clinton was called hateful things the day Clinton was elected. I still can't believe some of the things she was called, and that's the first lady. But what I don't get -- it's the whole, it's the attitude towards Obama which I feel a little different. It's that whole thing where I have heard people say that he's intentionally trying to hurt the country. That's the part that's different, where people just thought Bush was stupid.
Setamayer made one last-ditch effort to convince her liberal detractors: "When you say that you want to fundamentally change something, then people start to think..."
Wilmore got the last word to thunderous applause: "The end of slavery fundamentally changed America, women's right to vote fundamentally changed America, the New Deal fundamentally changed America, and the Civil Rights Movement fundamentally changed America."
Watch the clip below via Comedy Central: