When President Obama appeared on Between Two Ferns — the faux-community access show hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis — to pitch Healthcare.gov this week, not everyone laughed. In fact, some in the media accused the two of degrading the "dignity" of the presidential office.
In addition to CNN conservative pundit David Gergen's opinion, a stodgy ABC White House reporter named Jim Avila even asked the POTUS during a briefing if he and his team had thought about the "dignity that might be lost" by participating in Galifianakis' Funny or Die show. Because jokes are dangerous when they're used to push medical insurance.
But Rachel Maddow took down the President's naysayers during her MSNBC show last night with the segment, "Debunktion Junction: Lighten up edition." She plucked clips of President Ronald Reagan battling wits with Bob Hope and President Richard Nixon trying hard to be funny on "Laugh In," among others. Nixon wasn't really successful, like many other areas in that dude's life. All in all, I'd rather watch President Obama and Galifianakis talk about Bradley Cooper's winning smile and co-pays than do a lot of other things.
And to boot, Obama's comedic turn worked. Traffic on Healthcare.gov increased 40 percent this week after Between Two Ferns debuted. I'd say this was a win, not a brush at the "dignity" of the presidential office. Now if only we could get Vice President Joe "Rock 'em Sock 'em" Biden on Between Two Ferns ...