Trump critics should show self-respect

Even before Donald Trump’s election as president, talk show hosts and comedians have been licking their chops and rubbing their hands with glee at the easy pickings Trump presents. As president he has not failed to supply them with an endless stream of comedic material.

But some just can’t resist jumping into the gutter to get a bigger laugh. It does not become them.

Stephen Colbert, a couple of weeks ago, went on a rant about Trump that a reference to Trump as Vladimir Putin’s sexual plaything. Even by the eased moral standards of late night television it was shocking in its lewdness and there have been calls for sanctions, from pulling advertising, to firing the host. Or, people can just not watch.

Last week, comedian Kathy Griffin, known for her outrageous takes on just about everything, crossed the pale when a photo was posted online of her holding what was supposed to be the bloody, decapitated head of the president. Reaction was negative, and swift. CNN fired Griffith, who has co-hosted their New Years Eve program with Anderson Cooper. The last four North American dates on her stand-up tour have been cancelled. She has tearfully apologized, while still accusing the Trumps of bullying her and trying to destroy her career.

No, she’s doing that very well by herself.

It doesn’t have to be like this. For years, Johnny Carson, as host of the Tonight Show, excelled at poking fun at politicians with biting wit and clever sarcasm, but he never stooped to such classless and crude attempts at humor.

Humorists would do well to challenge themselves to meet that standard. They should have a little more respect for themselves and their craft.

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