Let’s play ‘What if a GOP’er Said It’ with Harry Reid’s racially insensitive jokes

posted at 1:21 pm on August 22, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) found himself in some hot water on Friday.

According to Time Magazine’s Zeke Miller, the Senate Majority Leader “drew laughter from an Asian audience Thursday with a pair of Asian-themed jokes.”

“I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are,” Reid said, deploying an Asian stereotype with batting an eye.

“One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight,” he added, noting that the common Asian surname has apparently made it difficult for him to distinguish one Asian-American from another.

LOL.

Oh, gosh. That’s just Harry being his precocious self, the press implied. “My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize,” he later said. “Sometimes I say the wrong thing.” All is forgiven.

But this is not the first time Reid has stepped in it with his blunt racial talk. In the book Game Change, Reid was quoted as backhandedly praising Barack Obama saying that he was especially well-suited to a national campaign because he was “light skinned” and spoke “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

What a scamp.

It’s hard to play everyone’s favorite game, “What if a Republican Said it!” with this one, because so few Republicans are as imprudent as Reid was here. Republicans know all too well that they will be savaged in the press for indulging in even mildly insensitive racial humor.

There are a few examples of conservatives in the media being berated by perpetually outraged liberal outlets for overstepping their bounds when it comes to making jokes appealing to Asian stereotypes, but few Republican officeholders have made that mistake.

One notable exception was Nevada politician and 2010 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Sharron Angle who, during her campaign against Harry Reid, made the callous but nevertheless lighthearted assertion that a group of Hispanic students “look more Asian to me.”

Reid pounced. “I really don’t know what my opponent was talking about, because you all look like Nevadans to me,” he retorted to the cheers of both Nevadans and the political press alike.

“Her mouth does not have the ability to speak the truth,” he said of Angle at the time.

Recently, in fact, Reid has made a hobby of making sweeping assertions that Republicans of all stripes are hateful toward minorities. “They’ve done everything to dump on women,” the Silver State senator told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd in May. “They’ve done everything to dump on Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, Gay and Lesbians, and … who else have I left off?”

Reid’s hypocrisy aside, the blatant duplicity of the liberal commentariat is far more flagrant. It seems like just yesterday that Comedy Central host and center-left favorite Stephen Colbert made a joke at the expense of the Asian-American community which was met with a campaign aimed at getting him fired.

“Last week on his Comedy Central show, Colbert resurrected his ‘satirical’ 2005 ‘Ching-Chong Ding-Dong’ skit, in which he speaks in pidgin English with a grossly exaggerated accent,” The New York Post reported in April. “He used it in a boneheaded attempt to ridicule Republican football team owner Dan Snyder and others who defend the Washington Redskins’ name.”

Get that? Colbert was attempting to skewer Republicans’ supposed racial insensitivity when he said that he was “willing to show the Asian community that I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

Last week, a group of diehard liberals, led by young Korean-American writer Suey Park, gave Colbert a hard time about his cringe-worthy act, which left the distinct impression that the real Colbert enjoys crude, ethnic-language mockery just a little too much.

Park and her liberal Twitter followers tenaciously questioned Colbert’s use of “satire” that ends up stoking the racism it purports to mock and abhor, using the incendiary hashtag #CancelColbert.

Colbert eventually issued an apology for this infraction. No word yet on whether Park and her ilk have launched a #FireReid campaign on Twitter.

This stereotyping of Asians has resulted in controversy for entertainers before. In 2006, The View host Rosie O’Donnell issued the most mealy-mouthed apology ever conceived by man after making a joke similar to Colbert’s (via People Magazine):

The controversy began when O’Donnell commented on a visit to the ABC morning show by a seemingly inebriated Danny DeVito, saying, “The fact is that it’s news all over the world. That you know, you can imagine in China it’s like: ‘Ching chong. Danny DeVito, ching chong, chong, chong, chong. Drunk. The View. Ching chong.’”

“So apparently ‘ching-chong,’ unbeknownst to me, is a very offensive way to make fun, quote-unquote, or mock, Asian accents,” O’Donnell said on the show. “Some people have told me it’s as bad as the n-word. I was like, really? I didn’t know that.”

“This apparently was very offensive to a lot of Asian people,” she added, shocked.

The reality is that Reid’s jokes were, while mildly insensitive, essentially harmless – far more harmless, in fact, than what Colbert and O’Donnell said. The reaction to Reid’s line has, however, been conspicuously muted. While the senator’s “jokes” were not intentionally hurtful and are relatively innocuous, the double standard applied to everyone who is not a key Democrat is not.


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MSM *CRICKETS*

dogsoldier on August 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

I don’t know why he is still around, he is an old white guy right?

Sven on August 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Let’s really diss the liberals, msm, Holder and the race pimps off.

Let’s put our money where our mouth is.

http://www.gofundme.com/SupportOfficerWilson

they lie on August 22, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Asians should be rioting/looting and burning down buildings because of these insensitive jokes.

Who is equivalent to be the asian Al Sharpton?

portlandon on August 22, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Reid is just trolling to give, er, be the head of the new Department of Doing Stupid Sh__.

vnvet on August 22, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I don’t know why he is still around, he is an old white guy right?

Sven on August 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

He’s still around because he’s still useful to his party and cronies. When that usefulness is no more, Ol’ Dingy will retire. ‘Til that day comes, he, like Sheets Byrd before him will still bodily occupy a seat in the Senate even if his mind is no longer present, as we’ve already witnessed.

hawkeye54 on August 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

There is no Asian Al Sharpton for the simple reason that Asian Americans are too busy accomplishing rather than rioting.

vnvet on August 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Racist, old, white, Mormon men are shielded if they have a magical “D” next to their name. Take the “D” away, and you’d probably think the above description would be applied by the media to Mitt Romney.

Aizen on August 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Liberals are racist hypocrites, we all know this. Their audiences are equally stupid, hateful, and hypocritical if they sit there and giggle at it, even if it really cheeses them off.

Diluculo on August 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Hey, guys, he apologized, and the self-loathing Asians in the ‘rat party have accepted his apology, so shut up.

Rational Thought on August 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

While the senator’s “jokes” were not intentionally hurtful and are relatively innocuous, the double standard applied to everyone who is not a key Democrat is not.

In other news… nah, I won’t go there.

Noah, you are a naif of the first rank concerning your and other leftists’ political biases. “Oh my goodness, there is a journalistic/ cultural double standard and its bad“.

Good of you to impute no possible negative meaning to Reid’s comments- I mean, we all know he’s such a kind man who would never impugn any one, so its clear he never meant these innocuous remarks to be hurtful.

Seriously, if they make you write this stuff that is critical of your fellow travelers, can’t you pretend to view it from an other-than-fascist viewpoint?

Dolce Far Niente on August 22, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Phil Kerpen @kerpen · 3h

Guy who rounded up U.S. senators to demand Redskins name change can’t keep his Wongs straight.

sentinelrules on August 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Reid should of been gonged off the stage!!

canopfor on August 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

If not for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

GarandFan on August 22, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I think of Trent Lott endorsing Strom Thurmond’s presidency candidacy on his 100th birthday. Lott is stripped of his leadership role, and disgraced. Somehow if Reid said something similar at the 90th birthday of Robert Byrd, the former KKKer, all would be immediately forgiven.

LashRambo on August 22, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Wait a sec.

I despise Reid, but I don’t see any problem with his ‘Asian jokes’.

I don’t think Asians here generally see themselves as victims, chronically seeking somebody or something to be their offender or oppressor.

My wife is Asian and she would have had a good laugh at those jokes.

(And there I go again, generalizing and being a racist.)

Tsar of Earth on August 22, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Exactly. Trent Lott groveled for days and weeks to save his leadership position. The very people who called for Lott’s scalp are the same ones now giving Dirty Harry a pass.

It’s sickening.

matthew8787 on August 22, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Maybe one of the lib trolls here could tell us: How many times does a democrat Senate majority leader get to reveal his innate, stunning racism before he loses his job? Twice? Three times? Eleventy?

Rational Thought on August 22, 2014 at 1:50 PM

He actually spoke to the Asian Chamber of Commerce to promote his candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Lucy Flores…and failed. The Chamber ended up endorsing the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Mark Hutchison. Props to them.

GOPRanknFile on August 22, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Was he turning his “Ls” into “Rs” as he was making these Asian jokes? Cuz, you know, that might have been a bridge too far.

Rational Thought on August 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

See there, the jokes were only mildly offensive.

I could think of a few jokes about Dog Eater and Spouse that I consider only mildly offensive, I wonder how far I’d get as a pol if I were to use them on the campaign trail.

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Let’s play ‘What if a GOP’er Said It’ with Harry Reid’s racially insensitive jokes

Nevermind the old-fashioned game of “Gee the media is biased.” Can anyone think of a situation where this kind of joke would be considered appropriate. Dems don’t respect Asians. Let’s not forget the way McConnell’s opponent in Kentucky decided attacking Elaine Chao for being Chinese was fair game.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Reid should of been gonged off the stage!!

canopfor on August 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Years ago I actually met a singing dude who won on “The Gong Show” It was hilarious!

Heads-up…Limbaugh just said he is going to talk about this Reid story after the top of the hour.

Del Dolemonte on August 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Good, solid B+, Harry.

AKA “The Asian F”

/

Christien on August 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

What really gets me is he didn’t even get the joke right.

“One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”

It is supposed to be
“One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs right.”

NeoKong on August 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I could think of a few jokes about Dog Eater and Spouse that I consider only mildly offensive, I wonder how far I’d get as a pol if I were to use them on the campaign trail.

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Are you suggesting the biggest obstacle to running for public office would be the quality of your jokes? I’m thinking that would pale in comparison to the appropriateness of the stump speech! ;0

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Biden’s jokes making fun of Indians are better.

Christien on August 22, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Nothing funnier than old rich white dudes making racial jokes, huh lefties, pretty damn funny yeah?

What next, old rich white dude says he can’t go into a 7-11 without seeing an Indian person? Hooooo boy! That would be hiiiilarious! Because….convenience stores…you know…they’re always owned by…you know…Indians. HAHAHA.

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 2:03 PM

What a shocker, a prominent Liberal is a racist bigot. The sun also rises in the east.

Asians aren’t one of the Democrats favored races because they are not on the plantation, they believe in nuclear family units, stress education and self-reliance. I guess that makes them fair game.

TarasBulbous on August 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Phil Kerpen @kerpen · 3h

Guy who rounded up U.S. senators to demand Redskins name change can’t keep his Wongs straight.

sentinelrules on August 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

LOL

Midas on August 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

What a shocker, a prominent Liberal is a racist bigot. The sun also rises in the east.

Asians aren’t one of the Democrats favored races because they are not on the plantation, they believe in nuclear family units, stress education and self-reliance. I guess that makes them fair game.

TarasBulbous on August 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

omgz another asian joke!!11!

Because….convenience stores…you know…they’re always owned by…you know…Indians. HAHAHA.

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 2:03 PM

omgz another Redskins joke!!11!eleventy!

Midas on August 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Saying Asians are smarter than others is racist in the same way that saying white women have better hair than anyone else is racist. It’s no big deal (let’s call it “ethnic humor”) … and not because it’s not true (it is true), but because you are flattering Asians in the former case and flattering women in the latter case.

Now that I think of it, I am sure some non-Asians (but not whites) might object to the former, and many non-whites to the latter. Whites are non allowed to accuse anyone of anti-white racism, as we all know, because to do so is nonsensical, like a lion decrying meat-eating. Racism, having been invented by the European branch of homo sapiens, is strictly under the purview of those of European ancestry.

Nomennovum on August 22, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Standards, rules, and laws are for little people and Republicans…

Democrats have good intentions…bless their hearts! (meant in true southern fashion)

Sides everyone knows that Republicans are evil anyway….Even when they don’t say something overtly racist, everyone knows they speak in code and dog whisltles and are teh RAAAACCCIIIIIISSSSTTTTT!!!1!11!1!!!1!

abnormal_1 on August 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM

What really gets me is he didn’t even get the joke right.

“One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”

It is supposed to be
“One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs right.”

NeoKong on August 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

… maybe you mean “Wongs whight?”

2L8 on August 22, 2014 at 2:21 PM

And of course the MSM lets him skate thru this just like they do all the Biden gaffs. And God forbid a GOP VP misspells potato, they won’t let that go for years.
Harry Reid is a despicable, low life that has no business being dog catcher let alone being in the Senate.

nikophil on August 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Is his disease contagious…?

d1carter on August 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Very funny! I’ll make a special wonton soup for you!

/Eddie Murphy

Christien on August 22, 2014 at 2:26 PM

This is just how Harry Reid (D – NV) grieves over an American journalist having his head lopped off. Obama golfs and Reid tells off-color jokes. It’s all about healing and not letting the terrorists determine your schedule.

/

Left Coast Right Mind on August 22, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Urban Dictionary describes Harry this way

pipsqueak
A puny, weak, frail person; someone who can easily be defeated. This kind of peron should not pick fights with a larger, stronger person.

An Unimportant, insignificant person

a small jerk that does everything to be annoying

Merriam Webster says

Synonyms
cipher, dwarf, half-pint, insect, insignificancy, lightweight, morsel, nonentity, nothing, nullity, number, pip-squeak, pygmy (also pigmy), shrimp, snippersnapper, twerp, whippersnapper, zero, zilch

Antonyms
big shot, big wheel, bigwig, eminence, figure, kahuna, kingpin, magnate, nabob, personage, somebody, VIP

scalleywag on August 22, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Harry Reid is a racist, like the slave of HA.

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:39 PM

He’s a very small, small man in a big, big world.

scalleywag on August 22, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Best part
They are smart

The group decided against backing the Reid-endorsed Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Lucy Flores, supporting Republican Mark Hutchison instead, the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Anybody remembered the T-shirt sold on the ‘Net, “Wong Bros Laundry
2 Wongs will make it white”?

Everybody loved it but the Lefties.

formwiz on August 22, 2014 at 2:43 PM

There are a different set of rules for dims. They can say whatever they want with no consequences. But yeah, if an R had said that it would be all over the news today.

cat_owner on August 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Oh, gosh. That’s just Harry being his precocious self, the press implied. “My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize,” he later said. “Sometimes I say the wrong thing.”

Didn’t he mean to say, “Sometimes I say the Wong thing.”?

Reno_Dave on August 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Asians should be rioting/looting and burning down buildings because of these insensitive jokes.

Who is equivalent to be the asian Al Sharpton?

portlandon on August 22, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Johnny Fuk em??

ToddPA on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Harry and Slow Joe are going to take their act on the road

Joe will get em Standin up with the off color Indian
owning 7-11 jokes in Delaware, and Harry will fling some
Egg Foo Yung!

ToddPA on August 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM

To Hades with all within

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 3:12 PM

The controversy began when O’Donnell commented on a visit to the ABC morning show by a seemingly inebriated Danny DeVito, saying, “The fact is that it’s news all over the world. That you know, you can imagine in China it’s like: ‘Ching chong. Danny DeVito, ching chong, chong, chong, chong. Drunk. The View. Ching chong.’”

Why should that be offensive? That’s the sound of slot machines in Reid’s fiefdom in Vegas, where the President takes refuge to escape from Benghazi.

Steve Z on August 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM

I just really don’t care about this crap, even when alleged pederast Reid does it.

GWB on August 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Hopefully the scumhag won’t win, but this is funny

Nunn won’t commit to voting for Harry Reid

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

“My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize,” he later said. “Sometimes I say the Wong thing.”

LOL

CapnObvious on August 22, 2014 at 3:20 PM

I still think if the GOP takes over the senate they should offer the dims the following deal. Expel Reid for a return to regular order.

rik on August 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Reid will not be scolded by his parasitic base because they want more free stuff and special favors and they will tolerate all forms of degradation and humiliation to get it.

rplat on August 22, 2014 at 3:44 PM

I personally see all this ethnic/racial, if done on a equal opportunity basis, as harmless.

The problem is, the liberals have painted themselves into politically-correct, diversity/divisive corner. They’re the one’s who see “code words” in simple words like ‘apartment’. They’re the one’s who hear dog whistles all the time (but looking at 99% of liberal women, that may be true).

My Dad legally emigrated from Greece in 1947, but he still can laugh at shots at the ‘stereotypical’ Greek like John Belushi’s SNL skits of “Hambuga, hambuga, Coke.” Or the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.

But you don’t see outrage on MSNBC or other LSM every time a well assimilated immigrant group gets fun poked at it.

That’s probably why the Asians in the audience laughed.

The only ones making this a big deal is Hairy Screed or the LSM when a conservative tries to make stupid jokes about an ethnic or racial group.

Even the conservatives wouldn’t be bringing this up, if the liberals hadn’t made it such a charged issue that they only use against the enemy.

ZeusGoose on August 22, 2014 at 3:48 PM

‘What if a GOP’er Said It’

We’d be defending Him or Her and complaining about the PC police.

kcewa on August 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

“My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize,” he later said. “Sometimes I say the wrong Wong thing.”

Press laughs.

The Rogue Tomato on August 22, 2014 at 5:56 PM

**BREAKING*

Harry Reid just announced that he has terminal brain cancer.

Ok.. not, but you have to admit it brought a gleam to your eye for just a second.

Sometimes I say the wrong things too.

44Magnum on August 23, 2014 at 4:50 PM

We already know the answer.

“Macaca!”

fossten on August 23, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Anyone on the right saying this stuff would be drawn and quartered by the left and the sceams would take weeks to calm down. The power of the media and the left overwhelms common sense.

mixplix on August 23, 2014 at 7:44 PM

First, it’s extremely odd to imagine Harry Reid being humorous. He has no record of eloquence or wit, in any forum. When liberals like him try to be funny, they sink immediately to the lowest rung on the ladder, which is race. Next, he avoids insulting blacks and Hispanics, but everyone else is fair-game.

Why do any Asians vote for scum like Harry Reid?

virgo on August 24, 2014 at 1:09 AM

Eh, I don’t have too much of an issue with it, regardless of who’s doing it. Which I guess is far too ‘controversial’ these days.

The controversy began when O’Donnell commented on a visit to the ABC morning show by a seemingly inebriated Danny DeVito, saying, “The fact is that it’s news all over the world. That you know, you can imagine in China it’s like: ‘Ching chong. Danny DeVito, ching chong, chong, chong, chong. Drunk. The View. Ching chong.’”

Oh god, I remember this – and Michelle Malkin’s bizzaro video response to it, where she went ‘ching chong ching chong’ for 2-3 minutes with subtitles underneath. Hearing her try to using a ‘scolding’ tone in her voice while she went ‘ching chong’ was hilariously bad. I can imagine the point she was trying to get across, but it didn’t work for me at all.

Reaps on August 24, 2014 at 9:40 PM

The lede for this post on Hot Air’s Facebook account is this:

Harry Reid made a fool of himself in a speech filled with insensitive racially slanted jokes.

“Slanted”! LOL!

JimC on August 25, 2014 at 9:24 PM