Gutless comedians still won't go after Obama

But it’s Obama’s African American heritage more than any other single factor that has perhaps frozen comics’ pens and keyboards. Political humorists, most of whom are white, have never dealt with a black president and aren’t sure how their material will be received. Is an Obama joke truly aimed at the office and its policies, or is it merely a smokescreen for racial prejudice?

“You don’t want to appear racist,” said Buddy Winston, a former writer for the “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” “You can’t do the stereotypical thing. Someone who’s a Texan or an elite is much easier to attack.”…

Contributing to Obama’s kid-glove treatment, too, are the political leanings of many comedy writers. Although it didn’t ultimately help Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, Winston, who wrote for Leno for six years, argues there’s little doubt many joke writers are Democrats.