Reader Mail

How Funny Was She?

Heated reader turnout in response to Laura Bush's Saturday Night Special and Wlady Pleszczynski's horsy review.


Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Milking the Horse:

Good Lord. Get a life, Mr. Pleszczynski. That's what the whole affair is about. You must really be the life of the party. I am hardly known as a giddy type but damn, did you have to write so many words and want to stand out from the crowd? Laura Bush did a fantastic job and your carping about various silly things is perhaps the most inane batch of babbling that I have read for quite some time. Maureen Dowd indeed. Your analysis is right in there with Maureen Dowd and worthy of the same respect as that airhead's ludicrous attempt to appear with it. Seeing your name on anything in the future will save me some reading time.
-- Donald Melquist
Green Valley, Arizona

Wlady Pleszczynski's editorial about the Laura Bush stand-up routine was excellent.

The complaint about the Clinton years was that the same type of humor leaked out at private White House functions, such the infamous x-rated Christmas tree ornaments. The Clintons actually seemed embarrassed when caught.

W. was elected because we were tired of children inhabiting the White House. However, Laura Bush's sophomoric routine is a return to the Clinton standards and a lowering of all standards for the president and his wife. I imagine it says a lot about what they really think of the voters, pro-life issues, and conservatism.

I just re-read Orwell's Animal House. I cannot tell the GOP from Democrats.
-- Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

It is unfortunate that your "columnist" chose to do a hit-piece on Mrs. Bush. Is that really the best The American Spectator can come up with? Perhaps Wlady takes himself far too seriously. Disgraceful and shameful tripe, and given a venue like the Spectator makes it even worse. Shame, shame
-- M.
Vail, Michigan

Please tell Mr. Unpronounceable that he should lighten up and/or get a life. Stick to analysis of political issues and leave Laura Bush out of it.

She has tons more class in her little finger than Mr. Unpronounceable has in his whole body.
-- Les Arbo
Pass Christian, Mississippi

About this Wlady fellow... I assume his attack on Laura Bush today is supposedly "tongue in cheek." If not, he needs help, for then he is a dunce.
-- Allen O'Donnell
Wayne, Nebraska

On this subject I totally disagree with you regarding the comments about Laura Bush. It was an excellent political decision by the White House. What Mrs. Bush did was take the MSM's negative comments and attitudes toward the President and throw them right back in their faces. The President would be eaten alive if he did, but believe me there is nothing negative they could say about Laura without receiving a kick back those ******** can't handle!

Rest easy, editor of the Spectator, the American public is not as uninformed and oblivious to what goes on as you might think. We do have a memory capacity for events that have occurred beyond the past 12 months. In addition to that we have the Internet, thank goodness, for access to news sites, such as your own, to remind us lest we forget. We thank you and others for that as well....
-- Ruth Skidmore
Plymouth, California

You outdid yourself!

Laura Bush's "act" was a cynical and totally unnecessary attempt to humanize herself to those who fit in perfectly in our modern, coarse society. She is being congratulated on every front, but some of us find it's a sad day when our First Lady resorts to such language.

It was a slap in the face to many of us who voted for President Bush a second time.

My favorite sentence: "It simply is amazing how complacently accepting the princely Bush first couple is of all the cheapness and rot in our culture."
-- Jane Patsakos
Kentwood, Michigan

Get a grip. You should get a "sense-of-humor" transplant!!! Sheesh!!! Lighten up!! Life is too short to be such a curmudgeon!!! Soon enough comes "doom 'n gloom." (Unless you're one of us "happy rightwing morons" who enjoy life despite negative naysayers such as you, Maureen Dowd, Eleanor Clift, Helen Thomas, and Molly Ivins!!)

P.S. How in hell did you get to be editor of The American Spectator?? You'd be better suited for the humorless BBC.
-- Bob Hillier
Howell, New Jersey

What is with this "Wlady Person"? I used to think this was a great website. Hmmm. If you're curious about how other normal people think about Wlady, check out and see what they think. I agree with them that Wlady is kind of weird.
-- Joan

The Bushes played to their audience. The audience adored it. Laura Bush disarmed the Dowdys and Company while keeping 'em gasping for breath. As for GWB's aggressive distracters: Keep 'em close. Detractors fade away in time, just as the truth found in historical perspective becomes increasingly clear. The Bushes are savvy and confident. It drives you CRAZY, doesn't it? It was only dinner, lighten up! I was surprised at the stupidity of this article. It's beneath the usual American Spectator offering. Perhaps this article was a joke too.

I love you guys anyway,
-- Laurel Mason

Surely this whole article is tongue in cheek just like Laura's very funny "talk" on Saturday night. I happened to listen to the whole thing and it was a scream. Of course one can't take serious anything she said. The horse thing was a little over the top, but otherwise it was ENTERTAINMENT!!! Good grief -- Wlady needs to lighten up.
-- unsigned

Wlady REALLY needs to lighten up. Laura was hilarious.
-- Mike Stout

You were right about Laura's appalling act.

For saying it, however, you will likely get a ton of emails calling you a prig, a prude, an idiot and a moron and instructing you to "go buy a sense of humor" and to "lighten up."

So I thought I should put in my vote of confidence.

I do disagree with your assessment of Bush's "giving away the store" with Social Security. I think he's calling the Democrats' bluff.
-- JK

Right on!! Just goes to prove what we in the trenches believe, that ALL Washington insiders think we in the trenches are stupid, naive, uneducated rubes. The Bushes had to show the correspondents that underneath it all they are "really with it." Doesn't Karl Rove know that "Desperate Housewives" is the #1 target of the religious right? If not, why not? That Correspondents' Dinner was a GIGANTIC insult to the Republican base and they are going to have a hell of a time making it right. Maybe getting rid of Frist and putting in a warrior like Mitch McConnell might help. Never mind Santorum -- he was probably laughing the hardest at the dinner.
-- Annette Cwik

Speaking of horses, why don't you climb down off of yours? It was light comedy...not the end of the free world as we know it.
-- unsigned

Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed... Lighten up, the whole country has been through some very intense times, and it felt so wonderful to laugh and see the sparkle in Mrs. Bush's eyes.
-- Myra Sullivan

You just about summed up all the reasons why I can't stand our President or his wife. What makes the situation worse is that I voted for Bush twice. He ran against two mentally ill men and the thought of either one being elected president terrified me. What a country!
-- Scott

What'd ya eat, a bad piece of cheese?
-- unsigned

Thanks for a great column and standing on the side of decency. I agreed with you
-- Michael David
Lake Worth, Florida

Go to parade rest and chill out....
-- unsigned

Oh for heavens sake, you shriveled old school marm -- lighten up!
-- JT

It's called humor.
-- L. McClintick

This classy lady shone like a rare jewel. Put your petty-minded jealousy aside.
-- Joan Pearce

Don't get your shorts in a knot because of what the First Lady said at the Correspondents' Dinner. Of course you would criticize her, but I thought she was GREAT!
-- E. Velasquez
Sacramento, California

I linked to this article from Lucianne, and may I just say how sorry I am. I doubt if I can ever read another Spectator article without remembering this pitiful, nasty tirade.

Shame on you. I read the chat at Lucianne and usually they pretty much speak for me. Once again, they are right on target.

One of them summed this nasty little humorless piece up nicely..."Gag."

We adore Bush. We adore Laura. We also appreciate their sense of humor.

You owe a full-fledged apology. Never have I seen one article kill a website. This just might be the exception. It will always be in the back of my mind. If you have any kind of board that is alert, they will do something about this. It created real damage to The American Spectator, plus left a lasting impression.

-- Taylor

Concerning the "concerns" of Wlady Pleszczynski, and Mrs. Bush at the press dinner -- you just don't "get it" do you? As an American, an independent voting American, I wish you would just get "back on the couch"... and quit trashing everything about my country.

I am sick and tired of all you radical, socialist Democrats that continue to trash America, while trying to take over the country. I am also sick and tired of you radical, socialist Democrats thinking I am stupid.

Get back on the couch.
-- Linda Airhart

This Wlady has lost his sense of humor if he didn't understand our First Lady Laura Bush's jokes at the Annual White House Correspondent's Dinner. How tragic for him!!

I wonder, too, if he was as shocked when Bill Clinton had oral sex in the Oval office with an intern young enough to be his daughter. Further I would like to see the article he wrote about that happening.

In the meantime, set up a newsstand for him outside your building to sell your newspapers, because that's all he's good for.
-- Anita Isaia
Margate, Florida

Thanks Wlad for having the guts to say what I thought after watching "Laura's Big Performance." It made me cringe, and I am no prude. It made me ill to see the princely Bushes sidling up to the most debased group of people on the planet. Gee, couldn't Laura have found a way to work in a Terri Schiavo joke? Now THAT would've brought a standing O in mid stream.

I am a completely disenfranchised and distraught "Republican," or former Republican. There is nowhere to run.

Anyway, I admire and appreciate your nerve and your clarity. I'm bowing out but I'll be checking in on and George Neumayr and a very few others, 'til the last handout is gone and the last pretense has finally been dropped. Five, four, three, two...
-- Sally Vaci
Birmingham, Alabama

Oh...get a grip, Wlady. Laura was hilarious. What a humorless little fellow you are!! Lighten up, you will live longer.
-- Ruth Lindemann

What a truly pathetic article! Get a life! The Bush sense of humor is starting to remind me of JFK and Reagan, and that's the highest praise I can give in that department.
-- Doug

Re: Laura (Where is Madeleine Kahn when you need her?) Bush's correspondents' dinner "performance," Politics is Entertainment, bro. Wake up and smell the ratings. Meanwhile, this just in: Emulating his father's utter failure to lead on domestic issues, from Social Security to Border Security, George W. Bush has virtually guaranteed the election of a Democrat in 2008. This will come about for three reasons. 1. The Republicans refuse to learn that Liberals will never love them, no matter how clever their wives' punch lines; 2. There is no Republican on the horizon capable of credibly running for president. As we learned with Bob Dole against the eminently vulnerable Bill Clinton in 1996, you can't beat somebody with nobody; and 3. Because of his leadership failures on issues that matter at home (hint: What WE do in Iraq is not nearly as decisive as what THEY do and the future of Ms. Rice is very much connected to that lurking Albatross), George W. Bush's second term almost certainly will give rise to a right-of-center Third Party candidate. As Bush 41 learned the hard way, even a nut job can wean enough votes to sink one. Mrs. Bush is a lovely and charming lady, but the laughter she provokes may well prove to be of the Haunted White House variety.
-- Gene Wright
Laguna Niguel, California

Goodness...lighten up a bit. It was in fun and meant for everyone to laugh at. Or have you forgotten the trash mouth on Teresa Kerry...or the garbage that is known to spew from Senator (and former first lady) Clinton.

I think Laura is beautiful and classy and is definitely a breath of fresh air, especially after the 8 long years of watching Hillary's attempt at being a First Lady.
-- Sandy
Seminole, Florida

Wlady is being a ridiculous snob. I think he and Michelle Malkin and Michael Savage et al. are being dumb. (I'm an evangelical Christian but I'm no silly prude.)…

The people who were appalled by Laura Bush's routine are being narrow minded and ridiculous. If I'd have been there I'd have been laughing the loudest.
-- Sue Ellen Hirtle

It was a friggin' correspondents dinner! What Laura said is what most of the bloviating idiots in the audience really believe -- she was using humor to kill the effect and throw it back in their faces. Besides, most of the jokes were old and stale, and she is no great orator. Leave her alone and let her have some fun once a year.

Get over it!
-- David Broadus (a subscriber)
Houston, Texas

I found the First Lady to be rather funny. It is an endearing quality to see someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously. It would seem by now that everyone knows how devoted she is to the President which is a part of why this was so humorous.

Don't tell me that you don't like the Family Guy, the Simpsons or the Blue Collar Comedy Tour either.
-- James D. Sayer

What a rotten week for Our President. He was photographed lovingly holding hands with a Saudi Prince, his own party gave him the finger over Bolton, and now his own wife publicly jokes about him masturbating a horse. The Gipper and his wife never would have allowed this. But than again the GOP isn't the same party it was 20 years ago.
-- J.P. Koch
Mishawaka, Indiana

I know that what Laura said wasn't so great or funny, but god! This administration really needs some comic relief by its own members!

Lighten up just for a little while.
-- Joan Ramm
Los Angeles, California

I am a die-hard supporter of President Bush and his wife, Laura. And I thought that Laura's "sketch" was great! It was humorous! Tasteful!

And a hit with the country! All the points made by the author in his article were twisting a humorous situation upside down and leaving it in a "legalistic" tightly-wound pile on the floor. Lighten up! It was the President's idea anyway. Do you think he would encourage such humor if it were meant to undermine his own position or that of any in his cabinet?
-- JA
Naperville, Illinois

Wlady you need to loosen your shorts -- Laura Bush was hilarious. It's always good when people with authority can laugh at themselves and use self-deprecating humor -- it's a sign of humility. Can you imagine Saddam's wives saying such things? Off with their heads.
-- Jim Whittle
Douglasville, Georgia

As a nonprudish Boomer, I couldn't agree with your analysis more. I watched The First Lady's speech on C-Span. I laughed and I cringed. She's a class act. Didn't anyone (Laura or her staff) read the script and say, "Let's back this down, it's inappropriate"? I didn't have a problem with Desperate Housewives. But as she ventured toward lap dancing and horse jokes, she didn't reek of class. In fact, it appeared to me that the First Lady was succumbing to the chronic Blue State temptation of acting cool. That was always one of President Clinton's cardinal flaws.

So my question relates to White House insularity. Does being stuck in a White House bubble inevitably mean the loss of common sense? Say it ain't so, Laura!
-- Craig Kreiser, Esq.
Wichita, Kansas

It was, as intended, a roast targeted to a very diverse audience, not a presidential address.
-- John Hess
Petaluma, California

Lighten up, sir. Mrs. Bush's jokes were very funny and her delivery was very graceful. Come on! This was an annual dinner where mocking jokes are the staples of the event, for goodness sakes!

Firstly, Mrs. Bush deeply loves her husband (if you have eyes to see) and they are both secure in their love for each other, whereas Hillary Clinton does not love her husband (if you have eyes to see) and they are both using each other for personal and political gains. Secondly, Mrs. Bush is a graceful and classy lady and Hillary Clinton is not.

The greatest living soul once proclaimed: anything goes between a husband and wife where there is love.

You leftists are so blind in your hatred for this President that you lose all sense of humor and perspective. Pointing to your own words, I can safely say that if a democrat had told such jokes about the President, you would praise that person's sense of humor. You leftists have mastered the art of hypocrisy.

Where is your outrage at the absolute filth shown on TV screens?
-- Farah Cohen T.

They were jokes. Can't you laugh just a little?
-- Steve Larson

Got to say, that even though I missed Mrs. Bush time in the spotlight, what I heard about it isn't very good. What a sad state of affairs when the President's wife lowers herself to the level of a low brow comedian. What is even sadder is Bush's second term, which is mirroring his first term in some areas, especially those of his judicial appointments. Are we looking at eight wasted years of having the ability of turning this nation around for once? Have we re-elected a man to the office of President whose agenda is to flip flop to the left whenever it's convenient? Maybe Mrs. Bush's commentary wasn't so much a comedy routine, but rather the true thoughts of the current resident of the White House. What a waste.
-- Pete Chagnon

Thank you ever so much for your column voicing your distaste for Mrs. Bush's performance at the Correspondents' Dinner. I watched the broadcast live and was truly offended at such a lovely and well-thought-of First Lady mocking her husband, her family, the Vice President and his wife, Supreme Court judges and others. If it is absolutely necessary that the President and V.P. and their wives attend this celebration of the Left-Wing Media, then their remarks, humorous or serious, should reflect the mood and tenor of their party and of the better nature of their nation. It saddens me to have the First Family wallow in the cultural malaise around them for cheap laughs and admiration from their sworn enemies. In my opinion, the world situation is too serious to give your opponents ammunition in a vain effort to be liked.

A good question is: Who is this Landon Parvin and why is he allowed to write such remarks for the Bushes? I would be willing to bet that he wrote the Bush twins monologue for the Republican National Convention last fall. The sophomoric and off-color character of the jokes was on a par with those Friday night.

Thank you for rowing against the current with your assessment of the performance and know that there are many of us out here who wish we could have expressed it so well.
-- Barbara Hair
McKinney, Texas

I cannot believe that he is so uptight that he can not just enjoy this lovely lady poking fun at the media. All of the liberal writers at that bash have a false impression of the Bushes, and it seems he does as well. Christians can and do have a sense of humor. With this article he seems to be proving the liberals correct in the feeling that to be Christian is to be judgmental. I enjoy reading the Spectator and mostly agree with articles but the article by Mr. Pleszczynski is a shame to the Spectator.
-- unsigned

Your comments about Laura Bush again prove that the left will hate everything George Bush even if he (or she) makes a wisecrack at his own expense. Your sense of humor is in serious need of a jumpstart, sir.
-- Robert McComb

Geez, I'm sorry you're having a major problem with some fun making. Boy, your thong is sure in a twist. Typical humorless Spectator. Dumped my bookmark of you a long time ago... guess I'll unbookmark you again. If we can't laugh at ourselves, we certainly can't laugh at the Liberals, and you sure fail to provide any humorous relief occasionally.
-- Rand E. Oertle
Springville, Utah

Wow! Another perspective, indeed! I'm sure that I would be considered one of the "religious right" by liberals, moderates and probably even some conservatives, but I found Laura Bush a hoot. What is more humorous than making light of the "stereotype."

I appreciate your well delivered argument - and understand it to a certain degree, but I think Mrs. Bush was quite clever to pull that off as she did.
P.S. I'll give you the milking the male horse joke. . .
-- Cathy Thorpe
Columbus, Georgia

Good grief! It was only a press party! Wlighten up, Wlady.
-- Mike Tucker
San Jose, California

Your take on the Laura Bush debacle cut through all the happy talk exhibited on even Fox's "fair and balanced" shows.

No doubt about it -- the milking-a-male-horse joke will go down in history as one of the most tasteless attempts to play to the crowd, ever. Especially egregious, coming from a first family with the task of bringing CLASS back to the office of the presidency, after Clinton!…
-- James Crystal

I just read your critique of Laura Bush. Get off your high horse and get a life instead.
-- Daryl M. Elliott

I was afraid the vast left wing conspiracy writers like you might not go after Mrs. Bush. I was afraid we would have to give credit to you silly metro guys for at least having a sense of humor. I am so glad you wrote your column. Now I know you liberal hicks have lost your minds. I prefer my liberals crazy and barefoot in the loony bin like you need to be.
-- Anne Burkart

Now I remember why I dropped my print subscription to the Spectator a few years back.
-- Roy Hogue
Newbury Park, California

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