(Updated with Mason's latest rant at end.)
Jackie Mason appears to have traded his career as a legendary comedian for one as a professional Obama-hater for right-wing website WorldNetDaily.
Certainly, Mason has forsaken his humor for venom -- asserting that Obama has "plans to destroy America" and "can't tolerate the thought of the word of religion in his presence." Mason has also said that Nancy Pelosi "looks like a deranged pig in heat."
Mason has been a right-winger for some time -- in 2004, for instance, Mason called "the whole Muslim religion" a "murderous organization" that teaches "hate, terrorism and murder." Apparently approving of such statements, WND began running a column by Mason and his partner, Raoul Felder, in 2007 (a column that previously appeared at the right-wing Jewish World Review website). In their first WND column, Mason and Felder appeared to be channeling far-right radio host Michael Savage by smearing Democrats:
Like a baby's dirty diaper, hypocrisy and duplicity soils the Democratic majority in Congress, and like the diaper, the closer you get to it, the worse it smells.
The Democrats have no conscience or moral purpose whatsoever. They are worse than mere hypocrites. They are accessories to the murder of American troops.
Ironically, the very same day the column appeared, a WND "news" article criticized TV host Bill Maher for using a similar tone in criticizing then-President Bush.
Mason and Felder went on to smear Nancy Pelosi as "Botox Babe" and repeat discredited claims about the a bogus controversy over planes Pelosi used to return to California:
-- "She claimed that it was 'security people' who encouraged her to request a much larger airplane than the one used by her predecessor, Denny Hastert." In fact, it was the House sergeant at arms who sought the plane, and she herself did not request a larger plane.
-- "Then she said she needed the much larger plane because this country has a lot of enemies. ... Next she said she needed the larger plane because she is third in line for the presidency. Didn't Denny Hastert know about this provision in the Constitution, or was there a new Constitution written just for Nancy Pelosi?" In fact, the White House agrees that Pelosi "is entitled to military transport" and that "[i]t is important for the Speaker to have this kind of protection and travel" due to post-9/11 security concerns.
In a November 2007 column, Mason and Felder falsely defended former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as "a mayor who led rather than dithered" after 9/11, asserting that "with the visual acuity of hindsight, the Emergency Response Center could have been constructed differently and in a different location" than the 23rd floor of a building in the World Trade Center complex that collapsed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the main WTC towers, adding, "The city acted on the best available information both before and after the event." But as author Wayne Barrett pointed out, there was opposition at the time to putting the New York City Emergency Response Center in the WTC complex because the towers had been the target of a terrorist attack in 1993, and the WTC was at the top of the the terrorism vulnerability list that his own police department prepared. Further, the head of Giuliani's emergency management office recommended that the center be located in downtown Brooklyn, but Giuliani insisted that it had to be within walking distance of City Hall.
Such eagerness to mislead and blithe indifference to facts make Mason an ideal contributor to WND.
Barack Obama's ascent to the presidency, meanwhile, has sent Mason in paroxysms of rage and hate.
In March, Mason was criticized for calling Obama a "schvartze" -- a Yiddish word for "black" that Mason insisted was not racist, though it's considered a historically derogatory insult (and echoed a 1991 incident in which Mason called then-New York Mayor David Dinkins, who is black, "a fancy schvartze with a mustache").
Rushing to Mason's defense was none other than WND editor Joseph Farah, who asserted that "the man doesn't have a hateful bone in his body," adding that he is "a friend of Jackie Mason." Farah went on to complain that being labeled a homophobe is just as bad as being labeled a racist, adding, "I certainly have been labeled a 'homophobe,' because I believe homosexual behavior is immoral -- a sin. And I say it. I write it. I publish it." (No, Mr. Farah, you have been labeled a "homophobe" because you and WND have, in fact, exhibited homophobic behavior.)
Shortly afterward, WND began posting weekly videos that have become increasingly bile-filled against Obama. The videos look cheaply made, with Mason presumably standing in front of a green screen to which a tacky-looking background featuring the WND logo and the words "Jackie Mason, The Ultimate Jew" is added post-production:
In a May 14 video, Mason falsely claimed that Obama "can't tolerate" a National Day of Prayer gathering at the White House, "which is a tradition that goes back all the way to 1952, in Truman's time." In fact, Obama followed longstanding presidential tradition in issuing a National Day of Prayer proclamation; public events at the White House had occurred only under George W. Bush. Nevertheless, Mason went on a tirade:
What is the matter with this man? You ever stop to wonder? Only under communism, only under Stalin, did you ever hear that religion should be silenced. Even in Germany, Hitler, as vicious, violent crazy maniac as he was, tolerated religion in his country. But Barack Obama somehow can't tolerate it.
Do you know he spoke at Georgetown University and at Notre Dame and he demanded that the wall behind him should have no symbols, no religious symbols of any kind? He can't tolerate the sight of it. It sounds unbelievable. If I didn't tell you about it, you would think that somebody is making it up, it sounds like a fantasy. The president of the United States doesn't want any religious symbols on the walls behind him.
Do you know that there's J.C., it doesn't even say Jesus Christ, it just says J.C. in Georgetown University behind him on the wall. He even wanted that eliminated. Even his initials of Jesus Christ was too much for him to tolerate. Do you believe the president of the United States is doing this?
Now, you're probably saying to yourself, I'm always attacking Barack Obama, I'm probably making this up. I'm not making this up. Everything I just told you is true. This man does not hear -- can't tolerate the thought of the word of religion in his presence.
Actually, Mason is making it up. There's no evidence that the Obama administration specifically demanded that an "IHS" (not "J.C.," as Mason claimed) symbol be covered, only that university signage and symbols be covered during Obama's visit.
Mason hurled more smears in a May 28 video, in which -- despite claiming that he's "just searching for the truth" about Democrats and torture and that "I was never partisan about political issues" -- he declared Pelosi is "a lowlife and a fraud and a liar" and "looks like a deranged pig in heat":
And Pelosi is now dancing around like a thief who -- whose head can't get on straight. Her head is swimming, her -- all of her tortured looks are falling apart. Every part of her -- one of her creases that she erased 20 times ago are coming back to her, her nose is going into directions you've never seen before. His mouth -- her mouth is squandering, her face is sweating, she's pulling -- blech -- she's falling apart. You see how nasty she looks and how miserable and how furious, and how every kind of expression that you've seen on 300 people in a month in now in her face in a second. The face is falling apart. The torture is all over her face. Whatever we talk about torturing other people, she's the one who's being tortured more than any torturer could have been tortured.
If we tortured anybody in Guantanamo Bay the way she's torturing now and the way she's suffering and sweating and sorts -- smugly -- she looks like a deranged pig in heat who doesn't know which way to turn. Her temperature's flying out of control to such an extent that she can't see straight. She looks like she's gonna pass away from misery. She can't even finish a sentence without looking like she's drained and destroyed just from the questions.
Now this is torture. Why? Because she's a lowlife and a fraud and a liar, and she knows it and she was caught. And I wanna ask you a question: How come not one Democrat is suggesting that maybe she should be tried?
This is the ultimate hypocrisy of the world, that torturers -- Democrats should be tortured, they should be tortured, and they deserve to be tortured because anybody who wants innocent people to be tortured and sent to jail for whatever they did and can't accept the responsibility for themselves are lowlife, filthy, fraudulental, disgusting [unintelligible] and that's the only thing you can call them. If you disagree with me, let me know because you're probably just as low as them if you could disagree with this.
In his June 25 video, Mason accusing Obama of not speaking forcefully enough about Iran:
We should treat them if they are our own children, our own family, and we should fight for them. If somebody was killing your own children, would you worry about how the enemy or the murderers are gonna interpret it, what they murderers are gonna claim? Or would worry more about saving your children? These are the children of every American in the world, of every freedom-loving person in the world. Our job is to save them by telling them we're behind them and we're encouraging them. And stop using phony, stupid excuses about what the Iranians would say. What do you think Hitler would say? Would we care what he says? Would we stop fighting Hitler because we worried what he would say? This is sickening.
Barack Obama ought to be told, "Say something. Open your mouth and don't make these lame statements. Tell them what you believe in." Otherwise, you shouldn't have any right to even be a president of a free country.
Mason doesn't mention that the man around whom those "freedom-loving" Iranian protesters are rallying is apparently a founder of Hezbollah, the anti-Israel group linked to numerous acts of violence, and allegedly had a hand in the bombings of U.S. Marines and a U.S. embassy, among others, in the 1980s. Does Mason really think America should rush to enthusiastically support such a man?
Mason rehashed his attack on Obama over Iran in his July 2 video, adding new insults of Obama in the process:
You know what I want to talk to you about? I bet you'll never guess: Barack Obama. You know why? Because there's nothing more important than what Barack Obama's doing right now. I'm talking about the harm he's doing -- I wish there was something good he was doing. But one thing I do know, that he's doing anything possible to destroy everything that this country represents.
Anything that will do harm to this country, he could do in a second. He's the most decisive president who collects more things and plans to destroy America than anybody in the history of this country. Nothing he's done is to serve any good purpose whatsoever in any way in this country.
Mason also called the United Nations "a wealthy bunch of frauds and lowlifes and pigs whose only purpose every time they have a meeting is to call America names for our own money."
Mason has also attacked Obama over his purported lack of support for Israel, claiming in a June 11 video that Obama is "giving orders to Israel: Give up your settlements. I want to make sure that one more person doesn't [unintelligible] into that settlement and they don't extend the living room or kitchen or toilet and you're very closely organized in exactly that spot and you shouldn't move from that spot for a second and a half because somehow that's causing all the trouble all over the world. Iran would never start a war and peace on earth would reign all over the universe if Israel just didn't build another kitchen or toilet or they didn't add another person nobody drank a glass of water and an extra foot of land." Mason continued:
Right now, over a million and a half -- almost -- closer to two million Arabs live on Israeli land. Not only do they live there, but they're equal citizens with Israeli in almost every way. Health care benefits, unemployment benefits, they have the same opportunities as Israelis to get ahead in life and to get the same equal democratic principles and problems and they live the same democratic life that every Israeli does, on equal terms in every way. They're equal citizens. How come the Israelis don't complain: "Look at this, There's only a million and a half Arabs here, there better not be one more, they better not build another toilet or another kitchen." A million and a half Arabs who are a threat to Israel every day, committing suicide bombings every day. And they take their chance with their very lives to keep a million and a half Arabs in their country every day, and it doesn't bother them. But three extra Jews who are mostly religious Jews walking around with a shawl and a prayer book, they are the greatest menace to society when there's only a couple hundred of them or maybe a couple thousand? How did they become such a menace to the Arabs when a million and a half Arabs who are threatening to kill Jews every day are not considered a threat?
First, Obama is not "giving orders" to Israel; Obama cannot order another sovereign nation to do anything. He has, however, requested that settlement activity in the West Bank stop as part of a peace process with the Palestinians.
Second, the population of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is much more than "maybe a couple thousand"; as of 2006, it was more than 267,000. And they're not all "living a peaceful life"; some are engaged in vigilante violence against Palestinians.
Not only is Mason making stuff up, he's so filled with hate that he's not funny -- the biggest sin that anyone calling themselves a comedian can commit.
In other words, take away 20 years or so and the Borscht Belt patter, and Jackie Mason is Joseph Farah. Now, that's truly frightening.
UPDATE: Mason clearly won't be stopping anytime soon. In the midst of defending Sarah Palin's decision to resign as Alaska governor in his latest video, Mason launches into yet another factually deficient anti-Obama tirade:
Look how they never picked on Barack Obama. Barack Obama sat in the Senate for two years and never showed up. He took your money, the taxpayers' money, for literally nothing. When he was a state senator, he spent all his time looking for a job as a United States senator. As a United States senator, he spent all his time looking for the job as the presidency. He took your money for nothing, but nobody ever never criticized him. This is totally immoral and indecent. Could this happen in private industry?
He would have been sued, he would have been eliminated, he would have been destroyed if he tried this in private industry. But this immoral person who took a job and never showed up on the job and took everybody's taxpayers' money for nothing, nobody criticized him. They couldn't find the words to criticize, no matter what kind of piece of thievery that actually was. But Sarah Palin, who just did nothing wrong, is now considered the worst criminal of all time. Why? Because they're sick, lowlife, fraudulent people. They're fearful to such an extent that they can't tolerate her. They know she's going to do something that's going to beat them. They don't know how or why, but they can't face it. They fear it, they're panicking over it.They're terrorized by it to such an extent that they sound irrational and insane. And while they're condeming her, they sound nuts themselves. They sound like they belong in a sanitarium. They're irrational and hateful and sick, and you aought to be ashamed of yourself. You have no right to be in politics if you can't face a real opponent. You lowlife --
And the video clip abruptly ends.
This article first appeared at ConWebWatch.