Obama’s dog jokes go missing in Correspondents’ Dinner reports

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
Font Size:

President Barack Obama’s after-dinner dog jokes are missing.

They’re entirely absent from some media reports of the April 28 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

There’s a footprint or a faint howl of Obama’s two dog-eating jokes in other media reports, but no articles sought to highlight Americans’ cultural aversion to dog-eating.

An AP report issued after the speech ran for 25 paragraphs, but didn’t include the word “dog,” even though the topic of “President-eats-dog” is basically a guaranteed traffic-magnet.

Reuters dodged any mention of President Obama’s Obama-bites-dog quips, yet did cite a joke by comedian Jimmy Kimmel at Obama’s expense. “When you go to a dog park, is this the same as when we look at a tank full of lobsters?” Kimmel asked, according to Reuters.

The populist New York Post, however, ran with the dog jokes in the first three paragraphs of its short article, which was headlined “Bam’s yuk-y dog tale.”

Obama made two jokes about his dog diet, plus several jokes about Romney’s 1983 treatment of his dog, and several jokes about Obama’s fake second-term agenda for dogs.

Obama’s dog-eating jokes were likely intended to show journalists that he is unexcited about the public’s recognition that he wrote about dog-eating in his 1995 autobiography without acknowledging how Americans regard the practice as foreign and inhumane.

His other dog-related anti-Romney jokes were a treat for the assembled media.

Those jokes portray Romney as unfamiliar with middle-class Americans’ lives. For several months, Obama’s aides and media allies have ridiculed Romney because he took his ill dog on a 1983 family vacation by placing it in a crate on top of the family station wagon.

That man-crates-dog portrayal, however, has been trumped by the man-eats-dog confession.

That’s because The Daily Caller pointed out that Obama had never shown any qualms about his canine meal, either when he published his autobiography in 1994, or when he recorded an audio-version of the book in 2005.

The resulting Internet-carried furor has prompted many GOP supporters to ridicule Obama’s tolerance for dog-eating.

But the major media doesn’t want to fetch that subject.

The New York Times’ article on Obama’s speech used its first paragraph to mention one of Obama’s anti-Romney quips. That quip used a mock attack-ad to show a photoshopped Romney standing in front of Air Force One with a dog-carrier strapped to the fuselage.

But the Times’ delayed any mention Obama’s main canine-cuisine quip until paragraph six.

“What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?” Obama asked, recalling a 2008 campaign joke told by then-vice presidential nominee Sarah Pain. “A pit bull is delicious,” he declared to the surprised audience, most of which consisted of Democratic-leaning reporters or Democratic-leaning guests from the culture industry.

The Times choose to interpret that joke as mocking “Republican criticism of him for eating dog meat while a boy in Indonesia.”

Obama’s “delicious” joke got mentioned in the ninth paragraph of Mediaite’s 11-paragraph article, and the 23rd paragraph of The Hill’s 33-paragraph piece.

Politico cited one of Obama’s dog-related jokes in its top 15 list — “as my stepfather always told me, ‘It’s a boy-eat-dog world out there’” — but managed to ignore Obama’s “delicious” bite at dog-food humor.

Seven Washington Post reporters and some editors produced a 20-paragraph article that didn’t mention the Obama-bites-dog jokes, but did include Kimmel’s nip at Romney for placing his ill dog in a dog-carrier on top of the family station-wagon.

“When I think ‘Mitt Romney,’ I don’t think Etch a Sketch — I think of Twister. You can’t even play Monopoly with him, because he keeps putting the dog on the car,” Kimmel said.

There was little chance the friendly audience would turn their nose up at the anti-Romney jokes.

Yet most of the media showed no interest in publicizing Obama’s boy-eats-dog jokes.

In 2009, Obama told the same media event that “most of you covered me. All of you voted for me.”

Follow Neil on Twitter