May 11th, 2009
05:20 PM ET
12 years ago

White House distances itself from Wanda Sykes joke

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs commented Monday on recent remarks by comedienne Wanda Sykes."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration is putting some distance between itself and comedienne Wanda Sykes, who accused Rush Limbaugh of treason at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday and joked that Limbaugh was "the 20th hijacker."

Asked what the president thought of Sykes' remark, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, "I don't know how guests get booked. That's a White House Correspondents' Association thing."

"I haven't talked specifically with him," Gibbs said of the president. "But my guess is that I think there are a lot of topics that are better left for serious reflection rather than comedy. I think there is no doubt that 9/11 is part of that."

Filed under: Robert Gibbs • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Skyview

    Considering who Rush Lambaugh is and what he does as an entertainer, the jokes by Ms Sykies were appropriate and in good taste. No reasonable person would take the remarks serious, except Rush Lambaugh, who is a nut case anyway.

    May 11, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Steve

    Wanda, Wanda, Wanda....... The 20th hijacker was much more likely to have the middle name "Hussein" than "Hudson"!

    May 11, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Blue in maine

    Comedy, even when it is not pretty should be funny. For me Rush Limbaugh is somewhere between athlete's foot and root canal without novicane. He is at once painful and irritating. But comparing this pompus wind-bag to an actual terrorist lessons the seriousness with which we must handle terrorism.

    Plus it just is not funny.

    May 11, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. StuckinmoderationMari


    Funny........ how Limbaugh-the-comedian can dish it out daily, but can't take it! Hypocrite.

    May 11, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. LOL

    It's kind of funny that we can hear Rush, bash the president with his point of fews but find it strang to hear someone bash Rush with their point of view.

    It's also funny to hear many republicians try to stick a socialist tag on or President but when we hear them when they're talking about splitting the country up. People I use to like, like Chuck Norris who I do watch at all any more. Who wanted to remove the state of Taxes from the United Stated, Is this not a form of treason. People like Palins husband who want to remove the state of Alaska from the United States once again is this not a form of TREASON!!!!. Then when someone steps up to call it like it is everyone is shock. This was pretty funny sense we hear Rush saying anything and everything under the sun he want to but, when it come to be some else turn to bash him everyone want to turn tail and run.

    May 11, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. obambi

    typical Obama reaction–""I knew nothing of this affair"–I did not see him getting up and denouncing this unfunny slug. He was laughing like all the rest of the libs. Is he ignorant of EVERYTHING? This is just another dumb tactic to keep the press off his pathetic management of the US. He can fool his libs and sheep cult people–but not the intelligent Americans. Oh, Bush probably invited Sykes to the bash. Or Cheney, or Rush, or SP. Maybe Colin Powell? Obama does love those sick jokes–special olympics, etc.

    May 11, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. frank, NC

    The joke is in bad taste and may have crossed the line. But the truth is there is nothing more that the fringe Republicans like Chaney, Limbaugh, Rove, Coulter, Hannity, Ingram etc would like more than for another 9/11 style attack on America.

    Then they claim "see i told you so". This is true Republican patriotism.


    May 11, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. John in Ohio

    Are we really so cowardly as a country that we are incapable of laughter?

    May 11, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Simmy

    Wanda was as edgy as a sharp knife, but she wasn't any more 'over the top' than Limbaugh is everyday.....Hannity and Beck are despicable, and I never hear Republicans crying 'over the top.' .......She's a comedian....Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and others, are heads of the Republican party.....Bottom line, she was great....Words of advice, "If you can't take it, don't dish it out." ....

    P.S. President Obama was stellar! ........He's the 'First Dude' baby!

    May 11, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Agnes

    I am a progressive who personally watched, from up close, the first plane hit the World Trade Tower. However much you disagree with Rush, it is NEVER appropriate to accuse another American of being the 20th hijacker. I was repulsed by her "joke".

    May 11, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Iris

    Wanda Sykes is truly sic!

    May 11, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Kevin in Ohio

    Evidence once again of the double-standard. David Feherty is forced by liberal media to apologize for his comments against Pelosi and Reid, yet Wanda Sykes is given a virtual pass (mere "distancing" by the president) for even more hateful remarks. Heck, you cannot find one single MSM headline out there on what Sykes said outside this ticker. If you cannot see the double-standard here, you are truly blind.

    May 11, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Doug, New Jersey

    Look at Obama while Sykes is spewing her hateful liberal Democrat rhetoric, that is all you will ever need to know about him.

    May 11, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. RobK

    Let the hypocrisy begin! Libs will say it was all in fun; just a joke. But we all know that if a Republican told the same "joke", they would be skewered mercilessly by the liberal press.

    May 11, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Mrs FDWalker Jr

    Ms. Sykes' is a comedian. However somethings should be off limits, 9/11 is one of those things on MY list!

    May 11, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Mike Moderate

    I think whatever she said about Rush was fair game. He is a nutjob...if he can't take it....wel...he can't...he will just holler from his bully pulpit.

    Rush IS guilty of treason.....if this was a liberal talking crazy....the Fox news gang would be wanting the FBI on the case. Don't kid yourself!!

    May 11, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. IMHO

    Wanda Sykes is a loose cannon – she never should have been invited. Obama is not responsible for what she said at the dinner.

    May 11, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Barbara

    It's not funny because it is too close to the truth..
    He is a drug addicted pig and undermines the president
    at every opportunity....

    May 11, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. DJ

    obama laughed at the joke!!

    May 11, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. Carl

    It's all about context. I'd like to hear the specific section of the comedy bit that talked about this to understand.

    Otherwise, I don't care, much like how people in my town were giving the President some critiques for "talking black" to Michael Steele as a joke at the same show.

    May 11, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Independent Voter

    it's comedy, it was funny and as a matter of fact, it was true! pig limbaugh can say whatever out of his pig mouth but as soon as someone speaks the truth about him it's a problem. President Obama is not responsible for what comes out of someone else's mouth and should treat it as such!

    God Bless President Obama, VP Biden, the First Families and "Bo"

    May 11, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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