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Election 2000
Mike Peters
© 2000 Dayton Daily News Tribune Media Services

Political Satire

Political humor is as American as apple pie in the face. And there's no more tempting target that a presidential candidate. Listen below to satirical pieces by NPR. And join our online discussion on the issue.

There's nothing like a 35-day election to incite the crowd to lampoon the players, the media stars, and the process. Hear how songwriters dealt with the exquisite agony of waiting for a president.

Rewind's Mock The Vote audio buttonSpin the Debate (10/13)
audio buttonThe Great Debate (10/6)
audio buttonNon-Negative Political Ad (9/15/00)
audio buttonBush-Gore Differences (8/18/00)

Cartoon Commentary

  • Listen to a Morning Edition interview with two Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonists -- Mike Lukovich with the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Mike Peters with the Dayton Daily News -- about the pitfalls and sheer joy of drawing George W. Bush, Al Gore and the rest of the gang. You can also check out their cartoons in the photo gallery
  • In The News - from Rewind
    As election day approached, the punditry reached new levels. All Things Considered interviewed a Boston College professor who scored the debate by counting the number of times each candidate blinked.

    "When you get two rapid blinks or a half blink where the eyelids come down but they don't go all the way and close, you infer that there might be some stress being experienced by the candidate. For the first time I'm beginning to think that it's not enough and we have to look at other measures, in addition to blink rate."


    What Do The Stars Say About The Election?
    Tim Boyd & Glenn Perry: Tarot Cards, Astrology and the 2000 Presidential Election - read the chat transcript from 10/26/2000.

    Poetic License


    From Rewind with Bill Radke

    You must remember this:
    Gore’s kiss was just a kiss.
    His sigh was just a sigh.
    But the superficial things apply, as polls go by.

    And when two guys debate
    The pundits concentrate
    On who’s the nicer guy.
    No matter what the substance was, the polls don’t lie.

    Spin doctors and focus groups, never out of date.
    Nights full of cash, a thousand bucks a plate
    Bush needs gravitas that only a running mate
    Like Dick Cheney can supply.

    It’s still the same old story,
    The fight ’tween Bush and Gore-y
    For mom and apple pie.
    The world will always welcome charmers, as polls go by

    NPR Coverage

    Bush Transition Satire (14.4 | 28.8)
    Weekend Edition - Sunday, January 7, 2001
    Weekend Edition's resident satirists at the Montana Logging and Ballet Company take a humorous look at the transition efforts of President-elect George W. Bush.

    Twelve Days of Legalese (14.4 | 28.8)
    All Things Considered, December 13, 2000
    The 35-day election stalemate bred a spate of folksongs and song parodies. We offer a sample: The Battle of Florida, ELection Blues, Dimpled Chad, Punch It Twice, It's All RIght, White House Blues, Fuzzy Math, and No More of Those Hand Votes. A special page featuring these songs has been set up here.

    Twelve Days of Legalese (14.4 | 28.8)
    Weekend All Things Considered, December 10, 2000
    Lisa talks with attorney Kevin Underhill about his spoofs of great literature. He's rewritten parts of the Book of Job, Ulysses and Moby Dick in the language of 'legalese.' He also wrote a legalese version of the Twelve Days of Christmas. His original spoofs can be found at www.greenbag.org.

    Election Wonderland (14.4 | 28.8)
    Weekend Edition - Sunday, December 3, 2000
    From member station WBUR in Boston, singer/songwriter Walter Dixon offers his rendition of Election Wonderland, sung to the tune of Winter Wonderland.

    Election Satire (14.4 | 28.8)
    Weekend Edition - Sunday, December 3, 2000
    Weekend Edition's resident satirists, the Montana Logging and Ballet Company, offer common sense solutions to the problem of figuring out whether Al Gore or George W. Bush should be President.

    'All We Want...'(14.4 | 28.8)
    All Things Considered, November 24, 2000
    Billy Bob and the Bi-Partisan Band offer a song titled All We Want for Christmas is a President.

    The Recount (14.4 | 28.8)
    Morning Edition, November 24, 2000
    The NPR satire troupe Rewind (produced by KUOW in Seattle) provides yet another humorous twist on the recount.

    Electoral College Choir (14.4 | 28.8)
    Morning Edition, November 22, 2000
    The Electoral College Tabernacle Choir performs a humorous song about the manual recount in Florida.

    Domain Names (14.4 | 28.8)
    All Things Considered, November 17, 2000
    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, agreed to add seven new domain names to its list. They will be dot-name, pro, coop, museum, and aero. It's the first addition of domain names since the 1980s. The NPR Players introduce an "old timer" who says the old domain names were good enough for him. He thinks the kids nowadays are getting soft. They need Visors and Palms. The Newton was good enough for him.

    Revocation of Independence (14.4 | 28.8)
    All Things Considered, November 16, 2000
    Britain revokes America's independence because the United States has shown it is incapable of governing itself. We read from the official Revocation making the rounds on the Internet.

    'Butterfly Ballot Blues' (14.4 | 28.8)
    All Things Considered, November 13, 2000
    Satirist Harry Shearer performs his just penned song about the woes of being an elderly Jewish voter in Palm Beach County Florida. The song is a blues number as if sung by a man with a heavy Yiddish accent who complains about not being able to find the holes in the ballot and thus casting a mistaken vote.

    Still Undecided? (14.4 | 28.8)
    Weekend Edition - Sunday, October 5, 2000
    Weekend Edition Sunday commentator Andy Borowitz pokes fun at those voters who remain undecided on their choice for president.

    Satire (14.4 | 28.8)
    All Things Considered, October 4, 2000
    Want a chicken in every pot? Do you think Arbor Day should be a statewide bank holiday? Why not put it on the ballot? The NPR satire troupe Rewind (produced by KUOW in Seattle) spoofs the initiative process.

    Lend Me Your Props (14.4 | 28.8)
    All Things Considered, October 4, 2000
    Thoughts on how famous speeches might have been improved if they'd included references to "just plain folks" in the crowd. From Marc Anthony's Oration on the Dead Body of Julius Caesar to Lincoln's Gettysburg address, as well as remarks from Lincoln and JFK.

    Puff Daddy for VP (14.4 | 28.8)
    All Things Considered, August 8, 2000
    Commentator Rebecca Flowers says all the diversity at the GOP convention made her think of a dream Republican ticket -- Bush and recording artist Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs. The gangsta rapper is black, musical and rich -- all the things the GOP seemed most interested in during convention week. And they probably share similar views on gun control.

    Little for President (14.4 | 28.8)
    Morning Edition, September 22, 2000
    Rich Little has been impersonating presidents for nearly 40 years. In his new show, the Canadian-born comic does eight U.S. chief executives. Listen as Morning Edition host Bob Edwards has a word or two with Little and some of his creations.

    Ventura Turns the Tables (14.4 | 28.8)
    Morning Edition, September 27, 2000
    Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has his own special relationship with the press. During an interview with Morning Edition host Mike Shuster, Ventura previewed his own essay of a fictional press conference at which he asks the questions and reporters have to provide the answers.


    Political Pop Quiz!


    from Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

    1) According to Texas Governor George W. Bush's personal schedules as analyzed by the New York Times, on a typical day, he might start work at nine, end it at five, takes two hours for lunch and a jog, and spend just fifteen minutes doing what?

    A: Personal Grooming
    B: Approving Executions
    C: Consulting his advisors
    D: Napping
    E: Analyzing policy

    2) What did Vice President Al Gore do while George W. Bush answered questions during the first Presidential Debate?

    A: Played Rock, Paper, Scissors
    B: Kissed Tipper
    C: Sighed audibly
    D: Interpretive dance
    E: Planned his next environmental initiative

    3) Outside the first Presidential Debate, George W. Bush supporters were outnumbered by a group demanding ___________. Fill in the blank.

    A: Jesse Ventura
    B: Mandatory spay/neuter programs
    C: Beef!
    D: Colonies on Mars
    E: Rights for Cattle and Oil Drillers

    Answers


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