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Mike Gerson on the Current Incivility

The former presidential speechwriter examines what makes Wanda Sykes and Al Franken tick.

Columnist Michael Gerson says our verbal nastiness is nothing to laugh at.

The first response to the performer on a public stage wishing the death of a stranger for political reasons was discomfort. Wanda Sykes had "crossed a line" at the White House Correspondents Dinner in accusing Rush Limbaugh of terrorism and treason, mocking his past drug addiction and wishing his kidneys would fail. But a counterreaction soon developed: Humor is often transgressive, and if you can't take it, don't dish it, and let's everyone lighten up a bit, and can't anyone take a joke anymore?

The initial reaction was more human.

Related Topics:Ethics
Posted:May 15, 2009 at 2:57PM
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