Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dennis Miller Fired

Ten years ago I was one of Dennis Miller's biggest fans. I loved watching his show on HBO. He was blunt and honest. There are many celebrities who become more famous for being honest even when what they say is not "politically correct." Charles Barkley gained national attention by saying in a Nike Ad that he doesn't want to be a role model. He felt that parents should be role models. Chris Rock became one of the most loved comedians in the late 1990's by using comedy to not only entertain black audiences, but to point out things that white audiences couldn't say. A Republican friend of mine put it best by saying, "Rock says what white people can't say but agree with." Miller, Barkley, and Rock did not gain fans by being merely controversial, but by saying what their audiences could identify with.

Dennis Miller could look at issues and make fun of both Democrats and Republicans in a way that allows audiences of both political backgrounds to identify with him. Was he a Democrat or a Republican? I honestly didn't know.

Sometimes a show can run its course, as Dennis Miller's show did on HBO when it no longer felt fresh the way it did in 1995. As Chris Rock once said, "If it's not new, it's through." Dennis Miller became a comentator on NFL Monday Night Football serveral years ago to add humor. While he was able to crack in a few jokes here and there, his ability to add humor to sports was very limited and therefore he was replaced after a few years.

What has happened today may be the end of Dennis Miller for a long time. His show on CNBC has been cancelled due to low ratings. Many people will guess why his show did so poorly. I will give my viewpoint on it.

Last year Dennis Miller made it clear that he supported President George W. Bush for President. He has the full right to do that. I would never tell people to keep their political opinions to themselves, but to understand the consequences to publicly choosing a side in politics. To Democrats like myself, President Bush represents the Neocon wing of the Republican Party. He's no John McCain. Honestly, he reminds Democrats of Richard Nixon.

Democrats embrace shows like "Polically Incorrect" and "The Daily Show" not merely for the political views of the hosts, but for the honest discussion of politics. It is fine for Dennis Miller to support President Bush in the election, no matter how far Bush has gone to the right. Had McCain ran and won the nomination for President, an endorsement from Miller would not have caused Miller to lose much of his fan base, because while he would be supporting a Republican, that Republican was a moderate. But to publicly support President Bush, who invaded Iraq for WMDs that were never found, moderate Democrats found themselves no longer able to identify with the Neocon Dennis Miller. I miss the old Dennis Miller who would look honestly at both sides of politics. He made fun of Bill Clinton. He made fun of Bob Dole. Ask any Democrat how they would rate President Bush on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being "liberal", 5 being "John McCain", and 10 being "Rush Limbaugh", and you will here mostly 9s and 10s. What Democrats who are unhappy with President Bush wanted to hear is why Republicans support Bush even though we found no WMDs in Iraq. Instead of trying to search through the political mess that we are in today, it appears that Dennis Miller may just be more concerned with his tax cut. President Bush won this election and I am not contesting the results. Dennis Miller got to keep his tax cut. Mr. Miller, I hope that you enjoy your tax cut. You're unemployed!

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