November 19, 2015

Some guy in the Clinton campaign leaned on the owner of a significant comedy club for putting up a 3-minute montage of comedians joking about Hillary Clinton.

The website Judicial Watch tells us.

The club is Laugh Factory (where Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, and many others have performed). The owner is Jamie Masada, who's run the place for decades. He says: "They threatened me. I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video." The campaign person isn't identified, but is called "prominent," and a masculine pronoun is used (so it's not Huma Abedin). What was the threat? The unnamed person also "said the video was disgusting and asked who put me up to this," and wanted to know the names and numbers of the comedians.

How could the campaign put him out of business? By what method, exactly? I'd like to know. What could the campaign do? Was violence suggested? Was there some notion of getting law enforcement after him somehow? Or was it more like a threat to use speech against him or to persuade comics not to perform there? I'd like to know. If it's only a threat of more speech, that's part of the free-speech regime we know and (some of us) love. Within that regime, Masada is taking his remedy, talking to Judicial Watch and getting this story out. It hurts.

The video clip is titled "Hillary vs. The First Amendment." Whether anything here is a First Amendment violation or not, it's fine to cite the amendment in what is now a criticism of the campaign for being repressive toward the freedom of speech.

Now, let's watch the video:



We see 4 comedians:

1. Dom Irrera says: "That woman should be President of the United States, because she knows what it's like to like men and love women."

2. Tiffany Haddish says "I would love if you become President, then you divorce Bill and you marry a bitch. Oh, shit! That would fuck the world up!" Haddish also likes the way Hillary didn't "trip off Bill and Monica Lewinsky," theorizing that Hillary was "hitting that too on the side," that if Bill liked "fat bitches," she'd get herself a "skinny bitch."

3. Greg Fitzsimmons says sarcastically that there's "nothing like" the "skirt suits" Hillary wears to say "I'm all woman." (He says "skirt suits" twice, but I've never seen Hillary in a skirt suit. I guess it's his attempt to say "pant suits.") "Who wore it better," he asks, "Caitlin Jenner or Hillary Clinton?" And he jokes that we don't have to worry about her getting her period, because she's 69 years old and "hasn't had a period since the 20th century."

4. Brian Holtzman refers to Hillary's mother's ethnicity — English, Welsh, French, etc. — and says that to get all that in one person, "You'd have to work in a whorehouse for quite some time."

So, it's very low humor, mostly based on the idea that Hillary isn't a real woman. She's a lesbian, she's unfeminine, she's unchaste, she's old. I can see someone in the campaign thinking it shouldn't be that difficult to persuade Masada that this kind of material is too low to belong on the internet representing Laugh Factory, that storied institution. But Masada took it in a different direction, and the Hillary campaign is getting lambasted for "threatening" Masada.

I'd like to hear from the campaign. What was said in that phone call? Does it deserve to be called a threat?

144 comments:

Bay Area Guy said...

It is lowgrade humor, not too clever, not too funny.

But, it's about .001% of what comedians regularly have said about other politicians in power (Nixon, Reagan, Bush), so it's fair game.

It also shows that Hillary's team is extremely thin-skinned and humorless and will take steps to shut down speech with which they disagree (a modern Leftist trait).

Barry Dauphin said...

Maybe Hillary can go to the club and and say, "Sock it to me? Nixonian!

EMD said...

"How could the campaign put him out of business? By what method, exactly? I'd like to know. "

Not hard to imagine. A few phone calls to local bureaucrats (it's LA, so they're all dems). An inspection of said club. Violations. Whoops. Have to shut you down for awhile. Loss of business for a period of time.

EMD said...

"If it's only a threat of more speech, that's part of the free-speech regime we know and (some of us) love. "

I don't understand what this means. So Hillary's campaign will post their own videos, refuting The Laugh Factory bits? Publish an op-ed? Seems stupid and trivial for a Presidential campaign.

Then again, so does making the call in the first place.

Derp said...

Once, when I was in England, I saw a documentary on Hillary, I think on ITV, and the Louise actress from Harry and Louise was interviewed, sh mentioned that she was pressured to make an ad for "HillaryCare." The actress said that Hillary told her that she had friends in Hollywood, and she could be very good for her career or very bad for her career, her choice. She made the comment that she thought that this was the kind of thing Republicans were supposed to do, not Democrats.


So you tell me, does that sound like an empty threat to you?

Derp said...

Hillary has some totalitarian tendencies that for all the Hitler comparisons, Bush lacked, to his credit.

Derp said...

Why doesn't she copyright her image, the way Hitler did?

EMD said...

"Why doesn't she copyright her image, the way Hitler did?"

Did Hitler get any royalties from Bugs Bunny cartoons?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Why is Hillary not already in jail for past offenses?

How embarrassing to be a Democrat.

traditionalguy said...

Give em a break. They are at least trying to make a totally unfunny half man/half woman and all money grubbing bitter old failure look funny enough to be a subject of comedy rather than tragedy.

Derp said...

I was just watching a Netflix documentary, and his step sister had won a case just before she died that validated Hitler's will in Germany. Part of his estate is that copyright on his image. Nobody has come forth to claim it, but I think it is theoretically possible that some heir could show up and claim royalties if they are shown in Germany.

Renee said...

Why make a personal phone call to someone you don't personally know?

Consider the source and how that person/organization treats those who disagree.

If Hilary & the DNC are the Queen Bee of the middle school cafeteria in your social circle, their opinion carries weight.

Public shunning of views/entertainment you disagree with isn't a threat. But this was private. Private conversations are for those you personally know & care for.

Drago said...

If a continuously inebriated and confused Hillary cant handle a few jokes how can she stay focused enough to give Putin evenmore victories than Putins boyfriend obambi?

Robert Pearson said...

Streisand. Effect.

The call rings true to me. Clinton style. When she's President, expect a lot more like it.

We really need her as President to get the Collapse over with as quickly as possible instead of drawing it out even more painfully.

Rick said...

A few phone calls to local bureaucrats

Or a few phone calls to Hollywood A-listers to promote a boycott. Blacklists are only bad when they target communists.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_against_Proposition_8_supporters#Boycotts

Derp said...

Do you think Hillary could keep a young comic off of Colbert's show?

I am pretty sure you know the answer to that.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Yeah - I'm sure the campaign would be honest about what they said.

Derp said...

Bill Maher may have the stones to have them on though.

Unattorney said...

This is Hollywood. The Laugh factory is toast.

Derp said...

How embarrassing to be a Democrat

If defending a rapist didn't embarrass them, what will?

David said...

Probably the Koch Brothers pretending to be from Hillary's campaign. They are so evil.

damikesc said...

How could the campaign put him out of business?

It's the government and she is closely tied to it. It wouldn't even be difficult for them to do so. Regulations are exceptionally easy to manipulate.

What could the campaign do? Was violence suggested? Was there some notion of getting law enforcement after him somehow? Or was it more like a threat to use speech against him or to persuade comics not to perform there?

It's the Laugh Factory. You're not going to persuade comics to not perform there. It's like expecting to persuade a struggling actor/actress to turn down a starring role in a major movie.

Remember, Citizens United was a case based on an attempt to ban a movie about Hillary.

damikesc said...

I'd also say that the owner has received plenty of threats in the past. This was serious enough to concern him.

Derp said...

"The future shall not belong to those who would slander Hillary!"

Isn't she the one who promised the mourning relatives of the dead at Benghazi, right beside their coffins at Dover, to put a filmmaker in jail?

She has some serious "American values" that one. Or is it "un American" to make fun of people who want to be our leaders?

Derp said...

Plus she has the IRS, they are probably already on it.

Static Ping said...

Yes, it is very low humor, but very low humor is an ancient thing. My main problem with the humor is other than Greg Fitzsimmons most of it is dull and not especially well delivered. Greg's line about her period is actually pretty funny and a very good point. Of course, the problem is Hillary is not a nice person in general and apparently has not been a nice person for a long time, if ever; it does not need to be her time of the month to be a problem.

I am hoping most fervently that your inquiry as to how the campaign could shut down the comedy club was either rhetorical or a request for options, perhaps humorous ones, to see which seems the most likely option. If you are incredulous that they are capable of doing such a thing if so desired, I dare say that your naivete is showing.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I never would have seen or even heard of this video if a Hillary operative hadn't tried to get it taken down. Her campaign must be pretty inept concerning the Internet if they have never heard of the Streisand effect.

Oh, and the comedy is awful.

Curious George said...

So the wife of an ex-president, former Senator and Secretary of State, and presumptive nominee for President calls you up and tells you that she is going to put you out of business if you don't do what she says and you think it's "only a threat of more speech, that's part of the free-speech regime we know and (some of us) love."

So if she said to your gay son "stop sucking dicks or taking cocks up the ass or you won't have a job"....you loving that Althouse?

Renee said...

"Unattorney said...
This is Hollywood. The Laugh factory is toast"

You can only speak ill of the non- elites, like Palin.

Birches said...

How thin skinned do you have to be to threaten a business over that? Hillary! is our real life Monty Burns.

Derp said...

I guess making private phone calls from a person with huge power and powerful friends in teh callee's industry to a person with little power and a precarious career counts as "speech" if you are Althouse.

Levi Starks said...

I think we need to propose a hypothetical for Althouse.
If she were to receive a threatening personal call from someone in the Hillary campaign complaining about the fact that she hosts a blog where an extreme amount of nastiness is regularly heaped upon HRC, does she feel that she's sufficiently insulated from the anger of the soon to be thin skinned first woman president that she can disregard said phone call?

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, you know, I think you just insulted lesbians there. They're real women.

The comedian who wanted Hillary to win, divorce Bill and marry her girlfriend was not being nasty or deriding Hillary, either as a woman or a politician. She was being rather nasty to Bill Clinton, I suppose.

Isn't this sort of standard political humor in the US?

Brando said...

Clinton's campaign is not just heavy handed but absolutely inept. Obviously it can lean on people (how do you think they got so many donations? People actually believe in Hillary? ha ha ha) because they know in the influence peddling scheme a few well-connected phone calls could make a health inspection take longer or go the wrong way, or a local tax audit might find things it shouldn't. I'm not surprised at all that they'd try this.

But the inept part is why? So some tasteless jokes are posted--as if there's not plenty about every other politician! And the more cruel and tasteless (jokes about her age or sexuality) only make her look like a victim, which is what works for her. They'd be best off simply publicly decrying the jokes as beyond the pale, and leaving it at that with no threats--then the public sees Hillary just as a victim.

This just makes them look brittle and weak, and now if they did try and lean on this guy it'll just feed the rumor mill (and hell, even if he did get an unrelated audit, wouldn't that look politically motivated?). What on earth sort of clunky tactic is this?

Keep in mind that this is likely how her administration would be run. We've had plenty of warning.

Derp said...

Hillary, speaking power to truth her whole career.

pst314 said...

"How could the campaign put him out of business? By what method, exactly? I'd like to know."

Once Hillary has the names of these "enemies", she can set the government dogs on them: Investigate and prosecute them for technical violations of the numerous, onerous and confusing laws that are on the books. She can also use government and private investigators to dig up dirt to embarrass them and harm their careers and personal lives.

Really, Ann, you are smart enough to know this. Your feigned puzzlement is unbecoming.

Rick said...

Levi Starks said...
I think we need to propose a hypothetical for Althouse.


She has tenure, she can't be forced out. Business owners are susceptible to public pressure in ways others are not.

Dan Hossley said...

If the campaign doesn't respond to your requests, just ask Lanny Davis. I'm sure he's made his fair share of those phone calls over the years.

Derp said...

"Who put you up to this?"

These are people who simply do not accept that human freedom is a thing. It must have been the Koch Bros, or Karl Rove, or Murdoch, or Goldstein!

Sebastian said...

"I can see someone in the campaign thinking it shouldn't be that difficult to persuade Masada that this kind of material is too low to belong on the internet representing Laugh Factory, that storied institution. But Masada took it in a different direction"

Actually, I can't see someone in the Hilary! campaign thinking that. What I can see them thinking is that defamation of the Queen must not stand, and that a little strong-arming will do the trick.

Masada didn't take it in a "different direction." Unlike you, he knew what was up, and took it exactly as intended -- but not lying down.

Sometimes your lawproffy "we can look at it this way, we can look at it that way" shtick really amounts to a cynical evasion of the obvious power play in question.

MaxedOutMama said...

And the period thing was aimed against TRUMP! That certainly was not a slur against Hillary.

The pantsuits/Caitlyn thing was okay, but not nasty humor at all.

Maybe somebody from Bill's side called - that's the only quarter where real offense was presented. Or maybe it was a false flag op?

pst314 said...

Rick "She [Althouse] has tenure, she can't be forced out."

Don't be so sure of that: In our Brave New World, in which liberals reinterpret the law to suit their politics, dissent is now a crime.

Paddy O said...

Apparently, a representative for the Clinton camp "went nuts."

Kevin said...

Just a preview of life under the Hillary Administration.

She needs her own private server just to store all the names on her enemies list.

Christopher said...

I can see someone in the campaign thinking it shouldn't be that difficult to persuade Masada that this kind of material is too low to belong on the internet representing Laugh Factory, that storied institution.

Familiar with a lot of modern comedy, are you?

Roger Sweeny said...

I never would have seen or even heard of this video if a Hillary operative hadn't tried to get it taken down. Her campaign must be pretty inept concerning the Internet if they have never heard of the Streisand effect. Oh, and the comedy is awful.

Which is why this getting publicized may actually do them good. Hillary is a powerful and rather nasty person. She was willing to throw overboard her feminist principles when it was necessary to save a powerful man and her political career. But these comics make her look put upon for being a woman. Lots of ordinary people will see this and feel sympathy for her. And the ideological will have one more reason to forgive her past unsavory behavior (and to vote for, or work for, or give money to her).

Kevin said...

You can love the Clintons, or hate the Clintons.

What is not allowed is ridiculing the Clintons.

Brando said...

Yeah, I'm hardly seeing how a threat to close someone down--which is credible when you're talking about someone with incredible power and influence, and who is a good shot for president next year--is just "speech". Unless Althouse is suggesting the conversation wasn't a threat at all, but just a request along the lines of "hey, those videos are in poor taste--it'd be nice if you took them down". Although even then there could be an implied threat considering who it's coming from.

Again, the campaign is inept if they allow this sort of thing. It makes them look far worse than any video could have.

David Carlson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Love how Althouse pretends to have no clue about all the SJW swarms over the last couple of years, the people hounded out of jobs and reputation by mobs of Internet warriors.

And that's BEFORE you factor in Government power.

This schtick is getting old, pretending every article, every post exists in a magical vacuum where all theoretical "laws" on paper and "rights" actually exist as universal forces rather than only existing when people defend and push back. Words on paper don't jump up and enforce themselves. Obama seems to understand that, why not Ann?

Brando said...

"Which is why this getting publicized may actually do them good. Hillary is a powerful and rather nasty person. She was willing to throw overboard her feminist principles when it was necessary to save a powerful man and her political career. But these comics make her look put upon for being a woman. Lots of ordinary people will see this and feel sympathy for her. And the ideological will have one more reason to forgive her past unsavory behavior (and to vote for, or work for, or give money to her)."

But in that case, the preferred strategy (if I was one of her paid toadies) would be not to call the owner of the club but rather to make a public statement that those videos are hurtful and call upon her critics to stick to the issues, blah blah blah. Then, people see the videos, think "yeah those are pretty dumb" or even "poor Hillary, look at the crap she has to endure" but there's none of this heavy handed shutting down talk.

Inept and power-hungry. Just what we need leading this country.

David Carlson said...

Calling Bull Shit on this. Don't believe it happened, at least as reported.

Might some recently graduated,over caffeinated, unpaid intern in the local campaign office called? Sure. But someone actually in a leadership position in her direct supervision? Nah.

pst314 said...

"Or was it more like a threat to use speech against him or to persuade comics not to perform there?"

After Hillary's notorious and post-Benghazi promise to find and punish the maker of that video, the only reasonable assumption is that her intentions are the worst.

Kevin said...

"But someone actually in a leadership position in her direct supervision? Nah."

LOL. I find it imminently plausible. Remember, the Bill Clinton campaign sent people around to threaten women who might mention that they had slept with Bill.

Remember Sally Perdue?

"She [Perdue] also stated that she had been asked not to reveal the affair by a former Democratic party staffer in 1992 who told her that "they knew that I went jogging by myself and he couldn't guarantee what would happen to my pretty little legs"."

It's the Clintons! Threatening people is how they roll.

Derp said...

@David Carlson

"Reject first, ask rhetorical questions later!" It's the liberal way!

The "Who put you up to this?" question has the ring of authenticity to me. But I am sure that Hillary would never stoop so low as to threaten an entertainer, even though she has done it in the past. Or are they all liars?

Rick said...

pst314 said...
Don't be so sure of that: In our Brave New World, in which liberals reinterpret the law to suit their politics, dissent is now a crime.


I rather suspect recent events at Yale, Mizzou, and Claremont McKenna College have reinforced the desire for strong tenure among leftists. When liberals created these student weapons they intended them to be used only against those to their political right. But the problem with self-directing weapons is that you don't get to choose their targets. Now that the liberals are seeing these weapons in action against fellow liberals enough will be willing to suffer a few Althouses in exchange for their own protection.

The first priority of a bureaucracy is to protect itself.

John Christopher said...

It was just so painfully not funny I wanted to hide under my chair from embarrassment.

Brando said...

"Might some recently graduated,over caffeinated, unpaid intern in the local campaign office called? Sure. But someone actually in a leadership position in her direct supervision? Nah."

If some low-level staffer got too big for his britches and made this call on his own without the higher ups knowing about it, it suggests two things--first, that the campaign is unable to supervise its staff enough to keep them from throwing the campaign's weight around (in which case let's see if the campaign fires anyone over this) and second, that the campaign has enabled a culture of doing this sort of thing. It's not surprising for this to come out of her organization--they are notoriously "ends justify all means" and "fight to the death" about every little thing. This is what is expected in that group.

Original Mike said...

Clearly we need a Federal Comedy Commission to augment the Federal Elections Commission.

Derp said...

Actually, "Reject first! Ask rhetorical questions later!" characterizes Ann's response pretty well.

These kinds of defense mechanisms are important to maintain the desired level of smug.

SteveR said...

"Lois Lerner, please pick up the white courtesy phone"

Derp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel said...

When someone who can have her friends in the Justice Department have you charged for violating campaign laws, tie you up in discovery and endless litigation, whether or not you are guilty of anything (which may take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars even to establish); when that person says "I don't like what you are saying and I want you to stop saying it", it is a threat. It's not just "more speech."

Matthew Sablan said...

I agree with Gabriel; when there's that much of a power disparity, you don't need to out right threaten someone. Nice little comedy club you've got here, and all that.

rehajm said...

Or was it more like a threat to use speech against him or to persuade comics not to perform there?

If it was this it was a threat and it was a threat that deserves to be called a threat.

Derp said...

It was just so painfully not funny I wanted to hide under my chair from embarrassment.

IDK, the second lady was pretty funny, actually they were all somewhat funny. But I guess you speak for everybody. Degustabus is decided by Hillary fans, I guess.

By the description, I was expecting to see some far less professional work. They are comics, doing comedy. It seemed like pretty standard Laugh Factory fare.

GRW3 said...

This is not like when Bush remained silent while pilloried by the MSM and Entertainment Elite. Here, Mrs. Sensitive's team took an outfit whose video would have been seen by the statistical equivalent of nobody and got it put on Drudge. Nice work.

Drago said...

David Carlson: "Calling Bull Shit on this. Don't believe it happened, at least as reported.
Might some recently graduated,over caffeinated, unpaid intern in the local campaign office called? Sure. But someone actually in a leadership position in her direct supervision? Nah"

Unbelievable.

Quick question for David: How did Craig Livingstone come into possession of a thousand raw FBI background files on republicans when no one could even "remember" who hired him, what his job was, how he gained access...etc etc.

Let me guess: Livingstone was simply an over caffeinated, unpaid intern in the Clinton White House.

Gee, there sure do seem to be lots and lots of unpaid interns swilling down gallons of coffee who, gosh darn it, just keep doing "crazy kid stuff" around the Clintons.

David turns the Clintons into "victims" of "over-zealous" and injudicious staffers.

Perfect. Those poor Clintons. Can they ever catch a break?

David Carlson said...

@derp

than give me a name

who is this most very "impotent" person who did it?

Until then its not any different than the Rubio "yacht" story - Big lead, but show the picture and it's just a freaking fishing boat.

Standard repub response - freaking Pavlov dogs anytime someone rings the Clinton bell. Get stupid over this, then it's easy to dismiss real things

Original Mike said...

Apparently David Carlson doesn't know how Citizen's United came to be.

Drago said...

GRW3: "This is not like when Bush remained silent while pilloried by the MSM and Entertainment Elite. Here, Mrs. Sensitive's team took an outfit whose video would have been seen by the statistical equivalent of nobody and got it put on Drudge"

Well, they are already quite hard at work on that whole "Drudge" thing.

Quite hard at work indeed.

And when that particular "it could never happen" action occurs, there will be boatloads of little garage mahal's with red-jacketed "Hillary!" books prowling everywhere for any signs of dissent.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, are you really that obtuse, or are you just in a contrarian mood this morning?

I agree with what EMD wrote at 12:01. As a club owner I'd be very worried about that possibility.

I agree with what damikesc wrote at 12:20 and especially his comment at 12:21.

I'd like to thank Kevin for reminding us about Sally Perdue.

So, Professor, I think your question about exactly how the Hillary Clinton campaign could put Masada out of business has been well-answered.

And especially I think Gabriel squashes your rhetorical question about "more speech."

And, Professor, exhelodrvr1 is quite right. If the campaign did issue some official statement, the chances it would be within light years of the truth are within epsilon of zero.

BTW, I thought one Fitzsimmons' female colleagues needs to explain the difference between skirt suits and pants suits.

Derp said...

Standard repub response - freaking Pavlov dogs anytime someone rings the Clinton bell. Get stupid over this, then it's easy to dismiss real things

You are the one who said it wasn't true. Upthread I gave the example of the Harry and Louise actress, a Democrat, who maintains that Hillary threatened her, that Hillary told her that she had "friends" in Hollywood who could be very good for her career or very bad for it.

But I know, as is always the case with the Clintons, all of the accusers are liars! I think you are projecting the Pavlov's dog thing, BTW.

William Chadwick said...

I find this piece of satire funnier and pithier:

https://lexingtonlibertarian.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/hillary-6.jpg

Hillary-Bernie in 2016!
Cloward-Piven in 2020!

David Carlson said...

@drago

right on cue - ring ring, ring ring

just a name the person. So hard?

Derp said...

Apparently David Carlson doesn't know how Citizen's United came to be.

And he doesn't want to know, either! Because Repub Knee Jerk!

Derp said...

Hillary: The Movie is a 2008 political documentary about United States Senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. It was produced by Citizens United. The film was scheduled to be offered as video-on-demand on cable TV right before the Democratic primaries in January 2008, but the federal government blocked it.[1] The blocking of the film's airing was the subject of the court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. - Wikipedia

David Carlson said...

feel free to obfuscate

this post is about threats to a comedy club

Give me a name. Until then, you have been played

Original Mike said...

"Give me a name. Until then, you have been played."

By whom?

David Carlson said...

bunch of freaking chipmunks

look at this! No, here! - Wait, over here!

This is about a threat to a Comedy Club

Focus people

Best odds are really just a way of publicity of the club
Next up is some intern
Way Way down on the probability list, someone doing H's bidding

Derp said...

Give me a name. Until then, you have been played

That's the standard of proof? I guess that's par for the Clinton machine. Like Juanita Broaddrick. She wouldn't come forward to accuse Clinton, and in fact didn't until she was put in the position that lying to an investigator could mean jail time. At that time she changed her story and admitted that she had been raped.

But Clinton's people used her earlier reluctance to expose herself to the full fury of the Clinton machine as proof she was never raped.

It's a well worn path. Somebody has been played here. I think it's @David Carlson.

Derp said...

This is about a threat to a Comedy Club

It fits a pattern.

Drago said...

David Carlson: "@drago

right on cue - ring ring, ring ring

just a name the person. So hard?"

With the Clintons, yes, it's often quite hard getting any basic information.

Drago said...

David Carlson: "Way Way down on the probability list, someone doing H's bidding"

Whoa there sparky!

How is it you are willing to even entertain the possibility that it's someone doing "H's" bidding?

Given your previous comments, your position should be that this did not happen until "facts" show otherwise.

Hmm.

Drago said...

We still don't know who left the Rose Law Firm billing records (under subpoena for years) in the private White House quarters.

So, per the David Carlson "rule", it never actually happened.

Ever.

And anyone who says it did is simply "chip-munking" along.

Btw, I like "chip-munking" as a term. Still needs a bit of work though.

Kevin said...

I can't imagine the sheer amount of rage, resentment and anger that Hillary has built up towards "her enemies" over the years.

It's not just Republicans - don't think for a single moment that Hillary has forgotten all the Democrats who abandoned her for Obama in 2008.

The number #1 priority of a Hillary Administration is going to be score-settling. You think Obama politicized the IRS and other Federal agencies? You haven't seen anything yet - weaponizing Federal agencies to be in service to the Clintons will be absolutely unprecedented.

Imagine midnight "John Doe" raids conducted all across the country by Federal agents - that is going to be the template for the Hillary Administration.

Derp said...

Well he has successfully taken the thread off track with an absurd demand. You have to give him that.

Lem said...

If a GOP 'operative' as the press likes to call it, had made the call, would Althouse be parsing it to the nth degree?

Tank said...

I thought Haddish was pretty funny, and cute.

All pretty standard comedy stuff. Most comedy stuff, by the way, is not great; they're not all Seinfeld or Louis or Rock or Leno. Is the threat claim true? Who knows, but with the Clintons ... what is NOT possible?

Lem said...

in the other hand, it could be an insidiously devilish dirty trick to smear Hillary.

A GOP insider pretending to be a Hillary strongman?

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

When a dispute about free speech or thievery or "offense" involves comedians-- and hinges on a particular joke-- we have always advised the comedian to refrain from actually re-telling the joke when framing the issue. In print, in person, anywhere, any time.

Comedy is subjective.

People who disagree that the joke is funny will focus on the joke and not on the larger issue. The joke is not the issue. The issue is the issue. Jokes are protected speech. And, just because you don't "think the joke is funny," that doesn't deprive the joke (and the teller) of certain protections.

In this case, we have a video. So folks find it awful hard to resist the temptation to first pass judgment on the relative funniness of the bits before rendering an opinion on any trampling of an artist's rights.

I resisted watching the video as long as I could when formulating an opinion about this incident.

I am appalled by the implications of the story.

Masada is noted for an uncanny (and shameless) ability to game the media. He is good at it. He is also a very intelligent businessman. I find it hard to believe that he would fabricate this. And I am sorely disappointed in anyone who would immediately assume that.

Lem said...

By the Hillary's people figure out what happened the damage would have been done.

Sort of like Clock kid. It wasn't until the school had been smeared good, that it was discovered what a fraud the kid was. But by then the damage was done.

Bay Area Guy said...

Also, let's not forget that the 2nd Comedian on the video -- Tiffany Haddish -- is an African-American Woman.

Given the historical barriers to the comedic profession for women and minorities, and given the continuing lasting vestiges of such discrimination, it is clear that the Clinton campaign's effort to wreck Ms. Haddish's professional career is both racist, in purpose and effect, and anti-woman. Black Comedian Lives Matter, Ms. Clinton.

Matthew Sablan said...

"A GOP insider pretending to be a Hillary strongman?"

-- Then why didn't the club give out the name? The club has the name. They called him prominent. They know, they're not talking. The one person with the information who could tell us has chosen to protect them.

Bryan C said...

"If it's only a threat of more speech, that's part of the free-speech regime we know and (some of us) love."

Yeah. The very idea that Hillary Clinton would target someone over an offensive online video is obviously just crazy. How could anyone possibly even imagine such a thing could happen?

Even if it weren't Hillary, Presidential candidates and their proxies don't get a free pass on using speech to make personal attacks against private individuals who've offended them in some way. Though, yes, they do have a right to disqualify themselves by doing it.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Or maybe it was a false flag op?"

-- Then the Laugh Factory should give us the name they are with holding so we can prove that. Masada is convinced he talked to the Clinton campaign, unless you're willing to call him gullible or a liar, there is no reason to think a Republican did it.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Might some recently graduated,over caffeinated, unpaid intern in the local campaign office called?"

-- Masada called him prominent, not Judicial Watch. Why do you think the Factory is lying?

MayBee said...

People who disagree that the joke is funny will focus on the joke and not on the larger issue. The joke is not the issue. The issue is the issue. Jokes are protected speech. And, just because you don't "think the joke is funny," that doesn't deprive the joke (and the teller) of certain protections.

Thank you for this.

damikesc said...

Standard repub response - freaking Pavlov dogs anytime someone rings the Clinton bell. Get stupid over this, then it's easy to dismiss real things

There is zero evidence that the owner is a Republican. Odds are strong that he is not.

Best odds are really just a way of publicity of the club

The Laugh Factory doesn't NEED publicity. It's the most well-known comedy club in the country and has been for a long time. This isn't a small little club here.

Next up is some intern

No comments from the campaign about a firing.

Matthew Sablan said...

Stop entertaining the people suggesting a false flag operation unless they're willing to call the owner a liar or gullible. It is HIS testimony we're relying on for it being a Clinton operative. Why shouldn't he be trusted? That's what they have to show if they want to pursue that line of reasoning.

William said...

On the plus side, it seems that at long last, whoever wins, comedians will have a president who is mockable. Our current president is so lofty and worthy that nothing about him deserves anything but reverence and praise........One of the perks of being a possible president is that an utterance is as good as a threat......This is a one day story. If Trump's campaign had done such a thing, it would be Cristallnacht. There would be deep think pieces about how the incident revealed the dark pathology of Trump's character and comedians would redouble their efforts to make jokes at his expense......I think if Suge Knight had simply told the Comedy Club owner that he didn't want any jokes made at his, Suge's, expense, then all such jokes would cease. This is kind of a hopeful sign. Hillary has less power than Suge Knight.

Mary Beth said...

The jokes seemed a bit blah. Is no one telling funny jokes about Hillary? Is it because there's just nothing funny to say about her or because comedians who come up with funny jokes about her decide not to tell them because they're worried about offending Dems/Hillary supporters?

mccullough said...

Either Hillary or some of her people are thin skinned. Sounds like her campaign wants a Safe Space. Go back to Wellesley.

Todd said...

OK, you want a funny Hillary joke? How about this...

So this lesbian walks into a bar and says to the guy sitting next to her, "Hey, that woman on TV sure is cute."

The guy says, "Who, Hillary?"

"No, that other woman. The one Hillary tried to destroy because she had the misfortune of getting raped by her husband, Bill."


What? You don't think that was funny? Hillary thought it was a riot!

The first rule of jokes is that all good humor should have a grain of truth in it.

Todd said...

Sorry if you did not think that joke was very funny. We can't all be Laslo...

Brando said...

"On the plus side, it seems that at long last, whoever wins, comedians will have a president who is mockable."

Really? The Left seems pretty determined to make any mocking of Hillary into an attack on All Women (TM). And some of the bigger organs of leftist comedy (e.g., SNL) can't seem to make actual Hillary jokes. Amy Poehler for years did a Hillary as though she was tired of being the smartest person in the room (an interesting bit of fantasy) and McKinnon's Hillary, while it often touches on this woman's woodenness and strangeness, doesn't land nearly the punches they've been taking at other candidates (including Sanders--so more than a "Dem thing" it appears to be personal to Hillary).

It'll be nice when a Republican wins someday because they we will get back to seeing lefty comedians doing some "truth to power" satire and ribbing, which has been largely absent lately.

furious_a said...

It isn't hard to imagine, given the Clinton Foundation's incestuously tangled tentacles of influence peddling, hiatus hiring, and enforcement agency connections that a surprise IRS audit, DOL interrogatory or OSHA inspection couldn't be arranged. Just the sort of dime-store thuggery one expects from the lese majeste cults-of-personality enveloping the Clintons and Obamas.

Remember, Citizens United was all about an unflattering film portrayal of Her Royal Haggardness.

Yes, pretty scary getting a threatening personal phone call from someone with that kind of weight (think "Kathleen Willey and Strobe Talbott's brother-in-law). Yes, if one's in the Comedy biz and makes fun of powerful people, one should expect threatening phone calls.

My advice, go South Park on them, double-down and keep the comedy coming...Cartman as the villain, Butters as his at-wits-end assistant, Kyle as the merry prankster. Laughter is the best bully repellant.

furious_a said...

Helps if the stand-up is funny. How about:

1>A re-enactment of Hillary's serpentine run at Tuzla airport
2>her first day in Marine boot camp trying to climb the rope or scale the wall
3>an episode of "Orange is the New Black" with Hillary as Cell Block D's boss butch
4>Hillary trying to install Windows 10 on her laptop or use a navigation app on her phone while her staff prints out her emails so she can read them...

...now THAT'S comedy.

Derp said...

The second one was funny. I think it would be great if Hillary had to be elected, if she threw out the rapist and brought her girlfriend in as First Lady. What is not funny about that?

I guess it's not funny if you are being loyal to Hillary, otherwise it is pretty funny.


Want a joke about W?

How does W know that Laura is having her period?

Cheney's dick tastes funny.

I like W but I can laugh at that one. Liberals have no sense of humor.

Real American said...

If Clinton thinks she's gonna get the same kid glove treatment from Comedians that Obama got, she's fooling herself.

MayBee said...

Wait, though. Althouse loves Titus and his poop and tits "humor". That's the lowest.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ari Fleisher, President Bush's spokesman, said "all Americans need to watch what they say, watch what they do" and the Media & Left lost their damn minds. The Bush Admin is threatening Americans, they're suppressing speech, they're chilling free expression. Slate referred to Fleisher's "Reign of Terror" for god's sake. Bush & Fleisher never threatened anyone with anything, but the Left insisted that this was dangerous rhetoric and must be denounced.

For the Clinton campaign, though, it's What could the campaign do? Was violence suggested? Was there some notion of getting law enforcement after him somehow? Never mind Mrs. Clinton's vast network of powerful, influential contacts within government and in the business community, never mind the Left's penchant for using the government power to oppose their political opponents (IRS, John Doe investigations, et al), never mind that Mrs. Clinton cast herself as instrumental in "getting" the "Innocence of Muslims" filmmaker--ensuring that he was locked up (for violations of his parole, but really to punish him for his supposedly-harmful expression)--no, based on the Professor's post I take it her attitude is that Mrs. Clinton's campaign is owed the benefit of the doubt here. Unless there was a specific threat you can document, it's all just free speech.

Can we put to rest the Left's insistence that power differentials mean otherwise OK interactions aren't Ok anymore? I mean, they used to talk shit about how a subordinate woman couldn't really consent to a powerful man's advances (due to the power dynamic) but that went out the window when Pres. Clinton used his intern as a humidor. I guess now we can drop this junk about how some people deserve safe spaces and separate sheltered realms due to their relative lack of power--if the Clinton campaign (with all their implied power) leaning on a private business is just another example of free speech then I'm not sure how the Left's objections to, say, Citizen's United make any sense at all. Hey, if it's "just speech" when the Clinton campaign tells a comedy club owner "nice place you have there, it'd be a shame if you had any problems" then it's "just speech" when some billion dollar company decides to buy some ads, or send their workers some pamphlets on the candidates, or something, right? It's all just speech, fight it with more speech. Let's fight!

Rick said...

Brando said...
McKinnon's Hillary, while it often touches on this woman's woodenness and strangeness, doesn't land nearly the punches they've been taking at other candidates (including Sanders--so more than a "Dem thing" it appears to be personal to Hillary).


It's not personal to Hillary, it's ex officio to her as the Democratic Standard Bearer.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...How could the campaign put him out of business? By what method, exactly? I'd like to know. What could the campaign do?

You ever apply for a liquor license, or have to pass a food service inspection, or a fire marshal inspection, or a business tax audit, or...deal with any of the myriad regulations, agencies, and code enforcement personnel this club owner likely has to deal with just to keep his doors open? No empathy for how difficult all that compliance can be, huh?

The more vague a threat can be the more effective it is, generally speaking. I doubt anyone said "if you don't stop playing that video we'll tell talent agency X to stop sending you comedians" or "we'll have your city council rezone your property and shut you down" or anything like that. Those things, though--both "legitimate speech" and "unethical use of personal connections with government employees who can fuck you up" are within the Clinton's campaign's power, though, and everyone knows it. The mere fact that they're calling at all, personally, is part of the implied threat--keep this between us, fella, or things'll be bad for you.

The "3 felonies a day" reality we live in means if they (the gov.) wants to get you as a private citizen, they likely can. It's much, much worse for a business/company/business owner, since they're subject to even more regulation and state control. The nature of the state's power is such that it'd be difficult to prove undue influence--what's prosecutorial discretion and what's doing a favor for a crony, after all--and the fact is by the time you got any kind of relief from the court you'd be bankrupt. Look at the tea party groups and the IRS--sure the DOJ now says they were unfairly targeted, that their treatment was wrong, but so what? Their goal was to influence an election, and that election is long gone. Some Lefty within a large, powerful institution made a decision to target some people she didn't like (political opponents) and nothing prevented it. The groups squaked, they complained, they told stories of biased treatment to anyone who would listen, and nothing changed, the Media didn't care, no one helped in time. That's the environment this business owner lives in--one where some faceless bureaucrat somewhere can ruin his life, destroy his business, all based on a mere whisper from the right person. Hey, who's to say that the food inspector isn't right, that he didn't deserve that failing grade? Can you PROVE it was politically motivated? Even if you could, would that un-ruin his business?

The Left is pretty quick to talk about how bad bullying is, but doesn't seem to mind to much when they're the bullies.

M Jordan said...

You have to understand, Ann, Democrats today no longer believe in argument. They believed in power. They now have power, they plan to use it.

So when the Clintons sense something they don't like, they aren't interested in the legality or morality of it; they're interested in shutting it down.

The only hope we have is an electoral victory. That is the only thing that stops them.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

IRS: Not a smidgen of corruption!

Clinton Foundation: Not a smidgen of corruption!

Koch brothers: dangerous, corrupting influence, denounce 'em from the Senate floor!

Derp said...

The seem to have their "Comedian Eruption Squad" on hair trigger alert.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Having an enemies list is bad if you're on the Right--it's de facto proof of your corruption, your evil.

Blacklisting people--refusing to hire them or work with them if you disagree with their positions/politics/etc--is bad if you're on the Right. It's proof of you inhumanity and shows that you're a bully, abusing your power to harm others.

If you're not on the Right, though...it's just more speech, it's just freedom of association, it's just free expression, and you'd better not whine about it, you baby.

stan said...

Wow. Ann, you ought to get out there in the real world just a bit. When a totally dishonest, thoroughly corrupt politician with a long track record of criminal activity sends someone to give you a warning, and that politician could become the most powerful person in the world, you have been threatened.

Hello? -- remember the IRS targeting?! The EPA?! The corruption of the justice dept?

Hello?

stan said...

Samuel Wilson, a former political worker in Clinton's second campaign for governor, remembers the candidate encountering a critic at a campaign appearance in a small town. After the critic told Clinton he was nothing but a "two-bit politician" and then walked away, Clinton turned to a campaign aide and said "write down the name of that motherfucker. When I'm back in office, he's a dead man."

"I remember his look. It was cold," Wilson said. "I don't want to think he wanted to kill him literally, but I'm sure some sort of revenge was inflicted later on."

campy said...

"The only hope we have is an electoral victory. That is the only thing that stops them."

Then there is no hope.

stan said...

"I believe in killing people who try to hurt you." -- Bill Clinton as quoted by George Stephy

Kevin said...

Ann Althouse said...How could the campaign put him out of business? By what method, exactly? I'd like to know. What could the campaign do?

Years ago, Mark Royko told a story - during one of Mayor Richard J. Daley's reelection campaigns, one of his campaign staff called the Art Institute of Chicago, wanting to hold a fundraiser in the Institute's ballroom. The campaign staffer was told politely that the Art Institute didn't do political events.

The next day, an army of Chicago building inspectors, health inspectors, fire inspectors, etc. descended on the Art Institute, and wrote the Institute up for hundreds of thousands of dollars in code violations.

Hillary would never be that vindictive, of course...

mikee said...

Kevin, Hillary would just let the IRS, DEA, ATF, et al., do their completely independent things to Masada all by themselves without any White House direction, just like Obama and Lerner did for 501c Republican groups before the 2012 election.

Would not even take her saying, "Who will rid me of this pesky Laugh Factory?"

Hillary supporters know to attack.

alirod said...

Do you realize there is absolutely no evidence that someone from the Clinton campaign made that call? No matter how much you hate Clinton, don't you feel any responsibility at all to vet the stuff you pass on? http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2015/11/hillary_clinton_laugh_factory_this_is_how_your_hillary_smear_sausage_gets.html

gspencer said...

Because of the Streisand Effect more have seen/heard the Hillary jokes than if no phone call was made.

eric said...

I didn't read through all the posts here but seriously? You don't see the threat?

This is the same woman who had a filmmaker arrested because he insulted Mohammad.

If her campaign tells you to stop doing something, you've got to take it very seriously. You'd be stupid not to.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

alirod said...Do you realize there is absolutely no evidence that someone from the Clinton campaign made that call?

Fake but accurate, alirod, fake but accurate. Does the truth matter, man? It didn't for the movie Truth! Good luck pretending like we're supposed to be super-careful about veracity now, you just put Humpty Dumpty right back together and everything'll be fine.

I learned it...I learned it from you, Leftists, I learned it from watching you!

alirod said...

"What's that? This already sounds really unlikely? I guess so. It sure doesn't seem very smart for a highly visible presidential candidate, does it? Still, Judicial Watch says it happened, and Fox and Rush and Sean are all over it too. So I guess it must be true. They wouldn't just make stuff up, would they?

Well, sure they would. What happened, according to Jamie Masada, founder of the Laugh Factory, is that a few days ago he got a comically threatening phone call from someone named "John." And that's it. John never said he was with the Clinton campaign. John never called back. Masada never told Judicial Watch about it. In other words, there's almost literally nothing there." --Kevin Drum

jacksonjay said...


The professor acts like she never heard of Vince Foster!

OK, it's a joke. Is it OK to joke about Vince Foster?

eric said...

alirod reminds me of the Clinton impeachment.

Before he was impeached the line was, there is zero evidence of a stained blue dress and even talking about it is beneath the dignity of television talking heads!

After the evidence was indisputable, the line was, so what? All Presidents do it.

Ken Mitchell said...

"How could the campaign put him out of business? By what method, exactly? I'd like to know. "

"Dat's a nice little club youse got dere. It'd be a shame if something happened to it."

Clear enough, Ann? You don't think the Clinton Crime Family doesn't have it in them to at least make the threat, even if you don't think they'd carry through?

Gahrie said...

So, it's very low humor, mostly based on the idea that Hillary isn't a real woman.

Welcome to the world of every Conservative woman for the last fifty years.

jacksonjay said...


Who was that thug (He was white, so spare me the microagression bullshit.) that worked for the Clintons in the WH? I think he was the one blamed for the 900 FBI files.

Wikipedia had the answer. Craig Livingstone. Director of the White House's Office of Personnel Security, Craig Livingstone was apparently credentialed as a bouncer in a DC bar before moving to the top in the Clinton Family. No one seemed to know who hired him or why he became the Director of the White House Office of Personnel Security.

The law prof seems very naive at times. Maybe this is another one of those extra tricky, sarcastic, word play, mind games.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Do you realize there is absolutely no evidence that someone from the Clinton campaign made that call? No matter how much you hate Clinton, don't you feel any responsibility at all to vet the stuff you pass on?"

-- We have what Masada said. Even in the Slate piece, he says he has no idea. The Clinton campaign, obviously, denies they did this. Here is an interview where he talks about it and he says that he has no idea. Apparently he has decided to walk back his initial claims/clarify what he said. Which leaves us in the middle again.

Mark said...

The person who received the phone call considers it a joke, Fox and the right ignore that fact and take the word of a 3rd party instead and run with this fake smear.

Not caring about reality or facts, partisans run with this as an example.

These are people who complained about gotcha questions at a debate ....

Derp said...

What this sounds like is a repeat of the Clinton pattern of threatening entertainers, as she threatened Louise Caire Clarke over the Harry and Louise ads, telling her that she had to make a new ad rebutting the original because Hillary "has friends in Hollywood" and can be very good or very bad for her career. Clarke said in an interview with ITV, I think, that I saw in the UK in the early 2000s that she was shocked, as a Democrat, because she believed that this was the kind of things Republicans did.

Clarke has now in fact made ads supporting health care "reform" and has declared her loyalty to Hillary and is now forgiven.

So a fixer got to Masada, made up this improbable sounding cover story and forced him to go with it. The first story sounds far more authentic and the second story doesn't even make sense.

Derp said...

Notice how they pour in when they think they have a rebuttal though, and notice their silence on the Broaddrick rape. Except for garage who says that all Clinton's victims were whores, he still fights the good fight on that.

AllenS said...

Let me tell you a little something, Jamie Masada, tell everyone the name of the person who called you, or shut the fuck up.

If you won't provide a name, then it didn't happen.

Ann Althouse said...

Check out the new post. Masada said the guy's name was "John" and he doesn't remember the last name.

AllenS said...

Well, that sure narrows it down.

David Carlson said...

and the most likely option proves true

Self Promotion by the comedy club. How much would it of cost them to get this much advertising.

rubes

JackOfClubs said...

This is the kind of "comedy" that Carly Fiorina would be smart enough to just ignore. Any student of medieval history would know that court jesters and fools are immune from attack. It doesn't hurt Hilary and, if her campaign thinks it does, they must really be desperate. Getting down in the mud with them is really dumb, 1st Amendment or no.

Jeff Norman said...

Not saying Clinton associates wouldn’t misbehave, but Jamie Masada’s accusation is too vague to be taken seriously. So why are you nice people pretending there’s something to analyze? He PARAPHRASED an ANONYMOUS person. It’s nothingness.