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Election 2004







Media bloviators suck wind on Election Night

By Lars Trodson

The results are in and it's true: The old, white media bloviators on the networks have served more time on TV than the oldest member of the ancient Soviet Politburo, where it was patriotic to die in office just after passing one's 90th birthday.

As the election night dragged on, the white, white-haired pundits wheezed and huffed through their arid analyses, all of them puffing out of their suits like so many blow-dried penguins.

Larry King looked so tired as he tried to figure out what Wolf Blitzer was saying he had to prop his head up by resting his chin on his hand.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews set a record for describing each new non-event as "interesting." "This is so interesting," Matthews told his audience 1,042 times, one time for each viewer, apparently.

CNN's Jeff Greenfield, who had obviously been listening to Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, sleepwalked through his analysis and looked a bit ashen. Blitzer, in a moment of confusion, gave electoral college votes to "President Kerry." As cadaverous as Fox's Brit Hume looked, he still looked better than the Gollum-like Carl Cameron.

The only fun of the night: the dagger-like stares emitting from Andrea Mitchell's eyes every time Scarborough interrupted her to offer another pearl of wisdom on MSNBC. The only problem for Mitchell was that Scarborough, as annoying as he is, was right most of the time.

And where was the ubiquitous Howard Fineman? Obviously blowdrying his beautiful copper-colored hair and rethinking his plans to join a Kerry admin. Maybe he can call the White House and convince the Bushies he wasn't THAT much of a Kerry sycophant.

Fan writes moving letter to embattled media icon

Today's Media Horoscope

Bill O'Reilly


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your image as a bombastic crusader for morality may be harmed by an underling who rejects your crude romantic advances. Don't let sexual misconduct and blatant hypocrisy dissuade you from spouting phony platitudes about family values. A substantial cash payoff should convince her to shut up.

Dear Mr. Bill O'Reilly:

I'm sorry to hear about your recent troubles, but I think they will only serve to deepen your already profound understanding of the human condition and to continue your unparalleled commitment to guys like me, "Joe Six-Pack."

Anyway, as to why I'm writing. I know you've been looking out for me, Bill. And I've been sticking with you, too. I've been helping the cause for the little guy like me by buying all your Factor gear, all the stuff you sell online, and it certainly gives me comfort to look at all my Factor mugs and tee shirts and other stuff that I have in my little room here. I buy your books, too, although I have to admit I haven't read them.

At any rate, Bill, I did something at work a little while back. You see, I followed your advice about not making excuses for myself, about admitting when I'm wrong, about taking it like a man. When I admitted to my faults, Bill, I did it because you gave me such good advice, over and over again, and because I knew that you, too, would admit to anything if you were also ever caught in a jam.

Well, I liked this girl at work, see, and you can relate to that, Bill, and she liked me, or so I thought. I'd call her up at home and tell her some things I thought would make her feel good, things like taking her on vacation, or how to make love like a porn star (I bought Ms. Jameson's book because it seemed you liked Jenna, too, Bill), or what we could do together in the shower.

Well, get this, Bill. She was no friend. She actually TAPED our conversations and she went to management and guess what? They asked me about it, and I thought to myself, well, what would Bill do? I said he wouldn't spin it. He'd take responsibility for it, if he ever did such a thing - which he would never do, but anyway. Besides, I'm no idiot Democrat. I don't find fault or blame for my actions. I'm no VICTIM. I admitted to it, and guess what, Bill?

They fired me.

I don't really have any money for high-priced lawyers, or even a low-priced lawyer for that matter, Bill. So now I'm out after 17 years at the plant.

And worse.

I don't need to tell you that things aren't going so well right now, Bill. While I sure am happy I can still watch you every night - luckily we have TV time at 8 o'clock - and know you're still looking out for me. Because when I look at you, Bill, I feel comfort and happiness knowing the system works exactly as it always has, and you, with your tireless efforts of late, are continuing to make sure of that.

Yes, sir. I sure am proud of you. And I know that you are proud of me for owning up to my mistakes and admitting my flaws, no matter what the cost. I may be out of a job and in jail, but I have my integrity intact.

I just want to let you know that when I get back on my feet I'll buy a whole new bunch of Factor stuff, because I know if I do that they'll keep you on the air, and it'll give you the energy and support you'll need to keep looking out for the little guy - me. I'll do that, just as soon as I finish up my sentence and get back into the workplace.

And, rest assured, Bill, even though I'm in prison here I'll keep taking it like a man. Just as you would, I'm sure.

Thanks for the great advice over the years, Bill.
You're the best,

Tad Toesucker
Poughkeepsie Correctional Facility

Kerry takes aim at gun-toter voters

By John Breneman

Eager to prove he's a macho regular guy, John Kerry went hunting over the weekend and bagged a terrorist.

Clad in a $1.4 million L.L. Bean flak jacket and brandishing a borrowed 12-gauge shotgun, Kerry emerged from an Ohio cornfield flashing a bloody thumbs-up and reporting, "Everybody got one."

An aide said Kerry planned to have his terrorist stuffed and mounted in his den on Boston's Beacon Hill.

President Bush chided Kerry for posing as a phony terrorist hunter and announced plans for a pre-election safari in Iraq, during which he planned to blast at least five or six "freedom haters."

Several pundits drew comparisons between Kerry's high-profile hunting expedition and President Bush's decision to dress up in a nifty Navy flightsuit for his infamous "Mission Accomplished" moment, though some argued that Bush's phony photo-op was at least 10 times phonier and more distasteful than Kerry's.

In related news, the news media is trumpeting a possible celebrity death match between Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger as both camps fire up their attack machines for a final week of pounding each other's integrity in the battleground states.

Today's Presidential Horoscopes

John Kerry
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- Excessive wordiness may distract people from fully understanding your mixed messages. Future job prospects may hinge on your ability to expose a well-liked adversary's pathological dishonesty. Be decisive.

George W. Bush
CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- Refuse to let facts and common sense intrude on your vision of what is right. Affecting a tough persona helps you compensate for feelings of intellectual inadequacy. Don't be distracted by rising death tolls. Stay the course.

See more Horoscopes

(Free delivery of fresh satire every M/W/F, no Spam, strict privacy policy)

Fixing the Sunday headlines

By John Breneman

Perhaps you are one of the millions of Americans who likes to read the Sunday paper to catch up on the news.

That's all well and good. But the paper doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, did you know that most mainstream newspapers are almost completely devoid of satire?

So if you feel you are not getting the whole story, that your "traditional" newspaper does not provide you with the timely, outrageous fake news that you need, look no further than the Humor Gazette.

Today we introduce a new feature called "Behind the Headlines." Or maybe it's called "Subversive Subheds" or "Headline/Punchline."

Here's how it works: Below, printed in bold, are a series of REAL headlines from Sunday's Boston Globe. Repeat: the bold headlines are real. The trick here is that printed just beneath the real headlines are what we call FAKE headlines that add both humor and context to the actual news. Ready?

Candidates' war rooms to reassess battle plans
Bush expected to pack heat for next debate

Supreme Court to start new term tomorrow
Majority of justices stand ready to reappoint Bush in '04

Gunfire, bombings kill 44 in India
That's OK, majority to be reincarnated as spider monkeys

At rumbling Mount St. Helens, hazard level is raised
Hundreds flee wrath of fiery mountain bitch

Afghan warlords hunt for votes
Local candidate promises two camels in every garage

Backroom dealing a Capitol trend
Key votes can sell for up to $14 million

Cheney presses Hussein-Qaeda link
VP still believes lying is key to victory on Nov. 2

Two soldiers write about the depravity of war

One of the burning questions of this political season is whether John Kerry participated in or was witness to acts of depravity while a navy officer during Vietnam. The question has opened up old wounds -- wounds not quite yet healed -- from 30 years ago. Kerry testified before Congress in the early 1970s and repeated what some of his fellow soldiers had told him about atrocities committed during battle.


But the very nature of the debate underscores, as it should, the insanity of war. War creates an atmosphere where decent people are thrown into a cauldron of madness, where the rules of engagement change overnight, and where opportunities for inhuman behavior present themselves when they otherwise, in a less violent world, would not.

It is easy for us, on the sidelines, to condemn what happened at Abu Ghraib prison, or at Buchenwald, for that matter -- because we were not there. Would all of us have acted just as inhumanly, as we would like to believe we never would? That's the scary thing. Or would we have risen above the actions of the mob to be the voice of sanity? We don't know.

But while we consider the question of whether John Kerry is telling the truth or not, we can listen to two different accounts from two different wars, both of which unveil the sense of anger and chaos that war can cause. One, from the Civil War, is told by an unnamed Connecticut soldier who recounts a disgusting episode of casual bigotry. And the other is from World War II veteran Lenny Bruce, who unleashes a torrent of lingering resentment during a drug-besotted concert in 1962.

Did John Kerry witness acts of depravity during Vietnam? Maybe, maybe not. But he had many brothers in arms who, unfortunately, had.

This is from an issue of the Connecticut War Record, published in 1864:

The 21st (Conn. Volunteers) were ordered on board the Transport "John Farren," but were subsequently disembarked and returned to their position in the 'Rifle Pits.' We were again ordered to embark, and returned to the boat for that purpose. Arriving at the wharf we found that through some misunderstanding of the Quartermaster, the 'John Farren,' which was laden with all our baggage, had been completely loaded down with negroes and their baggage. The way those darkies and effects were transferred from the boat to the shore 'was a caution' to the 'poor emancipated Africans.' After the negroes were all disembarked our men were ordered on board to unload the baggage, and mounting the hurricane deck, where it had been packed away, they charged upon the confused mass of African possessions and commenced transferring them in a very unceremonious manner to the wharf. The scene which followed baffles description - and I doubt if the history of the whole war can present a like scene, or the Emancipation Proclamation of Father Abraham ever called forth another such sight. Feather beds fell like snow flakes, only rather more forcibly, upon the heads of frantic searchers for 'their own' household goods. Bedding, clothing, all manner of domestic goods, filled the air and fell like rain in one confused and inextricable mass. Wenches displaying the pluck and muscle of a Hercules in giving punishment to some luckless darkey, who in her fruitless search for her undiscovered property had invaded the rights of another.

Hooped skirts were hurled gracefully from the deck to come down enveloping some corpulent wench, and adding to her wrath, already rampant. Some were crying, some laughing, some fighting, and all wrangled amid the shower of 'bag and baggage,' which 'mingling fell.' And thus we left them, to be subsequently conveyed to Newbern, but if they ever live to sort that baggage they will exceed the average length of African longevity.

Yes, well. And this is a report from the liberators.

On Dec. 4, 1964, Lenny Bruce performed at the Gate of Horn nightclub. "Let the buyer beware," the emcee intones, probably for two reasons. Bruce was known not just for his comedy, but for his well-known use of obscenities. At this concert, he also seems to be quite stoned.

Nonetheless, even under the influence, Bruce could be funny and devastating. Here, he is slashing, as he asks the question "Why are Americans hated everywhere?" He answers it by recounting what he says happened between American soldiers and the Europeans who were needing some of the things the Americans carried. It isn't a happy tale, nor was it meant to be.

"I think I did a little more traveling than anyone in this audience. I think I've been on more invasions than anyone in this audience. I was on six. I made some real daddies. I was on a cruiser called the USS Brooklyn. I was a 2nd class gunners mate. I was [unintelligible] from '42 to '45 July -- that's when Germany fell, in July. Doing it's dirty. They hate Americans everywhere, do you know why? Because they fucked all their mothers for chocolate bars and don't you forget that, jim. You don't think those kids have heard that since 1942? 'You know what those Americans did to your poor mother?' They lined her up those bastards -- your father had to throw up his poor guts in the kitchen while he waited out there and that master sergeant schtupped your poor mother for their stinkin' coffee and their eggs and their friggin' cigarettes. Those Americans. That's it, jim. That's all they've heard, those kids. Those kids are now 23, 25 years old. The Americans. There's the guy that did it to my mother. Would you assume that they would say 'There's the guy who fucked my mother. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for that and for giving us candy?"

Lenny Bruce was arrested later in that performance and today it's easy to ask: Was Bruce arrested for swearing, or for saying things like the above which you could imagine were the things no one, ever, wanted to hear?

War makes people do things and say things they'd rather never have done in the first place and it certainly makes them do things they'd just as soon forget.

One way, of course, to avoid this heartache is to not put people in this terrible and unfair situation in the first place.

Osama world's least popular baby name

By Chris Elliott

Moderate Arabs in America face a peculiar and growing crisis -- what to name their children. Largely due to the rapid pace of enemy-making under the Bush doctrine, more and more famous terrorists are being cranked out every day, gradually winnowing the available pool of appropriate Arabic baby names.

For instance, it would take a really "in your face" fundamentalist Muslim to name his kid Osama. Likewise, Muktada is now unavailable to the moderate Muslim family. While he is unknown to most Americans, the terrorist exploits that have landed Amjad Husain Farooqui at the top of the Sindh police's most wanted terrorist list, have removed the very popular name of Amjad from the lexicon of available Arabic baby names.

As if Abu Nidal's terrorist activities weren't enough, the spate of car bombs in Iraq attributed to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has resulted in the name Abu dropping drastically in popularity. The same is true of the name Omar, the moniker of the blind cleric who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

There is always the default name of Mohammed as an option, as Mohammed Atta's high profile participation in the terror attacks of September 11 notwithstanding, the chief prophet of Islam will never be eclipsed by any single terrorist. Still, most modern American Arabs are looking for something with a bit more panache than the tried and true Mohammed.

Other second tier terrorist names, not well-known in the states yet, but still famous for terrorism among those in the know include Shoukat, Asif, Naveed, Syed, Chhota, and Asim.

"It's terrible really," said New York City cab driver Ahkmed Hassim. "Our first son, Osama, was born in 1995, and now all of the kids at school are constantly bombarding him with spitballs, knocking his turban off, that sort of thing. We have another child on the way, and we don't want to make the same mistake again."

White Americans have traditionally fallen victim to relatively few scourges, and as such have not had to deal with the problem of a lack of appropriate baby names. As long as Mom and Dad stay off the sauce through the paperwork and avoid "Adolph," "Ghengis," and "Tojo," it is usually smooth identity-sailing for little Egbert. Not so for followers of Islam.

"Look, it's already hard enough enduring the stares and muttered curses," Ahkmed Hassim said. "We don't need people to think we're trying to make a point with our children's names. I blame Bush for this. If he weren't so unilateral in his foreign policy, there wouldn't be this kind of violent reaction from the Islamic world. One thing is for sure. If it's a boy, I'm definitely not naming him George."

Gazette endorses Bush

Now more than ever, as we wage the war against terror in Washington and Iraq, America needs a brash, uncompromising president who is not afraid to take action in the face of questionable intelligence -- a man capable of making profound, far-reaching decisions undistracted by knowledge, logic and reason.

Winning the White House's war in Iraq will require a cocky, shoot-from-the-lip leader who doesn't give a Texas damn what other nations think of us -- an aggressive, unapologetic war president determined to ignore and discredit nagging voices of dissent during these difficult times.

Now more than ever America needs George W. Bush, shrewd son of a rich Republican dynasty who understands it is more imperative to talk about moral values than to actually embody them -- a folksy, faux gun-slinger skilled in shrugging off seemingly damaging developments with a soundbite and a smirk.

When the Good Lord informed President Bush that Saddam Hussein must go, he did not waver or fret about international opposition. He wisely heeded God's instructions, smoked the WMD-packing madman into a hole and took him out.

The world is surely a safer place now that the al Qaeda-loving dictator is no longer in power. Who could deny that we become more secure with each terrorist who is killed or stacked up naked in a pile?

Indeed, we know we are safer because -- though the wrath of Allah may rain down upon us at any moment -- President Bush keeps repeating that he is making us safer.

Quibbling over past statements about weapons of mass destruction and links between Iraq and al Qaeda does not do America any good now. This anti-Bush rhetoric is the stuff of simpering Saddam sympathizers who think they can have their uranium yellow cake and eat it too.

Sometimes we are moved to ask: What part of "you're with us or you're with the terrorists" don't these people understand?

Also hurting the cause are those who would question why 1,000 young Americans must make the ultimate sacrifice to take over a country where no weapons have yet been found. To this we say, simply: Freedom-hating thug. Hated America. Madman. World a safer place.

Critics may seize upon some of the president's words to paint him as a thick-headed, born-again slacker who is intellectually and morally unfit for his job as leader of the free world. Some even mock his alternative pronunciation of the explosively symbolic word "nuclear."

But when the president said recently, "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we," he meant to trumpet his vigilance against evildoers, not re-ignite charges that his administration's actions have put us at greater risk. We must understand that this is a man so composed in the face of an unspeakable tragedy that he continued to read "My Pet Goat" to schoolchildren upon learning of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Yes, do not misunderestimate George W. Bush. Family jewels and fancy schools do not guarantee a facility with fancy words like "malfeasance" and "subliminible." So what if he has five ways to say "Abu Ghraib" or seems to have forgotten about bin Laden?

The important thing is he believes he has the ability to communicate with the Lord, and thus will not be constrained by the separation of church and state as he protects the God-given right of each fetus to own a gun.

We must not let some decorated military "hero" cut short the divine mission of a man who whose own stealthy service during the Vietnam War helped keep the homefront safe for debauchery.

See, the president has told us in no uncertain terms that his bleeding Purple Heart liberal opponent plans to raise taxes by $8 trillion, decimate the U.S. military and stamp out family values.

Yes, America should be wary of John Kerry. What kind of flip-flopper fights bravely for his country then turns around and talks about the horrors of war?

President Bush not only supported the war in Vietnam, he completed his Air National Guard service so masterfully that there are no eye-witness accounts of it to be found, and certainly no embarrassing politically motivated Bronze Star incidents.

Now, as commander-in-chief, he battles enemies old and new while protecting our way of life from threats posed by stem-cell research, gun control and the ultimate menace to our society, gay marriage.

And so, as the most important election of our time draws near, do not be fooled by partisan Democratic claims or valid independent research that President Bush has harmed the economy with his tax cuts for the rich, damaged our nation's stature in the eyes of the world and needlessly sacrificed thousands of American and Iraqi lives.

As the president might say, now is not the time to not stay the course. Make no mistake, that would be a victory for the terrorists as they keep trying to weaken our resolve.

So if you want a president who would never exercise sensitivity in bludgeoning Iraq into democracy, a president who understands that a rising death toll means lower unemployment, a president whose men will do whatever it takes to get him back into the White House, vote for George W. Bush on November 2.

John Breneman
Editor, Humor Gazette

Satire newspaper flip-flops, already endorsed John Kerry

The N-U-C-L-E-A-R litmus test

By Chris Elliott

The Democratic National Convention is behind us, and the case has been stated for change. There have been niceties and tributes, and there has been rancor and vitriol. Surely though, the event's highlight was John Kerry's acceptance speech. Kerry touched upon on all relevant points that will determine the election's outcome, and he did so with all of the grace that could have been expected. One particularly high point for me was his pronunciation of the word "nuclear." The "c" was pronounced immediately before the "l" and there was no insertion between the two letters of an arbitrary letter "y." To appropriate a well-worn phrase, John Kerry hit the pronunciation of the word "nuclear" out of the park.

It was awesome. For the first time since Al Gore's campaign four years ago, I was observing a man in the pursuit of our highest office who could pronounce a word that most of us grew up with.     MORE

Chris Elliott can be reached at

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