Behead Jay Leno
So what was it that Jay Leno actually did? Not a lot when you think of it. Indulged in a bit of light hearted entertainment at Brian Cowen’s expense. What odds? Virtually the whole country was doing that after his recent Good Morning Ireland performance so Leno just helped internationalise things in a humorous sort of way. The morning after the night before interview had already made its way to the international press and its face was much sterner than Leno’s.
Any one familiar with the Jay Leno Tonight show will know he is renowned for his sketches that invite ridicule. He opens his show by displaying a photo and asking the audience what the person caught on camera does for a living. On this occasion he gave them three possibilities to choose from: bartender, politician or comic. When Leno announced that the guy having a good time in the picture was a politician, not just any old politician but ‘Brian Cowen, Prime Minister of Ireland’ the studio audience fell about itself laughing. Leno could just as easily have said Boris Cowen and few would have noticed. Then just to spice things up a bit the Tonight host said ‘oh God it’s nice to know we are not the only country with drunken morons, isn’t it?’ True enough. They overpopulate the world. In BIFFO’s defence it has to be said that if he is a drunken moron he is not alone amongst Irish politicians. First among equals maybe but definitely not on his Jack Daniels.
Almost as many people are estimated to have viewed Leno’s Tonight show as live in Ireland. No small number to be mocked and scorned in front of. Needless to say the patriots of Ireland – who only last week were all gleeful at BIFFO’s misfortune - began to complain to RTE’s Liveline, insisting on an apology from the NBC network which features Leno’s show. Cowen, however, even if he was smarting refrained from getting involved. He might even have decided to taken it on the chin and passed it off as a comedy skit, something that goes with the turf. In any event NBC don’t look like they are for folding and giving into the demands of patriotic Ireland (probably none other than the stalwarts of local Fianna Fail cumainn). Good for NBC and anybody else who stands up against the humour haters and in defence of the profane, the sacrilegious and the right to mock. There are enough maniacs running around in religious circles screaming ‘blasphemy’ at whatever it is annoys their fancy without the creation of secular saints, to whose defence will spring every charlatan and their axe.
As for BIFFO, have as many as you like Brian. You are just toasting the national Zeitgeist all the way down.