Another reason to dig ABC News’ @JakeTapper

Great story via Yahoo’s The Ticket:

Jimmy Kimmel delivered a barrage of edgy jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner (WHCD) late last month in Washington. But after consulting with ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper, Kimmel decided several were too over-the-top to make the cut.

“I had some jokes about Rick Santorum,” Kimmel told Howard Stern in an interview on Sirius radio. “I said something like—well, I didn’t say it, but, ‘Newt Gingrich’s campaign is so dead Mitt Romney wants to baptize it and Rick Santorum wants to put it in a jar and show it to his kids.’ People went, ‘Uh-oh.’ I ran it by people who go to this thing.” (The joke made reference to the Santorums’ decision to bring their dead baby son home following a miscarriage.)

“Who do you run it by?” Stern asked, according to the transcript published on Romenesko.com.

“There’s a guy named Jake Tapper at ABC News,” Kimmel said. “I ran jokes by him. He’s been there a lot of times,” the comedian said, referring to the annual event.

“I tried to help Jimmy with the temperature of the room,” Tapper wrote in an email to Yahoo News. “And yes, I thought that joke would cause the room to turn against him, perhaps even causing a stampede, with the Hilton getting in on the tar and feather concession. Seeking to spare him a Rich Little-like reception, I offered my suggestions—such as they are—as to which jokes might bomb.”

I don’t know much about Kimmel, but even with that it surprises me he would consider putting the Santorum “joke” in his WHCD routine. In fact, it surprises me that ANY quality comedian would even consider it. I figure most seasoned comedians have lines even they wouldn’t cross during the course of their comedy acts – and “jokes” about someone’s deceased baby most definitely meet that “do not cross this line” qualification.

Hats off to Jake Tapper, who not only does what few veteran DC journalists do by way of keeping this administration accountable for its words and actions, but who also knows how to keep wayward comedians from straying too far out of bounds. Next thing you know, we’ll find out Jake rescues stray puppies and kittens in his spare time. (Hah!)

Moving from tragedy to farce, the UN condemns the evil that is… Canada

**Posted by Phineas

Well, at least they’re on the same wavelength as South Park.

No, seriously. The “Special Rapporteur on the right to food” for the UN Human Rights Council (We’ve met them before) has decried the lack of “a national right to food strategy” in one of the wealthiest, best-run democracies on the planet:

“Canada has long been seen as a land of plenty. Yet today one in ten families with a child under six is unable to meet their daily food needs. These rates of food insecurity are unacceptable, and it is time for Canada to adopt a national right to food strategy,” said Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, on the last day of his official visit to the country.*

“What I’ve seen in Canada is a system that presents barriers for the poor to access nutritious diets and that tolerates increased inequalities between rich and poor, and Aboriginal non-Aboriginal peoples. Canada is much admired for its achievements in the area of human rights, which it has championed for many years. But hunger and access to adequate diets, too, are human rights issues — and here much remains to be done.”

The UN human rights expert was nonetheless confident that the country could move towards establishing food systems that deliver adequate and affordable diets for all, and called upon the Canadian government to convene a national food conference that would clarify the allocation of responsibilities between the federal level, the provinces and territories. “All political parties have expressed support for the establishment of a national food policy, and the engagement of citizens through food policy councils across the country is truly impressive. But in order to address them, Canada must first recognize the reality of the challenges it faces,” he stated.

And, at the same time that Canada is heartlessly letting people starve, De Schutter covers all his bases by warning an even great number are obese:

Second, more than one in four Canadian adults are obese, and almost two thirds of the population is overweight or obese, costing at least 5 billion Canadian dollars annually in health care costs and in lost productivity. “This is also a result of poverty: adequate diets have become too expensive for poor Canadians, and it is precisely these people who have to pay the most when they live in food deserts and depend on convenience stores that charge higher prices than the main retailers.”

Over-fed, under-fed, wrongly-fed… Canada just can’t win.

Of course, the UN bureaucrat’s recommendation is… Wait for it… more government intervention in the economy, including (he hints) price regulations and income guarantees for farmers. And, of course, it’s a shame that school meal policies are left to the locals. National planning is the answer.

And it’s not just for access to food. When complaining about the lack of access to nutritious diets, De Schutter subtly suggests a need to control what Canadians eat, too. This guy would be right at home in a North Carolina preschool. Or maybe De Schutter, Mayor Bloomberg, and Michelle Obama could get their own FoodTV show, “Nanny cooks — and you’ll like it!”

Gosh, I don’t know. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that the democratically elected governments of Canada –federal, provincial, and local– can decide for themselves what kind of food policy Canadians need. If Canadians need any at all, since they’re perfectly capable of deciding for themselves what they want to eat and whether they have access to what they need.

Though I’ll grant it’s a bit much to expect a transnationalist statist bureaucrat from the mack-daddy of transnationalist statist organizations to grasp that simple concept, since it means he’d have fewer opportunities for globe-hopping, expenses-paid  trips to hector other people.

Naturally, the Canadian government wasn’t amused, as Reuters reports:

After De Schutter complained in a newspaper interview that no federal cabinet minister had agreed to meet him, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, from Canada’s aboriginal Inuit population, met him on Wednesday.

But the meeting did not seem to go well.

“I met with the individual this morning and I found him to be an ill-informed, patronizing academic studying, once again, the aboriginal people, Inuit and Canada’s Arctic from afar,” Aglukkaq told Parliament.

Looks like DeSchutter’s report will get the reception it deserves — a trip to the ash can.

via Nile Gardiner, to whom I give the last observation:

One would think the United Nations would be concerned with real deprivation and hunger, in places like North Korea and Zimbabwe, instead of focusing on one of the richest countries in the world, with among the highest overall living standards on the planet. Even the UN’s own Human Development Index (HDI) ranks Canada sixth in the world out of 187 countries. But then again, De Schutter represents the discredited UN Human Rights Council, which includes in its membership some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, such as China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Its bar has been set so low that even Libya under Colonel Gaddafi was elected to membership. The HRC is a farce, and their latest report on Canada is further proof of it.

Indeed.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)