Yesterday the website Funny or Die released an episode of “Between Two Ferns” in which the host, Zack Galifianakis, interviewed Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, Galifianakis lost all credibility with this interview. In the course of the puffball segment—in which Galifianakis asked no substantive questions of Clinton and refused to challenge her in any way—Funny or Die humanized a dangerous woman.
Galifianakis is a taxpaying citizen with an obligation to help keep an incompetent felon from reaching the most powerful position in the world. He failed that obligation yesterday. Galifianakis—either unaware or indifferent to the corrupt and serially dishonest overtones of Clinton’s entire political life—chose to fawn all over Clinton instead of grilling her over her constant lies, her reckless foreign policy and her opportunistic flip-flopping over the past few years.
Galifianakis and the people at Funny or Die aren’t lying criminals themselves. They just don’t mind if other people are. Which is just as bad.
Comedy stars and website runners can ignore how really dangerous Clinton is, because to them, she isn’t dangerous. They’re not dead ambassadors, Foreign Service officers or CIA contractors killed on Clinton’s watch; they’re not the parents of Benghazi victims to whom Clinton openly lied; they’re not the filmmaker arrested because Clinton needed a dupe; they’re not victimized women thrown under the bus by Clinton herself; they’re not black men whom Clinton unfairly slandered or black women she unfairly dismissed or black children she unfairly demonized; they’re not the millions of American citizens Clinton accused of being “deplorable” and “irredeemable;” they’re not the mentally ill man the Clintons executed as a cover-up for Bill’s sexual infidelities.
The producers at Funny or Die didn’t care about any of this; they simply wanted to invite Clinton onto the program to show America what a fun lady she is.
Hillary Clinton is not entertainment. She is a dangerous demagogue. This was a cheap clickbait ploy, nothing more. Galifianakis has a responsibility as an American during a pivotal time in his country’s history. Would he swap jokes with Sid Blumenthal or any other of Clinton’s racist birther friends?
Galifianakis isn’t a journalist. But that doesn’t mean we should let him off the hook for making a sympathetic comedy short with someone who broke multiple federal laws and almost certainly compromised American security in the process.
Galifianakis was working from an old, outdated script, one that misses the magnitude of this year’s election. By treating Clinton like every other guest, he was normalizing Clinton’s unceasing duplicity, her reckless incompetence, and her ruthlessly self-serving political impulses.
America should be infuriated, and Galifianakis should be ashamed. We deserve better than this—better than a comedy yes-man who is willing to treat a known criminal as if she were a normal run-of-the-mill politician. This election is about much more than that. I hope Galifianakis will realize his mistakes and apologize; if he refuses to do that, I hope he closes down his Between Two Ferns segment before he does any more damage to the American republic.