Basically, Richard Cohen Wants You To Know He Goes To Insidery Funerals

by Jack Stuef

Do not invite this man to your party. Somebody probably made that mistake once.Like many professionals of a certain age, Richard Cohen goes to a lot of funerals. Very, very, very soon, he will attend his own, and everyone will be able to laugh in his face about how stupid he was. But for now, he must write Washington Post op-eds letting us know that he goes to, like, the most important memorial services ever. Case in point: He went to Richard Holbrooke’s last week! What a hott ticket, right? Whom did he have to blow to go to that? Everyone? Yes. So Richard Cohen had to get an article out of this, right? But what to say? How about, “Barack Obama hates Richard Holbrooke so much that he gave a better speech in Tucson”? Sure, that works.

This is a tale of two speeches. The first was the glorious oration Barack Obama delivered last Wednesday at a memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shootings. Obama did not merely rise to the occasion, he vaulted over high expectations, offering words that were balm to the ear – thoughtful, wise, moving. He was a president as father to his nation, comforting his people in their dizzying grief.

Two days later, the president spoke at yet another memorial service, this one for Richard C. Holbrooke, the celebrated diplomat who had died, unexpectedly and shockingly, just last month. This speech was flat, neither eloquent nor moving, nor the least bit personal. It was phoned in by a man who sat patiently on the stage as others praised a beloved figure, a leviathan of ideas and policies and vexing idiosyncrasies whom the president didn’t much care about. It was a dutifully flat performance.

Assuming this dumbfuck interpretation is true for a moment, is Cohen saying Obama should have put more effort into a speech at a gathering of elites (that wasn’t even the actual funeral) to remember an official of relatively minor prominence than a speech addressing the nation and a shocked region following a shooting rampage? Yes, yes he is.

Richard Cohen is a leviathan of people who use the word “leviathan” very poorly and is vexed by others’ idiosyncrasies because he has never had any himself. He has only one channel: dumb old hack. [WP]

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Oblios_Cap January 18, 2011 at 11:11 am

The Villagers really think quite highly of themselves.

Especially their idiot.

x111e7thst January 18, 2011 at 11:11 am

All the speeches at Richard Cohen's funeral will be variations on the theme of "what a relief".

Lascauxcaveman January 18, 2011 at 11:49 am

Or more like "Eh, who's next?"

SorosBot January 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

He'll have his own pre-written speech for someone to read at the service, "Hey kids, get off my grave!"

Terry January 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm

No, his funeral will be more of the Eleanor Rigby sort.

OneDollarJuana January 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

What Richard Cohen fears most is that Barack Obama (or any other person of importance, for that matter) won't speak at his funeral.

SorosBot January 18, 2011 at 11:15 am

Will the Post staffers he's sexually harassed speak at Cohen's funeral?

nounverb911 January 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

Yes, and afterwards they will hold a dance on his grave.

Sophist/Glock Palin January 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

That depends: has the Supreme Court ruled on whether pissing on someone's grave counts as speech?

Monsieur_Grumpe January 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

Yeah, yeah, he went to a funeral. Big deal. What we really want to know is did he get lucky?

OneDollarJuana January 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

Nyah, nyah! I went to two funerals this year!

Beattitudes January 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm

not with that Ricky Schroeder/Silver Spoons haircut and bootleg clark kent glasses….

He will NEVER get lucky….Ever

doxastic January 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

This is Richard Cohen's way of saying that when he dies, he expects the President of the United States himself to give a eulogy that makes "I Have a Dream" look like some bar mitzvah bullshit. Pericles' Funeral Oration or GTFO.

doxastic January 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

What better way to memorialize the man yourself then to call him a terrifying monster?

EatsBabyDingos January 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

And the Golden Globe for "Best Use of the Word 'Leviathan' Since the Book 'Leviathan'" goes to…Dickie Cohen!

BlueStateLibel January 18, 2011 at 11:19 am

Because there's absolutely no difference between the murders of innocent people, including a nine-year-old, and the death by natural causes of an older person, who lived a good and fairly long life. None whatsoever.

BaldarTFlagass January 18, 2011 at 11:22 am

Leviathan? Isn't that the name of the new SUV from Nissan?

Monsieur_Grumpe January 18, 2011 at 11:22 am

"balm to the ear"

smokefilledroommate January 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

Help! Help! Can you get this ChapStick outta here for me?!

smokefilledroommate January 18, 2011 at 11:37 am

Man–reply function fail..

donner_froh January 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

It was phoned in by a man who sat patiently on the stage as others praised a beloved figure, a leviathan of ideas and policies and vexing idiosyncrasies whom the president didn’t much care about.

What an asshole. The President of the United States takes time to go to a memorial service, listen to a bunch of blowhards talk about how important they are (how well they knew Holbrooke) and then gives a speech himself for a guy he didn't think very highly of in the first place.

Holbrooke was lucky (or his rotting corpse was lucky) that Obama had the time to stop in for even a moment.

Cohen is such a putz.

4TheTurnstiles January 18, 2011 at 11:24 am

This man will complain about anything. He is a complainer.

OkieDokieDog January 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

Apples, oranges, nuts.

harry_palmer January 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

Richard Cohen's nuanced thoughts vault over what you'd expect from a penis with teeth.

ifthethunderdontgetya January 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

Who else but Dickie Cohen could make a person miss Mooselini so soon?

Allmighty_Manos January 18, 2011 at 11:28 am

Yeah, cause we all know that the president going to bust his ass writing a speech for a small private gathering. It's not like he doesn't have anything else to do. God, what a waste of space.

justkillmenow January 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Does Cohen really think the Pres writes his own speeches?

Sheesko January 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

Once upon a time (snuggle in, children), Richard Cohen was an important liberal voice in Washington. We eagerly sought out his column to shore us up against the madmen and women who assailed us on every front, and several backs as well. And then…(turning the page slowly, dramatically)…he turned into a…MONSTER!

ShaveTheWhales January 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Um, as a 63-year-old child, I do not recall that "once upon a time" of which you speak.

Sheesko January 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Well, you know how memories blend with advancing age. Maybe I was thinking of Colbert King. ;-)

elviouslyqueer January 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

"Vexing idiosyncrasies," eh Dickie? Sounds like somebody's become a little too fixated on Word's Thesaurus function.

Hera Sent Me January 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

So the President's principal role should be to make grand speeches at the funerals of career political operatives?

Sounds like it's time for a new office – Toastmaster General. Since George Jessel is dead, maybe the job should go to the president of the Friars Club.

Ruhe January 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

George Jessel reference wins the day!

HELisforHEL January 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Is Foster Brooks dead? He'd be great.

ShaveTheWhales January 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm

[Applause*] for Toastmaster General.

* = I'll be stealing that.

Clancy_Pants January 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

His first draft:

Two days later, at the memorial service for Richard C. Holbrooke he came out like Foster Brooks at a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast.

Canmon January 18, 2011 at 11:31 am

Obama's speech at Holbrooke's funeral only seemed flat because the applause sign malfunctioned.

Ruhe January 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

"Leviathan of ideas?" Of all the things that are large and have ideas, Holbrooke was the largest? Or did he mean that, despite the completely botched construction, Holbrooke had big ideas, ideas so big that only God and Holbrooke had the balls to take credit for them? Or did he mean that he swallowed ideas, even big ones, the way the whale swallowed Jonah? Or that Holbrooke's ideas were so profound they made everyone else feel as insignificant as a filth besmeared Job? And if that's the case what piety would there have been in Obama giving a grand speech to note the passing of this demi-god. Perhaps Obama's low tone was perfectly appropriate, a genius gesture of memorial Kabuki when Cohen was hoping for Bukake.

SorosBot January 18, 2011 at 11:55 am

Or it's that the brutal and invasive Bush security and torture policies Cohen supports are very Hobbesian.

doxastic January 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I wonder if the funeral was also attended by "Minotaur of spirituality" Sally Quinn?

Ruhe January 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Is that your coinage? I love it.

bitchincamaro2 January 18, 2011 at 11:37 am

He's Sarah Palin in a Harpo Marx wig and size 12 Jimmy Choos.

Buzz Feedback January 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

Has anyone ever seen Richard Cohen and Rick "Ricardo" Sanchez together?

PublicLuxury January 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

The joooooooz won't allow them to be together.

thefrontpage January 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

Richard Cohen somehow lost his bearing and his relevance about 15 years ago.

Kidneys4Sale January 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

OK, so mebbe it wasn't Barry's best effort. Still beats the hell out of what little Dicky would have written for the occasion. Roughly :"Hyayaya….mmmm…nomnomnomnom…paste yummy."

LesBontemps January 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

Sorry, just can't give a snark what Richard Cohen thinks of anyone's eulogy.

Come here a minute January 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

This is a tale of two speeches.

More like War and Peace, baby — 'it was the worse of columns, it was the worst of columns.'

ShaveTheWhales January 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I love Kafka.

Monsieur_Grumpe January 18, 2011 at 11:53 am

The reason he was so disappointed is that Cohen was relying on the applause to keep him awake. He probably was snoring and drooling.

Limeylizzie January 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I wouldn't fuck him with the Alaskunt's ™ Cunt.

PublicLuxury January 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Of course you would. Everybody wants to make a Dicksicle if they can.

PublicLuxury January 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Obama didn't have his teleprompter. Everybody knows the teleprompter is really HAL from that weird space movie and HAL controls all the air and what Obama says. But, the joooz still control the weather.

SorosBot January 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Editor Howard Kurtz.

An_Outhouse January 18, 2011 at 12:21 pm

To be honest, Dickie was blowing them anyway. They just didn't make up a reasonable lie quick enough when Dick was all like "hey, where you guys goin'"?

LionelHutzEsq January 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

You have to understand, Richard C. Holbrooke used to get Richard Coen great coke and got him laid at big parties in the early 90s, so Coen feels a bit indebted to him.

gurukalehuru January 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

My Eulogy:

Holbrooke was a diplomat
some say he was good at that
at any rate, he wasn't the worst
he won't be the last
and he wasn't the first
that's the way the world's arranged
He may be dead, but nothing's changed

DashboardBuddha January 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm

OT – I never played with Transformers…never watched the show. I'm not even entirely sure what a Transformer is. However, that NetFlix ad sure makes me want to rent the movie.

jim89048 January 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Dickie is sad because the Westboro church goons didn't show up. That's the bellweather, that's how you know you were important in life and death. I only hope to have enough presence of mind to invite them to my own, they really put the "fun" in "funeral".

OneYieldRegular January 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm

If they want to compete with FOX, then it's about time the Washington Post hired a writer of funeral reviews.

bumfug January 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm

The good news is, if Cohen's body ever has to be exhumed, all the pissing on his grave will keep the ground soft for easy digging.

Not_So_Much January 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm

So, is he saying that Richard Holbrooke was an elephant or a dinosaur? What type of leviathan are we talking about here? Sharktopus?!

Mindblank January 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm

My God! It's Afred E. Neuman in a state of advanced age! Was Barry's speach likewise Weary, Stale, and Unprofitable?

GlowneyHouse January 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm

From Cohen's earlier career as a sportswriter…

"In last years World Series, Gehrig's leviathan five for five performance with three homers and 12 RBI was truly commendable . But in todays exhibition against the St. Christina's Home for Unwed Mothers All-Stars. his paltry three-for-four with no homers and only 6 RBI show his true lackadaisical nature…"

ShaveTheWhales January 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Vexing, simply vexing.

CookieGuggleman January 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Not enough jokes in Barry's speech. Richard Cohen knows funny!

Guppy06 January 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

"It was a dutifully flat performance."

So, it was his duty to be flat? What's the big deal, then?

Gleem_McShineys January 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm

This is a tale of two speeches.

No, it is a tale of two dicks.

One was Richard Holbrooke. Richard is short for dick.
The other is Richard Cohen. Richard Cohen is a short dick.

HempDogbane January 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm

There were a number of comments from the higher functioning 'tards after Gateway Pundit's "Applause" masterpiece that copy/pasted together would be the equivalent of this column. Wait a minute …

randcoolcatdaddy January 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Are you sure that Richard Cohen is still alive or is the Post testing some kind of new auto-generating columnist software?

GodShammgod January 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I saw this Cohen guy on one of those stupid Sunday talk shows a few days ago. Unlike the displayed picture with the trimmed beard and the kindly shoemaker glasses, nowadays he looks like a mountain man.

Still butthurt about the Pulitzer (or lack thereof), no doubt.

MinAgain January 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Gee, Richard. Think your standards are a little high? I'd be impressed if Bo showed up at my funeral.

Rotundo_ January 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

When Dickie shuffles off this mortal coil, I'm betting a crowd in single digits, unless they have free beer or something. Maybe he'll have the good sense to hire mourners in advance.

JackObin January 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Cohen looks like Steve McQueen after seven years in solitary in the film "Papillon", minus the masculinity.

ttommyunger January 18, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Richard who?

mrblifil January 19, 2011 at 9:04 am

It certainly demonstrates the utmost respect for the dead to bitch and moan in print that the eulogy for someone Cohen barely knew didn't involve "jazz hands."

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