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Humor in Politics: Dangers and Benefits

As President Bush and Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry deliver speech after speech on the campaign trail, they are sometimes tempted to try out new jokes to spice up their appearances.

But pundits say those attempts have backfired as many times as they've succeeded.

NPR's Liane Hansen speaks with Democratic speechwriter David Kusnet and Republican speechwriter Bob McAlaster about the art of using humor in politics.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.