2004 joke about President Bush that nearly got Whoopi Goldberg ‘canceled’ finally revealed

“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg has claimed that her career was nearly “canceled” and ruined in the mid-2000s due to a joke she had told about then-President George W. Bush that was portrayed as highly controversial and vulgar by some in the media at that time.

The actual joke she had told was never fully revealed to the public — until now — and as it turns out, her remarks, while somewhat vulgar, were no more controversial than much of what has passed for political “comedy” over the past few decades, TheWrap reported.

The outlet noted, by today’s standards as compared to when Goldberg’s joke was originally told in 2004 at a Democratic Party fundraiser event for the presidential ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards, her commentary on President Bush was rather “tame.”

Goldberg nearly canceled in 2004 following Bush’s joke

“Whoopi Goldberg delivered an X-rated rant full of sexual innuendoes against President Bush last night at a Radio City gala that raised $7.5 million for the newly minted Democratic ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards,” the New York Post reported at the time of Goldberg’s “lewd” joke. “Waving a bottle of wine, she fired off a stream of vulgar sexual wordplays on Bush’s name in a riff about female genitalia, and boasted that she’d refused to let Team Kerry clear her material.”

The Post did not print the purportedly highly offensive joke from Goldberg but did share some of the Bush-bashing from other celebrities who spoke at the event, some of which also included questioning the legitimacy of the president’s 2000 victory — something Democrats now claim is an unprecedented mortal sin against democracy and a danger to the republic.

Nevertheless, based on the way things were described by the media at that time, Goldberg did suffer some consequences to her career, including losing an endorsement deal with Slimfast, being disinvited from the Democratic National Convention, and falling out of favor with some of her Hollywood friends and colleagues.

Goldberg’s purportedly offensive joke about Bush

Now, however, The New York Times magazine has unearthed and published in full the 2004 joke that Goldberg told about Bush and, again, compared to what has been said in jest by both sides of the political aisle with regard to Bush’s successors, the joke was not particularly funny or overly offensive.

“When Bush comes to shove, don’t whine. Vote Kerry,” Goldberg said at that time. “And that’s why I’m here tonight. Because I love bush. But someone’s giving bush a bad name. Someone has tarnished the name of bush. Someone has waged war, someone has deliberately misled the country, someone has attempted to amend the Constitution, all in the name of bush.”

“The bush I know and cherish would never do such things. My bush is smarter than that. And if my bush is smarter than that, you can understand just how dumb I think that other bush is. Vote your heart and mind, and keep bush where it belongs,” she added.

Goldberg reacts to media coverage of 2004 joke

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Goldberg told The Times of the media reaction to her supposedly “scandalous” joke about Bush, “You know why they couldn’t print what I said? Because I didn’t say anything that was bad. But to hear them talk about it, I was disgusting.”

“I would describe that situation as a lot of people covering their backsides, because the joke was never about [Bush],” she added with regard to the near-cancelation of her career. “But no one ever stood up and said, ‘Hey, here’s what actually happened.’ And they put it in the newspaper. And you notice, they’d never say what I exactly said or what I said at all. But all somebody has to do is say you said it and that’s what happened.”

Goldberg, of course, has long toed the line between what is acceptable and offensive with her jokes and commentary, TheWrap noted, and has arguably said even worse and more scandalous things in recent years — she was even suspended once for dismissive commentary about the Holocaust — so, in hindsight, this old joke from 2004 about then-President Bush really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal in the broader scheme of things.

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