Barack Obama’s America is an “irony-free zone” where “naïveté translated into ‘hope,’” writer Joan Didion groused after the election. But not all ironists agree: P.J. O’Rourke, for one, wrote that he hopes it's not too early to talk about Obama's "failed presidency," and novelist Colson Whitehead wrote an op-ed under the headline, "Finally, a Thin President."
But Didion may have a point. A Nexus search reveals that usage of the word “irony” in newspapers is down this year. Jokes about Sarah Palin still rule the land, because Obama jokes can draw backlash; an Onion article calling Obama a “con man” set message boards ablaze. “Their sarcasm processors have kind of gone into shock,” said an Onion editor, who added that humorists will find “the next dumb thing to satirize.”