I first heard the phrase PC in ’87 from a savvy college crowd (it was said of David Barron, now of the Justice Department). And I heard PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine) about two years ago, and it’s now found its way into the Washington Post. Monday, in the Style section of course, not on the Op-Ed page:
With her heavy Upper West Side accent and frequent references to Zabar’s, comedian Katie Halper often stuns the audience by giving voice to the Palestinian plight — as a Jewish liberal.
“You’ve heard about the movie ‘Miral’ opening, right?” Halper asks the audience, referring to the recently released film about an orphaned Palestinian girl who finds herself drawn into the conflict.
“Like we really need yet another movie that looks at the conflict from a Palestinian perspective? Way to shatter the stereotype that Hollywood is run by Palestinians. And Palestinian women, specifically,” Halper exhales sarcastically. “Because there are so many Palestinians running Hollywood.”
Some in the audience laugh. But some clearly experience what Halper, a Laughing Liberally co-founder, calls the “PEP Phenomenon,” or Progressive Except on Palestine.
Says my tipster: It would be great, I think, if she and other comedians would come together do a PEP show, exposing the PEP phenomenon among liberals and progressives. There’s nothing like comedy to make a solid political point, as Jon Stewart and the Daily Show has proven.