Steyn on Humor II

A reader writes:

The issue is not whether it's appropriate to joke about torture, the Catholic Church, or anything else. All subjects are fair game. But that doesn't mean you can't analyze the motivation behind the joke. Steyn, et al., are making jokes about torture to minimize or dismiss entirely valid criticism of our government for betraying its principles. They dismiss the criticism with jokes because they have nothing else - on the merits, they have no argument. It's really just an admission of failure on their part, so let them keep laughing.

I guess the humor is instructive in that sense. It's a form of denial that masks itself in self-congratulation.