Playing off the announcement from the Associated Press Tuesday that it will no longer use the term “illegal immigrant,” “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno made a joke sure to please many conservatives, suggesting the AP should call people who immigrated to this country illegally “undocumented Democrats”:
“And in a groundbreaking move, the Associated Press, the largest news gathering outlet in the world, will no longer use the term ‘illegal immigrant.’ That is out. No longer ‘illegal immigrant.’ They will now use the phrase ‘undocumented Democrat.’ That is the newest — ‘undocumented Democrat.’”
The joke isn’t particularly original — it’s typical fare at Tea Party rallies and conservative confabs. Here’s radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Roger Hedgecock and Lars Larson all making the same joke. Rep. Steve King earned whooping applause when he cracked the line at CPAC last month. You can even buy a whole variety of “undocumented Democrats” apparel at the UpYoursObama.com store on CafePress.
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.More Alex Seitz-Wald.