How would you interpret this phrase “on the serious side”?
Disdaining any oratorical fireworks, McCarthy’s talk was of an intimate, homey nature, punctuated at times with humor. But on the serious side, he launched many barbs at the present setup of the State Department, at President Truman’s reluctance to press investigation of “traitors from within,” and other pertinent matters…. However, he added: “The morals of our people have not been destroyed. They still exist and this cloak of numbness and apathy needs only a spark to rekindle them.”
How would you interpret this phrase “on the serious side” in the second sentence?
Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.