Last week, Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a C-U-Next-Tuesday during a segment on Bee’s TBS show Full Frontal – go here for the context. The day after that episode aired, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and all of the deplorables all clutched their pearls over how terrible and toxic it all is, because Ivanka is just a precious child who must be protected at all costs. Within the very same news cycle, Bee apologized thoroughly. Thursday night, Bee even received a (pre-announced, pre-planned) award at the Television Academy Honors, and she made another statement about why she apologized publicly:
“Our piece attracted controversy of the worst kind. We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals. If we are OK with that, then really, who are we? There is power in saying what you feel without apology. OK, and sometimes you also have to apologize.”
Which is fine, but whatever. It wasn’t enough, of course. Donald Trump still tweeted this:
Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show? A total double standard but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2018
Says the serial sexual assailant and white supremacist. I guess “First Amendment” arguments only work when white supremacists are butthurt that a corporation no longer caters to them personally, but when the president of the United States is publicly lobbying for a corporation to fire someone, no one is going to make a First Amendment argument, huh? In any case, all of the ginned-up controversy worked and now sponsors are starting to pull out of Full Frontal.
Which brings me to some shockingly wise words from Bee’s former boss, Jon Stewart. Stewart and Bee worked together for years on The Daily Show, and Stewart was making an appearance at San Francisco’s Clusterfest. I didn’t cancel Jon in the wake of the 2016 election, but he was definitely on my Sh-t List for all of his “not every Trump voter is a racist!” arguments. During his Q&A session, Jon was asked about Bee and the c-word controversy. What he said was SO insightful:
“They don’t give a sh-t about the word ‘c–t. [Trump] says that instead of ‘please,’ I’m guessing…. Please understand that a lot of what the right does, and it’s maybe their greatest genius, is they’ve created a code of conduct that they police, that they themselves don’t have to, in any way, abide. [I was accused of being a] tool of the Obama presidency” after visiting the White House twice during the former POTUS’s two terms, while Trump “spoke to the head of Fox [News] and strategized with him on a weekly basis and uses their on-air talent as advisors. Don’t get caught in a trap of thinking you can live up to a code of integrity that will be enough for the propagandist right. There isn’t. And so, create your own moral code to live by, but don’t be fooled into trying to make concessions that you think will mollify them.”
In the end, Stewart said that it might not be possible for liberal or otherwise Trump-critical voices to “make them give up this ‘we’re the real victims’ game” by being the bigger person and apologizing. Said Stewart, “it’s a game, it’s a strategy and it’s working.”
I agree with Jon Stewart one thousand percent. The Deplorables have weaponized their double standard to a degree where it’s actually shocking and newsworthy when one of THEM actually has to face consequences for all of the lies, hatred, bile and bigotry they spew on a regular basis. We’ve gotten to used to the one-way traffic, that the right “polices” what can be said, and no one polices them. I’ll go one step further: I absolutely f–king loathe how the Deplorables have taken Michelle Obama’s gracious words about “going high when they go low” to threaten and police criticism of their own bad words and deeds. Michelle Obama can go high all she wants, that’s her business. But the double standards must stop, and we need to stop apologizing for making completely valid criticisms and statements of facts about these f–king lunatics who are destroying our country.
Photos courtesy of Getty.