Samantha Bee: As bad as Roseanne?
Under what circumstances is it acceptable to call a female public figure the C-word? asked Megan McArdle in The Washington Post. Samantha Bee, a comedian and host of TBS’s Full Frontal, has Americans debating that question after she called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c--t” last week for failing to object to her father’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children. Since Bee’s comment came just days after Trump supporter Roseanne Barr’s show was canceled over her racist tweet, it got the partisan outrage cycle spinning again. Conservatives insisted Bee “had to go, too.” Rallying behind Bee as a tribal ally, liberals said that “a woman using the coarsest sort of misogynistic vulgarism” wasn’t as bad as a white woman comparing a black woman to an ape. Do you ever get the feeling liberals just make up the rules of this game as they go? asked Charles C.W. Cooke in NationalReview.com. The Left’s only consistent argument is: “It’s different when we do it.”
Bee should have known better, said Erin Gloria Ryan in The Daily Beast. The C-word is “a political comedy A-bomb,” and by using it to describe the president’s daughter, she’s played right into the Trumpists’ hands. Instead of drawing attention to the administration’s policy of breaking up immigrant families, which is far more obscene than any slur, all Bee has done is invite “performative pearl-clutching” over her cathartic use of an incendiary word. Barr’s racist slur was worse, said Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post, and President Trump has some nerve calling for Bee’s firing. After he was caught on tape bragging “about grabbing women by that body part,” he has “forfeited any right to be heard on this subject.”
I fully understand why my fellow conservatives want retribution, said Jonathan Tobin in NationalReview.com. Every night, late-night hosts such as Bee, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and John Oliver unleash “a never-ending stream of abuse of President Trump, Republicans, and conservative ideas”—often in vile terms. But forming our own “PC lynch mobs,” and demanding Bee’s head in return for Barr’s, isn’t the right conservative response. Instead, let’s call for an “amnesty for speech offenses.” If you don’t like what a comedian or TV host says, change the channel. “In a free country, free speech really should be free.” ■