Saturday, June 2, 2018

Barr And Bee: A Case Of False Equivalence


There is a battle raging on the 24 hour news networks and on social media over the dueling "scandals" of sit-com star Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee who hosts her own comedy show "Full Frontal".

Let's take a look at what sparked this incendiary debate.

Last Tuesday Barr tweeted a racist, uncontextualized attack in which she compared Valerie Jarrett, an African-American woman who was an advisor to President Obama, to an "ape".

Here is the tweet...


Barr then went on to falsely call Jewish philanthropist George Soros a "nazi" in a later tweet...


Samantha Bee, in a segment in opposition to Donald Trump's immigration policy that allows authorities to separate undocumented children from their parents at the border, took Trump's daughter Ivanka to task for her silent complicity. Ivanka had also posted a tone deaf photo of herself and her son on that raised the ire of those opposed to her father's policy.

In the segment Bee referred to to Ivanka as a "feckless cunt"...

Tearing children away from their parents is so evil, it’s the inciting incident in almost every movie we’ve ever cared about. To make matters worse, the administration has lost track of hundreds of children who were separated from their parents and placed in foster care. You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless cunt,

Both Barr and Bee have since apologized for their remarks.

The right wing have ratcheted their outrage up to eleven as Roseanne Barr's sit-com was canceled while Samantha Bee's show was not.

Nearly every socially conservative pundit on television, radio and social media has lamented that therein lies the double standard put upon them i.e. Barr as opposed to the liberal left wing i.e. Bee.

Before we accept what they call a clear cut case of a biased double standard let's take a quick look at why the two women's remarks are in no way similar... Not even close.

Barr's statements were overtly racist and bigoted.

Calling a person of color an "ape" is a traditionally racist trope meant to dehumanize the person it is directed at. Then, in the same breath, likening that person to a fanatical segment of Islam in conjunction with the slur is only meant to further demean.

Bee on the other hand referred to Ivanka Trump, who has held herself out to the public as a champion of women's causes, as a "cunt". Bee did so to add an exclamation point to her recusal of Ivanka for her apathy and apparent ignorance of the plight faced by migrant women who are having babies literally torn from their arms at the US/Mexico border.

Ivanka Trump, who actually works at the White House as her fathers "senior advisor", was not attacked for her race, her ethnicity or her religion.

Ivanka was called out for her antipathy with a pejorative while Jarrett was demeaned for merely being a black woman and then further abased as a terrorist without any merit whatsoever.

There you have it.

No comparison.

Case closed.

But let's take this one step further after witnessing the overblown histrionics of the right wing over Samantha Bee's supposedly unforgivable language.

The vulgarity that Bee used in describing Ivanka is one her father has used time after time after time.

In the book "Fire and Fury" it is reported that Trump called former acting attorney general Sally Yates a "cunt" after she called his executive order banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States unconstitutional...

to Trump, he was just up against Sally Yates, who was, he steamed, ‘such a cunt.’


After reporter Jennifer Lin, then a financial correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote a story about Trump’s underhanded and unethical  business dealings recounted a phone conversation in which Trump called her a "cunt"...

There was no hello. But there was yelling, lots of yelling. The word ‘shit’ was used repeatedly as a noun and adjective. I had shit for brains. I worked for a shitty newspaper. What sort of shit did I write. Trump hung up on her—and then called her editor and "referred to me as ‘that cunt,’"

Jessica Leeds revealed that Trump called her a “cunt” simply because she resisted his sexual advances aboard an airplane. In an interview Leeds told NBC’s Megyn Kelly that three years after the incident she ran into Trump again at a charity gala in New York City...

I knew, and I recognized him, immediately—he’s the guy on the airplane. But he stands there, as I’m handing him this table assignment, and he says, ‘I remember you. You were that… woman from the airplane. He called me the worst name ever.”  Kelly asked her to elaborate, “It began whith c” and ended with a “t”. It’s the worst one, it really is. It was like a bucket of cold water being thrown over me.

So enough with the right wing's pearl clutching act. Isn't this behavior why they coined the term "snowflake" in the first place?

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