What best exemplifies this particular moment in the slow burn of American empire is the way in which manufactured consent is losing ground to manufactured dissent. Sometimes it feels like PTSD on a national scale.
Case in point: this Roseanne Barr / Samantha Bee thing:
“[C]onflict raged from a disgusting racist tweet by TV comedian Roseanne Barr to a disgusting misogynist comment by TV comedian Samantha Bee on her TBS show “Full Frontal.” The differences in how those fights and others played out was night and day. Or, more accurately, left and right.
Barr tweeted that President Obama’s former senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is African-American, was the result of the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Barr was fired almost immediately.
Bee called President Trump’s daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump a “feckless c—.” She merely apologized and kept her job.”
“Roseanne Barr Is Off TV But Samantha Bee Is Still on — Just Another Example Of The Media’s Double Standard” | Fox News | Dan Gainor | 06/03/2018
An assumption that’s supposed to raise a right-leaning culture warrior’s hackles is that because Roseanne Barr was fired by ABC, Samantha Bee should necessarily have been fired by TBS. Any serious analysis of this claim was unnecessary for those who bought into it. But clearly it’s a stupid non-argument. Barr’s show was canceled by her network. Bee’s show is safe with her network. These networks need not have the same codes of conduct and may deliberate differently on similar issues. There’s no reason whatsoever that Bee should’ve been fired necessarily because Barr was, as there’s no common standard on which to judge both cases.
Moreover, neither decision was truly a moral decision. Because we’re talking about commercial television, both are ultimately decisions about commerce and shareholder value.
Having said that, personally, I believe that had Barr and Bee been employed by the same network, and were I president of that network, both would’ve been fired. Firing Roseanne for recapitulating the several hundred years history of equating African Americans with sub-humans apes (more than once) is a call any smart network president makes in his sleep. But my case for firing Bee is a little more subtle. “Feckless cunt” is not just not funny. Especially from someone who’s supposed to be The Daily Show funny and not just a provocateur, that phrase is maliciously unfunny. It’s the VX gas of culture war. Regardless the target, it’s beyond what I (as president of this fictitious network) think comedy is. Worse, it did it’s own part to push American culture lower into the muck at a time when we need as little low brow culture (morally and aesthetically) as possible.
That said, I’d probably replace Samantha Bee with Michelle Wolf. Now she’s funny!
The problem with culture war is that sooner or later everything looks like culture war. Culture warriors eventually see anything vaguely cultural (itself a dilemma of discernment) as a front to be assaulted or defended. However, as in all war, the longer culture war persists the more distinctions become more difficult to discern for warriors. This is the point where culture war is fought for its own sake.
IMAGE SOURCE: wild-865296_1920 (Creative Commons)