What’s worse: racism or vulgar language?
Controversial media figures on the left and right took some serious heat this week, but only one deserved to lose their job.
Vocal Trump supporter Roseanne Barr had her television show canceled by ABC after making racist comments about former Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. She mocked her Iranian and African-American heritage by calling her a combination of the “muslim brotherhood” and “planet of the apes.”
She later apologized, saying, “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me — my joke was in bad taste.”
The next day, Trump critic Samantha Bee, the host of TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” stuck her foot in her mouth by calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt.” The remark was in reference to an Instagram photo Ivanka posted of herself hugging her child while her father’s ICE raids have been ripping children away from their parents.
Bee issued this apology:
I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.— Samantha Bee (@iamsambee) May 31, 2018\n
The president’s reaction to both controversies is another example of his us-versus-them mentality in which he supports anyone loyal to him — even if it means excusing racism.
Many of Bee’s critics on the right equated her crass language with Barr’s racism and said that she should be fired as well. While Bee’s remark was completely inappropriate, her vulgarity pales in comparison to Barr’s racism.
Trump: We're ripping children away from their parentss to punish them for trying to escape from rape and murder.@iamsambee: Your senior advisor/daughter is enabling this inhuman cruelty like a feckless cunt.Trump: SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF MY CHILDREN!— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) June 1, 2018\n
While accepting a Television Academy Honors award on May 31, Bee attempted to redirect the focus of the controversy to the 1,500 children who’ve been separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border:
“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?”
Commenting on controversial media figures has historically been a few feet beneath the dignity of the president, but Trump’s reaction aligns with his historical support of racists. He refused to condemn Barr’s bigoted comments but believes that Bee should be fired for using foul language.
Trump showed his support for Barr by criticizing Bob Iger, the CEO of ABC’s parent company.
Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018\n
Then he called for Bee to be fired.
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\n
It’s funny that Trump was offended by the word “cunt,” because he definitely likes to use it himself.