Prophesy Confirmed: SNL And Our Nation Of Assholes

The most unforgivable part of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” mockery of Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw was ridiculing a decorated veteran because of the disfigurement he recieved serving his country, though that was bad enough. It was his dismissive reference to the fact that he lost his eye in “war or whatever.” Yeah, my father had his foot blown up in “war or whatever.” Whatever.

My prophesy that electing Donald Trump President would rapidly convert the United States into a “Nation of Assholes ” was accurate, and here’s the proof. In any civilized community since our nation—indeed, any nation, began, a six-year-old who mocked a veteran for his wounds would be punished and every adult who witnessed such ignorant disrespect, even from a child, would be embarrassed to see it.  Now, however, that same infantile, disrespectful insult is featured on national television, as alleged adults roar  with laughter.

Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter on the way to the White House. He denigrated prisoners of war like John McCain, and recently called Stormy Daniels “horseface.” Of course, the civilized and respectable approach to discouraging such rude and vulgar behavior is to condemn it, and shun its practitioners. The Left and the resistance are now emulating it. They have used mockery of the President’s physical appearance for years, the purest and most inexcusable form of ad hominem attack. Now they are widening the target area, so a veteran who lost an eye in battle is considered fair game. (As an aside, how does someone  like Davidson have the gall to mock anyone’s appearance? The guy looks like a ventriloquist dummy come to life….)

But the same people who deride the President’s boorishness, viciousness and lack of ethics alarms are not justified in adopting his bad habits, and corrupting the culture. When they act like President Trump, they are subject to the same standards. Davidson’s ugly routine wasn’t a joke. This was “We all hate conservatives and Republicans, so isn’t it funny to mock how they look!” Sure it’s funny, if you’re ten.

To his credit, Crenshaw eschewed the ritual “we demand an apology” approach,  telling Fox News that he wouldn’t get a genuine apology anyway. Crenshaw suggested that the show donate a significant amount to a veteran’s charity, if it really regretted the incident. Don’t hold your breath, Dan.

The episode did illuminate just how crass the opposition has become in response to Trump lowering standards of decency, public discourse and civility. The Daily Beast, for example, actually criticized the reaction to the SNL slur. “Fox & Friends alone dedicated no less than five segments to what was essentially a throwaway line,” Matt Wilstein wrote. Talk about shameless spin! So, for example, a cruel racist joke wouldn’t justify criticism as long as it was a “throwaway line”? Is that really the standard? No, the standard is that the mainstream media and virtually its entire work force and talent base now regard the simple fact of being a conservative, a Republican or a Trump supporter sufficient justification to engage in cruelty, mockery and character assassination, in full confidence that their corrupted target audience will cheer like Romans in the Coliseum.

Nice.

Assholes.

46 thoughts on “Prophesy Confirmed: SNL And Our Nation Of Assholes

  1. Re: Trump mocking a disabled reporter – it is two different things to say that Trump mocked a disabled reporter, and that Trump mocked a disabled reporter for his disability. This difference is lost on all the fact checkers (ha!) who constantly elided evidence of the former as evidence of the latter.

    • It’s an important distinction. Mocking some who is disabled is not the same as mocking someone for being disabled, or mocking their disability.

        • Only if that is the only video you review. At the time, I agreed with you. Then, someone put together a montage of Trump criticizing a bunch of different people and he had the same sort of hand gestures, facial expressions, etc.. It was almost as if that expression was Trump’s portrayal of someone doing a “humina, humina” routine.
          -Jut

            • As pointed in the linked video, he was mocking the reporter, who happened to have a disability – not for or because of the disability – unless we’re going to claim that Ted Cruz has a disability.

              And this brings up a good point: is it the politician that’s unethical or the media portrayal of him? If anybody wants to start an argument with “well he shouldn’t be/do/etc…” I’ll merely reply “Binders Full of Women.” Kavanaugh, Romney… at some point I start to wonder how much is real and how much a media paradigm we’ve bought in.

              • Again: I know an imitation of a disabled person when I see it. That was it. I’ve seen other Trump impressions too. He never flapped his hands around or made that goofy face. You’re in denial. Now tell me that Trump didn’t make a menstruation slur about Megyn Kelly. I like that one, too.

                • (Hey, Jack, hope you had a good Thanksgiving)

                  But the video does show him flapping his hands and making goofy faces in other instances.

                  Let me put your reply in another context:

                  “I know misogyny when I hear it. Romney said on tape ‘binders full of women.’ You’re in denial.”

                  See how that comes across? Indeed it seems to me that for many of the conservative dividing over Trump boils down to many who have never trusted the press when it comes to a Republican – now believing everything that same press says about Trump. Meanwhile the spectrum of supporters seem to be as skeptical of them as ever. But I suppose we can discuss Gell-Mann Amnesia another time.

                  I’m not going to defend his menstruation slur but even a thief should be acquitted of a theft he didn’t commit. Unless it is your contention that the disabled should never ever be mocked under any circumstances – no matter how stupid of an idea they might utter. Which… ok then, I at least understand your standards now.

                  • A bad analogy doesn’t make your point. And its a bad point. Your position is basically, “Which are you going to believe, me or your eyes?” No confirmation bias was involved when I saw the Trump video the first time: the immediate impression was that he was doing an ugly burlesque of a crippled man. The guy in fact DOES flap his hands around, because they are less than functional. You are seriously arguing that the resemplance of Trump’s actions to his target was not intended, and a coincidence.

                    In contrast, “binders full of women” requires active animus and distortion to interpret negatively. It obviously meant, “I have binders full of resumes of women” who are qualified for office. If Obama, or Hillary, had said exactly the same thing, nobody would have blinked. But if they had acted like Trump talking about a journalist with disabled hands? Come on. You wreck your own credibility by making this argument. Trump has been unfairly attacked for a lot of things, but not this. Not this.

                    • My standards are that someone for a disability should be mocked for what they do or say, not the disability. Similarly, the President should be mocked for his words or conduct when appropriate, nit his weight, hair or tan-color.

                    • No, the point is the difference between a narrow and wider context. In the analogy the person saw with their own eyes Romney’s statement.

                      You are seriously arguing that the resemplance of Trump’s actions to his target was not intended, and a coincidence.

                      The posted video made the argument and I found it a rather strong case as it provided other examples involving non-disabled targets of mockery.

                      It obviously meant, “I have binders full of resumes of women” who are qualified for office.

                      It obviously meant it from the wider context is my point. Here’s the quote:

                      “And we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said: “Can you help us find folks?” And they brought us whole binders full of women.

                      It doesn’t take distortion, all one has to do is focus on the bold part and ignore the rest of the quote. If you imagined trying to quote to someone the preceding sentence and they replied “Which are you going to believe, me or your eyes?” then you’ll know how your arguments sound. I’m not denying it happened, I’m pointing out that there are additional facts to consider in the case. In all honesty, Mr. Marshall, you’re seeming refusal to weigh them doesn’t come off as very ethical. If the new evidence is not relevant, it’s up to you to provide reasons for why, not to accuse me of ignoring the evidence I’m advocating for reconsideration.

                    • Res ipsa loquitur. I’ve reprinted the photo of Trump mocking the journalist many times, and looked for other photos of similar postures. There aren’t any. The Romney quote isn’t damning no matter how you slice it. This is:

                      I don’t have to re-examine an unavoidable conclusion, just because some people refuse to accept it.

                    • I’ve reprinted the photo of Trump mocking the journalist many times, and looked for other photos of similar postures. There aren’t any.

                      What do you mean there are none?
                      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3790226/Trump-s-impression-disabled-reporter-just-result-limited-repertoire-impressions.html
                      ^ That article compiled 3.

                      Also of note: The journalist’s arm is immobile – that is what his disability is. So how is Trump’s making fun of him by flailing the arm about? That’s kind of the exact opposite of an impression.

                    • There are none. Neither of the instances the Daily Mail points to are the same thing. I’m a stage director. My job is to make such distinctions. A limp wrist is not a crippled hand. And when you know you are mocking someone with crippled hands, you make sure you don’t emulate one, even if you have used the gesture in the past. He also imitated a disabled person’s speech.

                      And no, that’s called “exaggeration,” which is the essence of an impression. President Bush never said “wouldn’t be prudent.” His son never played with balls of yarn, on his back, like a kitten, as he was once portrayed on SNL.

                    • And when you know you are mocking someone with crippled hands, you make sure you don’t emulate one, even if you have used the gesture in the past.

                      Ok, so there are special rules regarding the disabled. Given that, what’s the evidence Trump was aware of the reporter’s disability? As one person pointed out: “Kovaleski allegedly didn’t remember details from a report he did about 9/11, yet expected Donald Trump to remember him personally from his exciting business articles from 22 years prior.”

                      (You know, despite Trump being written about by people for years.)

                      Not to mention that when Kovaleski was interviewed on TV about that report (which Trump might have seen then), his arm wasn’t visible.

                  • Nate appears to be sealioning you, Jack.

                    “…a type of trolling or harassment which consists of pursuing people with persistent requests for evidence or repeated questions, while maintaining a pretense of civility. The troll pretends ignorance and feigns politeness, so that if the target is provoked into making an angry response, the troll can then act as the aggrieved party. Sealioning can be performed by a single troll or by multiple ones acting in concert. The technique of sealioning has been compared to the Gish gallop and metaphorically described as a denial-of-service attack targeted at human beings.”

                    (From wikipedia)

                    • No, sealioning would be if I continually brought this up on every other post Jack has made instead of the one in question.

                      Though by the definition every attorney in a court of law is a sea lion.

                    • Sealioning is an Internet tactic. Being an attorney does not need a special term: we think little enough of them already (heh)

                      Sealioning is a type of trolling: it usually stays on a particular topic or post. It seeks to take up the target’s time, and possibly get them upset.

                      Your definition is off, but if you say you are not doing this to troll, then fair enough.

  2. Fox wasn’t the only one talking about it, whatever the other media outlets think. Meghan McCain gave her opinion of just how bad and in poor taste it was on The View. (I don’t watch it but caught the clip of that segment online). We all know her father was on the receiving end of Trump insults. To her credit Whoopie said it wasn’t funny but also did little to condemn it otherwise. Joy Beher, of course, stated something to the effect that he’s a comedian and it was a joke. Meghan not so subtley pointed out had the joke been made against say Tammy Duckworth things would have been received very differently by the crowd defending it as “comedy” and his father dying in 9/11 doesn’t give him an excuse.
    She’s not wrong.

  3. I haven’t watched it in decades, but I’m surprised SNL continues to air. I’m amazed people seem to take it seriously. It started out as in improv show. It’s now the late night version of “Sixty Minutes” or something, speaking of archaic TV shows.

    • OB: have referenced this a couple of times here in the past. SNL has been an Alinskyite vehicle from episode one. Most every issue is there, anti-gun, anti-religion, pro non-traditional marriage and more. They’ve been at it from jump. It was just marginally more funny then (I think).

      • I guess I’ve probably grown up since it first aired, Jim, so I may have missed it’s obnoxiousness at the beginning, being obnoxious myself at the time.

        • I think we’ve all grown up since it first aired, but looking back, it was a lot funnier back then. But when you had cast members like Dan Aykroyd. John Belushi. Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris and George Coe the show started with talent. Or at least they grew to become talented household names for the most part. Then Bill Murray came in in ’76 replacing Chase who was off to his movie career. They also had funny hosts like Steve Martin and Martin Short.
          I’ll even give credit to some of the cast from the days when Adam Sandler was part of the cast. Until he and Chris Farley were fired at least. But those were also the last seasons that anything was remotely funny. Maybe it’s also what happens when your talented cast have also been writers for the show and they all leave. It’s all raunch and left-leaning everything anymore. The “Weekend Update” guys hosted the Emmy’s this year – it did not go well. (According to critics – I didn’t watch).
          It has been a stepping stone that gave a lot of careers a boost – just none worthwhile in at least the past decade.

    • Oh, it airs because it’s all there is. It is, among other things, the last of the variety shows. If it went down, they would need a new equivalent immediately. It’s also entered icon status. Adults born since the 70’s can’t imagine there NOT being an SNL. It’s like the Ed Sullivan show. I wondered, as a kid, why is this stiff, weird man hosting a TV show? Why is this boring, unfunny family on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”? Why is everybody still reading this almost never funny comic strip about these big-headed kids?

  4. Wait. SNL is still on TV? Who knew?

    Crenshaw’s response was brilliant: (to paraphrase) “Yeah, I get it. I am running for office and people will say dumb things. I;m a former Navy Seal so this doesn’t hurt me. The biggest offense/insult is that the joke was not funny.”

    jvb

  5. The “Resistance” is right; Trump’s rhetoric and behavior are an embarrassment. Problem is, instead of going high, they went far lower and are an even bigger source of embarrassment. And so it sadly regresses.

    That flush sound and swirling is what used to be our civil discourse.

      • For me it was the Ted Kennedy “In Robert Bork’s America” speech on the Senate floor. That was the beginning of the end of civility in politics.

        I agree, Trump’s following comes from the fact that he hits back in kind, the first Republican who responds like the Democrats have for decades.

  6. Jack wrote, “the standard is that the mainstream media and virtually its entire work force and talent base now regard the simple fact of being a conservative, a Republican or a Trump supporter sufficient justification to engage in cruelty, mockery and character assassination, in full confidence that their corrupted target audience will cheer like Romans in the Coliseum.”

    Yes, the United States political left really has been permanently radicalized.

    2: Regardless of the outcome of the midterm elections; there will be a massive wave of propaganda, accusations and innuendo against the GOP and government institutions decrying massive corruption.

    3: Look for a noticeable uptick rhetoric that implies or states outright that “they’re evil”, rationalizations that will include implications or statements that anyone associated with the evil they oppose is also evil, and of course there will be an uptick in public condemnations of the evil people they oppose in carefully staged public confrontations to terrorize anyone they oppose. No one will be immune.

  7. The far left is simply bold enough now to say what they’ve been thinking all along. I have an acquaintance who ‘is so far left one day he’ll fall off the ege’, as another friend puts it. He has, over the years, openly ridiculed those in the military and the religious as ‘suckers’ and worse. In these online discussions he’d be joined by a dozen or so people who think like he does, and the discourse on veterans always turned to vulgar ridicule of anyone in a uniform.It’s been 15 years and his tune hasn’t changed, and he’s still not alone. The fact that they’ll now say it in public only shows that the mask on the worst of the left is slipping. A great number of them have nothing but contempt for the military, and think all war is crime, and therefore veterans deserve no respect.

    • In the long run, people investing in a socially liberal worldview are not doing well. The women in particular. Their families (such as they are) are not thriving, too many of them wait until age 40 to “settle down” and have kids, if ever. They are less happy and more stressed. There’s only so long that such people can point at laugh at the group that is (compared to them) relatively happy and thriving doing things the tried and true (albeit less hip) way.

      When a community starts to grow “sick” to the point that they’re obviously worse-off than their neighbors, the next step could be to search for someone to blame. Turkey was the “sick man of Europe” by WWI, at which point the urge to blame the Armenians (and confiscate all their stuff) rose to the point of genocide. The whole Middle East despises the tiny reservation known as Israel for the sin of very quickly setting up a nation far more prosperous and humane than their own countries. We all know the story of Germany.

      There’s even a growing geographic divide in the United States, between deep blue California and places like Texas with a more conservative ethos. California claims that its socialist leanings help the poor and minorities, but it’s getting hard to ignore the numbers (minorities and poor people are much better off in more conservative enclaves.) In theory, you’d think that the liberals of California will course-correct and copy their more prosperous neighbors, but California’s liberalism isn’t just a political experiment; it’s more like a religion now. It defines who they are. What we’ll probably see is progressives doubling down on all the things that don’t work, and blaming everyone else when they don’t.

      And sure, it could get violent. At some point Goofus just shrugs and punches Gallant in the face.

  8. From the sound of it, SNL committed canine intercourse.

    In any comedy program, there’s always a danger of screwing up like this. The good ones try to mitigate that, and when they do go over the line, as they inevitably will do (rarely), move heaven and earth to apologise, if only to keep their good reputation.

    Do it too often, and they can be consigned to a dumpster. Same if they don’t apologise, even if their content is generally good and funny.

  9. If you want to see what SNL set out to be 25 years ago, get on Netflix and watch Monty Python, which dates from the late ’60s. THAT is humor, zany and whimsical, but not insulting, and only sometimes political. A gem. SNL has been nothing since the original cast left. Now, cruelty is humor, as long as it’s aimed toward the ‘other’ political side. Civilization marches backwards.

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