On CBS This Morning, yesterday, the hosts interviewed comic Sandra Bee, host of the almost entirely Trump-bashing cable show, “Full Frontal.” Oprah sock-puppet Gayle King asked Bee about the upcoming White House Correspondent’s Dinner, this year to be hosted by a non-comedian, with the plaintive query, “Don’t we need fun, too, Samantha? The country is so divided and so nasty and so mean…So, how do you navigate those waters? How do you know how far you can go to the line without crossing it?”
What a fascinating question to ask a comedian who called Ivanka Trump a feckless cunt on the air! Not only that, but Bee never apologized to the First Daughter for doing so; she just issued a stunning non-apology apology that I wrote about here. Bee has also called Fox News viewers Nazis and racists, and derided Kirstjen Nielsen, ex-Department of Homeland Security Secretary, a “lying ghoul.” She doesn’t navigate these waters, Gayle, you unforgivable, pandering hack. She has, in fact, explicitly stated that she has no interest in civility, in the course of not apologizing to Ivanka for calling her a cunt in public:
“And look, if you are worried about the death of civility, don’t sweat it. I’m a comedian. People who hone their voices in basement bars while yelling back at drunk hecklers are definitely not paragons of civility”
Let me ask King a n equivalent question: “Gayle, the public needs to know the backgrounds of the guests you interview, and the contexts of the question asked. How does a competent, objective journalist do that?”
The question is fake news, interview-style. It intentionally pretends that Bee didn’t issue one of the worst example of disgusting public incivility and meanness in broadcasting history. It therefore doesn’t let viewers know that she was unapologetic about doing so. Prefacing the question with the need to avoid being “mean” misleads the audience into thinking that Bee hasn’t contributed to the ugliness of public discourse. The question was pure deception—unless, of course, we assume that King didn’t do any research on Bee at all. “Ms. King, are you that stupid?” to paraphrase Wilford Brimley. Nah, she’s just another biased, incompetent, untrustworthy mainstream media journalist. (In fact, King moderated a CBS panel on Bee’s “cunt” attack when it occurred. And yet she asked that question.)
Another related example of reporter smoke and fog: President Trump has, wisely and appropriately, refused his invitation to attend the dinner. CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter said on CNN that President Trump’s decision to skip the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was “an attack against the media.”
Let me repeat that. The President declined to attend a dinner where last year’s comic made abusive jokes like these:
“[Trump] loves white nationalists, which is a weird term for a Nazi. Calling a Nazi a white nationalist is like calling a pedophile a ‘kid friend.’ Or Harvey Weinstein a ‘ladies man.’ Which isn’t really fair. He also likes plants.”
“There’s also, of course, Ivanka. She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out she’s about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons. She’s done nothing to satisfy women. So, I guess like father, like daughter.”
And CNN’s media critic concludes that Trump’s boycott is an attack on the First Amendment, not a completely rational decision to avoid an event that promises to degrade him, his family, and his office.
Fake news, fake interview, fake journalists.