With the firing of Roseanne Barr for comparing Valerie Jarrett to an ape, Trump supporters have been looking for a left-leaning celebrity to bring down as retaliation, and after a few days of stirring up pointless outrage, they have settled on Samantha Bee, who called Ivanka Trump a "feckless c*nt" on her show Full Frontal last night.
To put the routine in context, Bee was going off on the Trump Administration's new policy of separating immigrant parents from their children at the border, and lashed into a tweet Ivanka Trump sent out on Sunday depicting herself and her son:
The tweet had already been criticized this past week as insensitive, and Bee added her own two cents when she said:
“Ivanka Trump, who works at the White House, chose to post the second most oblivious tweet we’ve seen this week. 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 c*nt!”
The right is now so enraged you would have sworn Bee accused Ivanka of using burnt ash to create a perfect smokey eye:
Even Sarah Huckabee Sanders herself weighed in, saying that "her disgusting comments and her show are not fit for broadcast, and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network.”
Obviously, there's a double standard here, as these same people are totally OK with voting for a President who says horrible things about women, but are quick to jump on any comedian who makes fun of him and his enablers. Before circling the wagons around Bee, they tried to fire Real Time host Bill Maher for a five-year-old tweet in which he compared Donald Trump to an orangutan. While there are plenty of reasons for both the right (and the left) to criticize Maher - who, coincidentally, was also fired by ABC sixteen years ago - his comparison of Trump to an orangutan was not the same thing since, as Bob Cesca pointed out in his latest column for Banter Members, white men have not lived with hundreds of years of subjugating, demeaning comparisons like that one, which are meant to rob them of their humanity. It's also not the same as the Kathy Griffin joke from last year, where she pretended to chop off Donald Trump's head. The criticism of Griffin's joke came both from the left and the right because America's legacy of political assassinations, both of presidents and activists, makes any joke or comment relating to that too soon. As much as people on the left hate Trump, none of us want to see him felled by an assassin.
Bee has apologized for her remarks, calling them "inappropriate and inexcusable," and TBS has stood by her. She should be praised for putting out this fire, and the network should be praised for not giving her the ax. But she wasn't wrong to level that word at Ivanka. Words have power, especially when uttered by comedians, whose job throughout history has been to say what people in power can't. And by using a vicious word against a vicious person, Samantha Bee lived up to her profession and spoke the truth.