You’re not going to believe this but apparently we’re still talking about Suey Park. Actually, let’s make a clarification that’s much easier to believe: Salon is still talking about Suey Park.
It’s not exactly surprising that the internet’s most powerful engine for turning hyper-liberal outrage into near-pornographic troll-bait would consider Park its Rosetta Stone and keep going back to her again and again for inspiration. There’s just so much there to work with. But we’ve exhausted every possible way of examining the #CancelColbert controversy itself, with Salon’s own writers staking out various positions — from brushing off Park, to stridently defending her, to standing back and allowing her to hang herself with her own unhinged rhetoric — so all that’s really left at this point is to start telling stories either tenuously related to or simply inspired by Park’s “ordeal.” And so that’s what Salon is apparently now doing: cranking out Suey Park fan-fic.
The headline piece at the site right now is practically a master class in the subjective indignation of one person getting the writ large treatment. The column is titled, in the understated fashion we’ve come to expect from Salon, “Jon Stewart Cursed Me Out: I Dared Question a ‘Daily Show’ Warm-up Comic’s Racist Jokes.” It’s basically the author’s personal tale of how she went to a taping of The Daily Show six years ago, was offended by the jokes told by the comedian hired to warm-up the studio audience, said as much to Jon Stewart just before the show was about to begin and received an answer that included the word “fucking.” That’s it. Seriously. That’s all there is. Somebody named Alison Kinney took offense to some jokes no one else seemed to have a problem with, decided that her own concerns were more important than anything else in the universe and that the best time to get some satisfaction was right before the taping of a comedy show, and got a very minor smack-down from the show’s host.
This wasn’t Tosh eviscerating a heckler by brutally turning her objection to a rape joke against her — which may or may not have happened the way it was described online — it was one person taking offense to humor she personally interpreted as “racist,” taking it upon herself to comment right then and there, and having the person whose comic stride she was breaking, and who hadn’t heard the actual jokes, tell her that whatever was said before the show was said, “Because it’s fucking funny.” If you don’t consider that response “cursing someone out,” congratulations, you’re more rational and less interested in getting clicks at all costs than Salon is.
Whether the jokes told by a warm-up act before a Daily Show taping in 2008 were actually racist and beyond the pale will never be known — which makes it convenient as hell for Kinney to speak up now — but one thing that can easily be deduced is that Salon’s headline is entirely full of shit. No, Kinney wasn’t “cursed out.” While she claims to have hit Stewart with, “Why does your warm-up comedian use ethnic humor?” during the pre-show Q&A session, it’s really almost the same thing as the heckling in the Tosh case in that it’s personal indignation that suddenly commands the floor, kills the buzz in the room, and throws the comic for a loop as he’s trying to psyche himself and the crowd up and get into the right headspace for a good show.
It’s amusing that halfway through the piece, as an aside, Salon’s editors interject with a claim that they contacted The Daily Show and asked for a comment on what the warm-up act may have said on this particular day six years ago that offended this one person. Needless to say, the show has no idea what the hell Alison Kinney is referring to.
I keep bringingthis kind of thing up because, believe it or not, it really does bug me. It bugs me that a website that was once a dependable resource for high-quality debate and analysis from the left now traffics almost exclusively — with very few exceptions — in silly opinion columns aimed at getting readers to make fun of them in the comment section. Seriously, try reading through the feedback Salon gets to some of this stuff sometime. 97-percent of it is outright mockery — and Salon doesn’t care because it means people are clicking. Whereas Buzzfeed aims for the lowest common Millennial denominator by running crap like “25 Signs You’re in a Romantic Relationship with Your Sandwich,” Salon pretends that it’s above that kind of pabulum and that it actually has something meaningful to say. The reality, though, is that Buzzfeed and Salon are exactly the same; they’re two sides of the same coin. Buzzfeed just puts its lowbrow click-bait in the form of harmless lists while Salon turns it into pseudo-intellectual self-importance.
It just published a column about this one person who was offended by this one thing once and who got even more offended that her initial offense wasn’t shown the proper deference. It made this its top story and slapped a headline on it that wasn’t just a lie, it kind of libeled somebody. Salon is now nothing more than Thought Catalog for angry liberals. It’s Thought Catalog for people don’t have any thoughts, just knee-jerk reactions.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.