What Did Samantha Bee Think Was Going to Happen?
Mere hours after calling White House adviser Ivanka Trump “a feckless cunt” for tweeting a picture of herself and her toddler amid criticism that ICE is separating children from their parents at the border, Full Frontal host Samantha Bee apologized. For what it’s worth, “cunt” was bleeped out of Wednesday evening’s show, but that’s neither here nor there.
“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,” Bee said on Twittter. “I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.”
TBS shared its own mea culpa in which it shared the blame for the backlash.
“Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night,” read a statement from the network. “Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it.”
Working blue isn’t new for Bee. She called Sen. Mitch McConnell a “chinless dildo” for blocking Supreme Court appointments during the last year of Obama’s term and once joked that Hillary Clinton’s aides told her “don’t be cunty” ahead of a presidential debate. The term “cunt” is gross, abrasive, rude, and offensive, but that’s not the problem with its use in this particular case. The real tragedy is that she handed such an easy win to the people she was criticizing, knowing how shamelessly they weaponize any perceived slight.
Bee’s comment wasn’t something that was said off the cuff during a live interview. It was said during a show that is pre-taped, which means it was planned and presumably had to get TBS’s approval before it made it to air. With that in mind, one would assume that the decision to air the comment was a calculated risk measured against the cheap outrage it would incur from the opportunistic right, which makes the swift apology all the more disappointing.
One of the more intellectually dishonest ways the right capitalized on Bee’s segment was by equivocating the Full Frontal host being rude to Trump cabinet member who branded herself as pro-family standing idly by while the administration enacts policies that are cruel to families with the backlash endured by pro-Trump sitcom star Roseanne Barr after she harassed Chelsea Clinton with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and made a startlingly racist joke about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett.
“Compare ABC’s reaction to Roseanne Barr’s tweet w TBS’s non-reaction to Samantha Bee and you’ll see a double-standard in action,” tweeted former George W. Bush press secretary/current Fox News talking head Ari Fleischer. “There’s no uprising against Bee. Why? Because she is liberal. Because the MSM protects Obama and his aides, but not Trump. The hypocrisy is sickening.”
Of course, because Bee “is liberal” is not the reason she didn’t endure a swift show cancellation, it’s because she didn’t call a black woman an ape and then accuse a Jewish man who survived the Holocaust at age 13 of being Hitler’s accomplice. She was just mean to someone who in theory has the power to persuade her dad not to inflict unnecessary suffering on refugees who come here in search of a better life for their kids, but doesn’t.
Naturally, the White House jumped at the opportunity to make a victim out of Ivanka, who has brazenly profited from her proximity to the president and has never had to answer for it.
“The language used by Samantha Bee last night is vile and vicious. The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Her disgusting comments and 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.”
It’s gonna blow Sanders’s mind when she hears some of the terms President Trump has used about women.
The fact that conservatives were going to spin this segment into a bad faith outrage campaign was a foregone conclusion, so what was the point of crossing that line only to walk it back in less than a day?