June 3, 2018

Sunday School 6/3/2018

I wandered around the Sunday School classrooms with mixed results today. My mission was to try and get a sense of how each of them were covering the 'she said, she said' of Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee, and I have to say, things were not entirely as I thought.

Where to start? Well, ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos didn't mention either Barr or Bee, which is interesting given that ABC was the network which fired Barr for her racist comment. 

It was a little different on Fox New Sunday with Chris Wallace, who talked about the vastly different treatment of the comments with his panel. Brit Hume noted that the c-word is right up there with the n-word, "the ugliest words in contemporary parlance" he said. And Hume noted
So, I think the two remarks were basically on par and what's not on par was the disparate treatment by ABC News towards Barr and by TBS toward Samantha Bee. Vast difference and it's pretty hard to argue therefore there's not a double standard.
Juan Williams, who is familiar himself with words, and consequences, disagrees about a double standard.
...when you think about what Roseanne Barr had to say in terms of calling Valerie Jarrett an ape - a black woman - this is something that's very deep and speaks to race in our culture. Dehumanizing people, it speaks to oppression, slavery - I can go on.
Brit Hume asked if calling someone the c-word wasn't dehumanizing.  Williams agreed, but
I think that calling -- two white women having an argument over immigration policy and separating children from parents and the like is, as I was going to say, vulgar and rank and unnecessary. It does not speak to the idea of tearing apart the social fabric around the most central and difficult issue in America, race. And that's what Roseanne Barr did not only in this instance, she had done previously with regard to Susan Rice, another Obama official, and I think --
Wallace interrupted, noting
Well, Samantha Bee has sad all manner of horrible things about all manner of women, yes, white, who were working in the Trump White House.
Williams was not having it.
I'm telling you, one of these items speaks to tearing at the social fabric in a way that can't be undone and puts us all in great danger. And therefore, it's not about team sports in terms of, oh, I'm a Trump supporter and I'm there to support Roseanne Barr, or I'm an Obama supporter, and therefore, you know, support Samantha Bee 
That's really juvenile compared to the seriousness of what's taking place. You think about the NFL players, you think about Charlottesville. I could go on. You understand that they are playing -- separating us as a society. 
On CNN's State of the Union, Dana Bash discussed the issue in the larger context of 'culture wars; and politics.  Linda Chavez, who worked in the Reagan administration, took a shot at liberals.
But I have to tell you, liberals walk right into the trap when they have a Samantha Bee out there not just using the most vile, vulgar word to describe a woman but going after her in such a personal way, going after her relationship with her father. Look, I have not a whole lot of use for Ivanka Trump, I don't think she should be in the White House. But you don't go after somebody in that kind of really nasty vile way, in a way that frankly the word and the fact that it was scripted and, you know, essentially she may have read it from a teleprompter says a world about liberals and their values.
In response, Karine Jean-Pierre, from Moveon.org, mentioned the president as a key figure in the culture war.
But here is the problem. You have the president himself who has used that word. It's been reported that he used the c-word to describe Sally Yates. Here's the thing. It is - it is really bizarre and wild that the president makes himself a victim and - he and his administration makes him a victim when he is the bully in chief. He used the bully pulpit to attack...racism was here before Donald Trump and sadly it will be here after Donald Trump. So that is a fact. But he has -- what he has done is he has normalized, he has given license to people to make it OK... And that is the problem we're in with this culture war, because it's coming from the White House.
On Face the Nation, CBS's Margaret Brennan had the discussion with her group as well. The gist of it there? The new expectation that a business will deal with things like this, whether it's boycotts or firing or accepting an apology - it all comes down to a business decision. The talking heads did note that conservatives who were just up on arms about the White House Correspondents Dinner and how the Trump gang was hammered were too busy calling for an apology to make any comment about what Roseanne had said.

Finally, on Meet the Press, again the round table group talked about the culture wars, and whether there's a double standard.

Katy Tur, a Trump target during the campaign, thought that while we were talking about Samantha Bee "using a word she shouldn't have used" we weren't paying attention to the story she was talking about -- the administration's policy of separating families at the border. Peggy Noonan reminded Tur that what Bee said was an obscene personal attack, and perhaps she wasn't as serious about the border issue, if she herself obscured it by her choice of words.

Joshua Johnson was more worried about something else.
I am more concerned about the fact that the same culture current that gave Roseanne Barr cover to tweet this and Samantha Bee cover to broadcast this is is the one that gave Stephen Colbert the cover to say that the only thing Donald Trump's mouth was good for was being Vladimir Putin's you-know-what holster. I mean, it's the exact same current that the Russians exploited to influence the 2016 election. It's out hate. It's our misgiving. It's our fear. The fault is not in our TV stars but in ourselves. And that's where the problem is. We have the power to change this...
And that's where we'll leave it for this week. 

See you around campus.