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What Rosanne Barr said is awful. But Bill Maher said worse.

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What Rosanne Barr said is awful. But Bill Maher said worse.

What Rosanne Barr said is awful.  But Bill Maher said worse.
June 01
16:13 2018

For the record, I have never been a fan of Rosanne Barr’s comedy, rarely viewed episodes of her old show and have never seen any episode of her new show. With that being said …

Rosanne Barr’s tweets were not only awful, they were incomprehensible. There should be no disagreement on that point. I have not heard blacks being compared to simians since I hung around with Democrat precinct workers in my early Chicago days.

I have known Valerie Jarrett from my civic activities in Chicago over many years. I was surprised to learn that she was black in the traditional African American sense of the word. As far as I knew, she was of Arab ancestry – Iranian to be specific.

The tweets were so outrageous that one instantly assumes that they must be the product of too much alcohol or drugs – and indeed Barr claimed to have been high on Ambien at the time. Before anyone should cast a stone, we all need to recall such occasion when we said or did things that were outrageous while under the influence of our mind-altering chemical of choice. There are very, very few among us who could claim never to have had such an experience – and they usually wind up with the title “liar” or “saint.”

The appropriate response is an abject apology, which Barr offered – but with CNN’s Don Lemon falsely reporting that she did not. Apologies do not make things “all better,” but they at least recognize the error in one’s ways.
Apologizing is all about civility and forgiveness – but what about the politicization of the tweets? Certainly, Barr gave grist for the mill for the false narrative that we are a pandemic racist society. Because of her private support of President Trump and the popularity of her Trump supporting television character, Democrats and the liberal press jumped on Barr’s tweets like felines on catnip — with maximum amplification, spin and glee.

Personally, I don’t blame them. Barr pitched a slow ball in the strike zone and they went swinging for the fences. I may have done the same myself in a reversed situation. There can be no argument, but that Barr provided an opportunity for the left to convert the incident into a broad-brushed smear against Trump, Republicans, conservatives and white people in general. She gave the false narrative of pandemic racism among the populace an undeserved credibility.

The incident brings up two fair questions. Are such lapses in etiquette and intelligence handled even handedly by the media and entertainment leaders – those folks in charge? ABC was highly praised for taking quick action in firing Barr and summarily canceling her show. Was that a good idea? Like it or not, her show was leading the ratings because it tapped into that half of the public who likes Trump and feels that most news and media misrepresent who they are. It is that mass of good Americans that the left constantly – directly or by intimation – mischaracterizes as ignorant, hateful and deplorable.

Would an official condemnation, suspension or counterbalancing corrective action been more appropriate? It is important to keep in mind that shutting down the show punishes more than 200 workers who had nothing to do with Barr’s tweets – actors, directors, camera operators, sound technicians and control room staff.
The termination may seem appropriate to many, but only if you accept the hypocrisy and unevenness when it comes to left-wing anti-Trump television personalities. The airwaves are filled with primetime comedians making the most outrageous and vulgar statements and displaying nasty visual images against Trump – including, oddly enough, a side-by-side comparison between Donald Trump and an orange orangutan by Bill Maher.

In fact, Maher made it a running joke offering Trump $5 million if he could prove he was not related to an orangutan. In one show Maher said:

“Donald Trump must immediately submit to DNA test to determine whether he is, in fact, the love child of a human woman and an orangutan from the Brooklyn Zoo. Look Donald, I am not saying that your mother was repeatedly f—ing an orangutan back in the 1940s. I don’t know if that’s true. I hope its not true. But, given your face, your physique, your intelligence level and, of course, your hair, the American people deserve some proof that your mother did not spend most nights in 1945 covering her body in banana oil, sneaking in the monkey cage and compulsively humping an orange haired ape.”

And Maher is still on the air.

To give that comparison an air of intellectual credibility, the press widely reported primatologist Jane Goodall’s earlier comparison of Trump to an aggressive chimp.

The backlash to the Barr firing – as opposed to any defense of her tweet – has filled social media with hundreds of examples of outrageous statements and imagery by the #NeverTrump media and entertainment personalities. Yet, none have been fired and damn few even censured.

I wonder if there will be a backlash against ABC. After all, it was their most popular show. There are bound to be a lot of disappointed people. A lot of Trump supporters may be angry at the hypocrisy. What if they boycott ABC like they successfully did the NFL? Would ABC be forced to return the show by popular demand – as happened to other shows in the past? Just asking.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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10 Comments

  1. old guy
    old guy June 04, 09:25

    this is perfectly OK for him to say whatever he wants…after all he is a leftist know it all and is totally above any recourse….In my opinion he ought to be held more accountable than Roseanne was…

    Reply to this comment
  2. bravegirl
    bravegirl June 04, 10:57

    For the record I don’t care whether you are a fan or not. Would you rather the network condone what was said for a tv show that is for the moment “popular”? The public is fickle, and there will be more tv shows to take the place of this one. As a matter of fact, tv shows should not be so important to anyone that anything goes. Instead of making excuses for the behavior, or pointing fingers back “they say bad things too!”, let’s bring back something called consequences. Too many people think by saying “other people do wrong too” it makes what they did less wrong.

    Reply to this comment
  3. pjm19606
    pjm19606 June 04, 12:09

    Oh, Larry Horist (somehow your name is fitting!), you may have earned the title of the greatest equivocator. Only in the mind of a right-wing jackass like yourself could the statements of Barr and Maher be compared. Maher was the only one on point.

    Reply to this comment
  4. RJ
    RJ June 04, 13:39

    For an “award winning debater,” Mr. Horist’s what-about-Bill-Maher argument is both weak and a very poor analogy. It’s up there with the what-about-Samantha-Bee nonsense.

    First of all, this culture of whataboutism is inane and deceptive. It has no more validity than saying to a cop who stops you for speeding, “What about that guy?”

    It’s not about that guy. If you are arrested for murdering just one person, it would hardly get you released to bring up Richard Speck, who killed eight student nurses. You are still a murderer.

    Donald Trump does, in fact look like an orangutan. That is a personal insult, much like calling his daughter a C**t. While all women may be offended by the use of the Cword, there is no group of people who look like Donald Trump to take offense at his being compared to a primate.

    Roseanne didn’t just insult Valerie Jarrett and her firing was not about Valerie Jarrett. Roseanne insulted some 60 million black people living in America and every other black person in the world.

    She insulted the memories of every black person who wore the uniform of the United States.

    Most of all…MOST OF ALL, her tweet was inherently and blatantly racist. Racism may have been normalized in of our culture by a certain orangutan-looking person, there are still many of us who are particularly sensitive to racism, just as many of us are sensitive to issues of the #metoo movement.

    Roseanne’s explicit racism was the core impetus of her firing. Like many things, it was a bottom line decision. It’s also worth remembering that Disney has signed up for Black Panther 2 and 3 and this would not be a good time to offend that audience.

    Reply to this comment
  5. dpk54
    dpk54 June 04, 14:41

    Yeah…and no one said or did anything to the idiot woman comedienne who stated that she would like to see our President beheaded!!! Where was the outrage then…or the media stating that she would never be allowed on their networks ….I despise liberal hypocrisy!!!.I guess the truth hurts when these idiots are confronted with it!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Roxy
      Roxy June 04, 16:46

      Are you serious? The bachlash was immediate and ferocious! She lost her long time gig with CNN,her TV dates cancelled,her shows cancelled. Her career all but gone…and the cause-a meme!! Not a consistent tweet to several people insulting them with Racist B.S. and then she continued tweeting all night long. The apology only coming after she was cancelled and then the excuses!! The same woman who’s Meme-dressed up as Hitler baking children cookies! We aren’t discussing that one,eh? There was nothing Racial about Bill M. who was sick of the 5 yrs + of DT calling out Obama’s Birth certificate and never apologizing! Instead -he becomes the Illegitimate prez-who will (if God is great) be in handcuffs for all the corruption,nepotism,damage,lies,assault,cheating,using our country to make millions,and ruining our relationship with our allies,and our countries reputation with them.

      Reply to this comment
      • Swede48
        Swede48 June 25, 19:31

        Typical of the bawling Dems who can’t believe their Precious Hillary lost. This man has done more to pull this country back from disaster than any of the last 6 8 10 etc worthless leaders we have had in office. Change will hurt, but at least our grand children won’t have to speak Chinese.

        Reply to this comment
  6. uranus
    uranus June 04, 15:11

    TRUMP IS A RACIST BASTARD

    Reply to this comment
  7. Bill
    Bill June 04, 15:49

    A major recourse for Conservative action against outrageous Liberal media bias would be to organize a movement for Conservatives to individually contact the sponsors of the Liberal
    shows and advise that no longer would the sponsers products be purchased
    The only method to curtail some of the bias is simply negatively effecting the bottom line of media, specifically the major TV networks.

    Reply to this comment

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