Meanwhile, Traister explains: Bee and Reid and Avenatti oh my! Then again, as we've been saying, it's all anthropology now.
Today, we'll offer two perspectives on our tribe's tribal misconduct:
Samantha Bee dropped a C-bomb on Ivanka Trump this week. Some members of our liberal team are now assembing academic treatises as to why this really wasn't especially bad after all.
Our view? If you want to find someone who has lost her way in this regard, you should watch this seven-minute presentation by Rebecca Traister on last night's All In.
Our view? Her presentation is silly, appalling, sad. It's a living treatise on how the tribal instinct can take us all the way down.
Of course, Traister is one of the fiery progressives who ran and hid when Keith Olbermann joined with his smutty little friend, Michael Musto, to stage misogynistic performances on MSNBC for years.
For years, we wondered if we were the only ones who found these presentations offensive. Finally, when the initially private "Journolist" exchanges were leaked, we got our answer:
As it turned out, leading career liberals had been explicitly criticizing Olbermann's "misogyny"—but they'd done so only in private! He was a star of our sad little tribe, so these giants didn't speak out in public.
Traister was one of those people. Last night, there she was on The One True Channel, groveling and slithering her way through some very tall grass.
The term in question has "misogynistic roots," she confided to Chris Hayes, but in the hands of Bee, it was just part of "an incredibly powerful critique" of Ivanka Trump. Rather than transcribe the things Traister said to Hayes, let's consider the opening passage from her recent post at New York magazine:
TRAISTER (5/31/18): Today, Trump administration press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told The Wrap that she was distressed by the “silence from the left” in regard to the comedian Samantha Bee’s comments during her Full Frontal monologue on Wednesday night. In the monologue, Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless [C-bomb]” in response to the First Daughter and presidential adviser’s decision to post an image of herself blissfully hugging her son amid news of children being ripped from their parents by ICE. This afternoon, Bee herself apologized on Twitter to both Trump and her viewers, claiming that the use of the [C-bomb] “was inappropriate and inexcusable” and that she had “crossed a line” and “deeply regret[s] it.”Read on from there if you have the stomach. For now, notice what Traister has done:
As a left-leaning feminist, I agree with Sarah Huckabee Sanders that “silence” on the matter of Bee’s comedic critique—and its connection to ABC’s recent cancellation of Roseanne is inexcusable...
After noting that Bee herself has called her insult "inexcusable," Traister turns on a very thin dime to attack what Sanders has said. She skips past Bee's acknowledgment of inexcusable error. Instead, she wants to do what she did all through her segment with Hayes:
She wants to rail about what The Others have done. And she wants to find ways to praise Us.
Good God! In the opening passage posted above, she even refers to Bee's statements about her own conduct as "claim[s]." She won't even let Bee's words stand as delivered. Bee's direct assessment must be instantly taken down.
Anthropologically speaking, this is our species at its most elemental. Meanwhile, consider what Bee and her owners apparently did on the evening in question:
As far as we know, Bee's program doesn't air live. Indeed, TBS seems to have apologized for deciding to air her misogynist insult. (“Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake, too, and we regret it.”)
(According to CBS News, Executive producer Miles Kahn made light of the situation and tweeted, "So, 'feckless c***' seems to be trending." This is who and what these people frequently are.)
In other words, Bee chose to say what she said; she and her owners then chose to air it. Might a person even wonder if those decisions were made in search of publicity, the meat upon which these unhelpful celebrities have sometimes been known to feed?
Concerning Reid, consider this:
It has become impossible to follow the attempts by Reid and her lawyer to claim that her past blog postings have been hacked in some way—in some way which the FBI was allegedly investigating!
Whatever! If you want to try to puzzle it out, we'll recommend this new Daily Beast report. That said, Reid has acknowledged that she once had anti-gay views which she no longer holds. With that in mind, we were struck by this part of that Beast report:
KIRELL, GROVE AND TANI (6/1/18): [Some MSNBC] staffers who spoke with The Daily Beast expressed a growing sense of alarm about how this ongoing saga may damage MSNBC’s reputation as a news outlet.What can Reid talk about? She can talk about something which is very important. She can talk about the way people who grow up in certain families or certain communities may develop unfortunate views and ideas—views and ideas which don't necessarily reflect who they ultimately are.
[Some staffers] pointed out that this ordeal makes it difficult for Reid to freely comment on the news without viewers calling out some hypocrisy. Multiple staffers pointed to how Reid was roundly mocked online when—amid outrage over Roseanne Barr’s racist tirade—daytime host Andrea Mitchell asked Reid, without irony, “What do you have to do on social media to get fired from a top rated show on an American broadcast network?”
“Now she can’t talk about Samantha Bee, she can’t talk about Roseanne, she can’t talk about anything to do with Israel,” another MSNBC staffer told The Daily Beast. “What can she talk about?”
Reid says she's one of those people! This was part of her original apology for her past homophobic posts:
REID (4/28/18): I grew up in a household that, like many in America, had conservative views on LGBTQ issues. I had friends—some of my closest friends in fact, growing up—who I later learned were gay and had kept it secret from me and from everyone else we were close to. Because they didn’t know what we would say or if we would still be friends or whether we would look at them differently.Reid says she has moved beyond the views she developed during her childhood and adolescence. This equips her to go on the air and discuss a deeply important point:
People who express views we liberals don't share are not necessarily evil! They may respond to education, argument and experience, as Reid says she herself did over the past dozen years.
People are able to learn, grow and change; Reid is now brilliantly positioned to discuss this important point. But let's be honest! That isn't the viewpoint we want to hear when we turn to our favorite cable channel. In these deeply tribalized times, we want to hear the tribal loathing. We want to hear The Hate.
We want to hear that The Others are vile, but that We are not. We want to hear that it's outrageous when Donald J. Trump uses the C-word—note Traister's pathetic recitation with Hayes—but it's part of a brilliant social critique when We use the term Over Here.
Don't listen to what Bee herself has said! Instead of that, focus on Sanders!
Bee dropped the C-bomb as a matter of choice. Reid has an array of confusing stories about the things she once wrote, not that long ago.
Last night, Traister struck us as hopeless, but let's be completely fair. Anthropologically speaking, that's the way our species is at its prehistoric core, when our desire to loathe The Others, while lauding Ourselves, takes us all the way down.
As for Avenatti, his Trump-like messes just keep piling up. You're assisted in not knowing that on The One True Channel.