By Horus Alas
The quip came after President Trump’s joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, during which the president claimed himself to be a “trader” and a “fair trader,” but sounded as though he were calling himself a “traitor.” Chancellor Merkel can be heard clearing her throat as Trump continues to say the word “trader.”
I’ll admit it sans any misgivings: I like Samantha Bee and her show, Full Frontal. She comes out swinging on every show and delivers stinging, sobering comedic remarks that address the dire issues of America in the Trump era.
On this week’s show, for example, Bee referred to the current administration as “a bunch of state-smashing, wall-building, America first Breitbart aficionados” whom we invited to “slither out of their swamp and run the country for a while.”
It was funny. I cackled. And frankly, if it becomes known that a man seeking the most powerful office in the country felt entitled to sexually assault women, referring to him as a “leering dildo” is not an entirely sufficient reprimand.
Samantha Bee is angry at the status quo, and if you peruse our site and stumble across the now seven-story long “Sinister Saga of Donald Trump” series, you’ll know I’m angry, too.
I’d like to think our collective anger here is righteous. Bee, myself and other commentators on the left are enraged at the fact that our current president is cutting funding for Meals on Wheels, the National Endowment for the Arts, Pell Grants, gutting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansions, etc.
Meanwhile, security for Barron and Melania Trump in New York City runs about $1 million per day, and there are plans to invest another $54 billion into what is already the world’s most powerful military.
But who needs health care, education and the arts when you have fancy death machines?
The left has ample reason to be angry. I can’t disagree with the overall tenor and content of Bee’s message on this respect.
The right has little reason to be angry, and yet they seem to always be angry. One episode of warranted indignation on the right’s end came about due to a misstep from Bee during last week’s show when she provided commentary on the Conservative Political Action Conference.
An old English-tinged, syrupy-voiced narrator remarked during the show’s segment on CPAC, “Just last year, CPAC was dominated by Ted Cruz supporters and chirpy little shits with bow ties.”
He continued, “This year, the bow ties were gone and replaced with Nazi hair. Nazi hair. Nazi hair.” During these remarks, the camera zoomed in on conference goers with short hair. One of them was Outset magazine contributing writer Kyle Coddington.
In a post on their website, founding editor Stephen Perkins notes, “One of the attendees they identify as having ‘Nazi hair’ is Kyle Coddington, an OUTSET Contributor who was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer and recently completed his first round of chemotherapy and radiation.”
Bee made fun of someone’s appearance and labelled them a Nazi. Foul play, especially considering they have brain cancer. The right was angry. Very angry. Here’s a segment of Sean Hannity’s program where he and Tomi Lahren skewer Democratic strategist Jessica Tarlov over Bee’s remarks on the show.
In response, Bee and her team at Full Frontal issued an apology to Coddington. On Twitter, they wrote, “We deeply apologize for offending @_that_kyle in our CPAC segment. We only learned of his condition today & have removed him from the piece.”
In an email exchange with the New York Times, Full Frontal executive producer Joe Miller explained, “We’ve apologized to Mr. Coddington and his family members and we are donating to the GoFundMe account for his treatment. We wish him all the best in his fight against cancer and sincerely, deeply regret offending him and his family.”
While Tomi Lahren and Sean Hannity fume over a lack of liberal outrage over Samantha Bee’s remarks, it would be worthwhile to note the volumes-long laundry list of outrageous and offensive remarks issued by President Trump that remain without an apology.
I expect Samantha Bee will stay angry. But she’s funny, and that makes her ire disarming and relatable. It’s not uncommon for a comedian to make an insensitive joke and then have to retract it.
What differentiates Bee from the President of the United States is a willingness to admit when she’s wrong and apologize to those she’s offended. And what does it say about our country when a comedian can boast of having much greater moral fortitude than the President?
… It’s probably not good.
Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of Samantha Bee on Facebook.
Horus Alas is a senior philosophy major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.