Monday, June 4, 2018

Double Standards and False Equivalencies

 Clint Eastwood cunt meme

“Do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless cunt” -- Samantha Bee

Though the White House had nothing to say about Roseanne Barr's racist remarks about Valerie Jarrett, they didn't hesitate to demand that Samantha Bee should be fired.

“The language used by Samantha Bee last night is vile and vicious. The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling. 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.” -- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Trump Tweet - Samantha Bee

These statements are a government assault on free speech and the hypocrisy of Trump condemning anyone else for using the word "cunt" is truly breathtaking.

"I remember you. You were that cunt from the airplane." -- Trump to Jessica Leeds, one of the first women to publicly accuse him of sexual assault.

"That cunt." -- Trump on Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jennifer Lin 

"Such a cunt" -- Trump on former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Trumpsters with "She's a cunt" t-shirts
There were lots of "Hillary is a cunt" T-shirts during the Trump campaign
So please spare us from the pearl-clutching and demands to fire Samantha Bee because she used profanity to describe a White House official. Any time someone favored by the Right gets punished, the Right responds with double standards and false equivalencies that they hope will force the Left to react.

Working the Refs 

In football, "Working the Refs" is a strategy that coaches often use. They complain about every call that goes against them in the hope that eventually the refs will start thinking that maybe they are favoring the other team a little, and then they might compensate by leaning a little in the opposite direction.   

In politics, constant whining about bias and unfair treatment by the media has been a long-term political strategy on the Right. And it's working like a charm. Instead of acting as watchdog over the truth, reporters for mainstream media are usually required to provide "balance" by giving the "other side" -- no matter how absurd or inane. And they are competing with Right-wing partisan media that is completely one-sided. That combination often leads to elevating completely ridiculous assertions to to a level where they are successfully competing with objective truth.

The Rosanne Backlash

The Right Wing Propaganda Machine is massive, diverse and nimble. They react very quickly to take advantage of any situation, and they lay it on thick. Any revelation about improper behavior or speech on the Right is immediately met with a tsunami of "whataboutism" from the Right Wing Propaganda Machine to distract the media.

Whataboutism is a logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by accusing them of hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument. They just bring up some unrelated topic about their enemies, which is almost always a false equivalency, to shift the media and the public's attention. This is a tactic that has long been associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.

“They don’t give a shit about the word ‘cunt’... a lot of what the right does, and it’s maybe their greatest genius, is they’ve created a code of conduct that they police, that they themselves don’t have to, in any way, abide...there’s nothing people can do to make them give up this ‘We’re the real victims’ game...It’s a game, it’s a strategy, and it’s working.” -- Jon Stewart

Trump's Banana Republic

You would think Trump’s attacks on freedom of expression would bother the Right, which has long championed “freedom.” But Trump has transformed freedom of the press and freedom of speech into partisan issues with his constant attacks on anyone or any institution that criticizes him or his actions.

Here's a short list of some of his blatant attempts to intimidate the press:

1. The Trump Administration has barred reporters from the White House briefing for writing stories Trump didn't like. 

2. Trump said it is “frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write”

3. Trump has attacked Amazon's association with the Postal Service because the Washington Post (also owned by Jeff Bezos) has been critical of him. 

4. Trump has endorsed attacks on protesters and the imprisonment of people who burn the flag. 

5. Trump wants to change libel laws to make it easier to sue publishers and news organizations. 

6. Trump threatened to cancel the broadcast licenses of media companies that broadcast negative coverage of him.

7. The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called on ESPN to fire Jemele Hill for criticizing Trump.

8. Trump has repeatedly labeled the “fake news” media “the enemy of the people.”

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