Carrie Fisher's death exposes media perversion
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Nothing is safe from the media outrage machine anymore, even when we're talking about heartfelt sentiment from a fellow actor following the passing of Carrie Fisher.

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Today's Exhibit A is Steve Martin — as non-controversial and affable as any Hollywood figure out there — who tweeted the following regarding Fisher on Tuesday, since deleted for no good reason:

New York Magazine's Claire Landsbaum, however, took exception to Martin referring to Fisher as a "beautiful creature."

Per her Wednesday piece:

"As the Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg points out, one of the most glaring signs that Leia is seen as sexy rather than complex is the Philadelphia dad who complained about a scantily clad Leia action figure," writes Landsbaum. "And on Tuesday, Steve Martin helpfully reminded us of this fact in a now-deleted tweet when he said that for him as a young man, 'she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen.'"

Of course, Martin was already in his 30s when Fisher shot to stardom after Star Wars was released in 1977, not exactly making him the "young man" Landsbaum describes like someone just discovering the wonders of puberty.

But the writer has a predisposed narrative around sexism to push, and facts simply will not get in her way.

"But that characterization of Leia — as a wet dream for prepubescent men — is something Fisher spoke out against her whole career," Landsbaum blindly continues.

"So remember Fisher for her immense talent, her outspoken feminism, and her moving commentary on mental health — not for the way she looked onscreen," she concludes.

This is a borderline sick assessment of Martin's clear intention of simply honoring a woman shortly after her shocking passing who he felt possessed both outer and inner beauty.

The way Martin's tweet should be read by anyone possessing logic and lucidity is that he first was introduced to Fisher like the rest of the country via "Star Wars." He would later get to know her personally through Hollywood circles and found her to be "witty and bright as well."

But Landsbaum is a classic attention-seeker looking for clicks, for attention, and immediately portrays Martin — who has never sniffed anything resembling personal controversy in his 40-year career — as a misogynist before Fisher is even laid to rest.

As recently as Wednesday morning, Landsbaum was retweeting this kind of sentiment:

It's beyond sad that this is what some in the media profession justify as compelling content and deep thought.

Landsbaum now joins a dubious list of writers who also this year contributed to the growing outrage machine.

Just two weeks ago, a Vox writer named Emily Crockett declared that the 1944 beloved holiday hit “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is really all about date rape.

"But when you listen closer, the song’s lyrics also seem, well ... a little rapey," Crockett argues. "The guy ignores his date’s protests and badgers her to stay, which feels a lot like sexual coercion."

Upon listening to the song, that's not remotely the context or tenor at all but rather one of flirtatiousness from both parties involved. Never once for decades had anyone interpreted the song as a "rape anthem," until recently.

But Crockett's Vox story got her clicks and even national television guest bookings, so in a world of clicks and retweets, mission accomplished.

This week, a prominent actress from an iconic franchise dies too young at the age of 60.

A friend in the acting community shares his sincere perspective on what she meant to him.

A writer who has never met Carrie Fisher or Steve Martin opines that he's somehow demeaning her legacy for referring to her as beautiful.

Perhaps Martin feels ashamed — or more likely doesn't want any controversy to distract from honoring Fisher — and deletes his tweet.

Landsbaum's piece gets attention — almost all of it negative — which likely in some sad corner of her mind justifies such trash for being published.

Such is media in the outrage-over-nothing culture of 2016, a year that cannot end soon enough.

Joe Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.


The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.