This past week has been a fascinating case study in double standards as it pertains to former ABC comedian Roseanne Barr, current TBS comedian Samantha Bee, and the laws of hateful, vile rhetoric.
To review: Earlier this week, Roseanne tweets that former Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett is a product of “The Planet of the Apes” and “the Muslim Brotherhood." Her hit ABC show that bears her name is promptly cancelled just hours later — and for very good reason: Her comment is so repugnant that no one should tolerate it, excuse it or defend it. (And no one with any sense tries or does.)
From there, cable news content is dominated by all-things-Roseanne on Tuesday and Wednesday. While no one actually defends her, some subplots instead emerge, particularly one from the right involving an argument that conservatives and Trump supporters are held to one standard while liberals are held to quite another.
ESPN's Keith Olbermann is evoked often in this process. The sports anchor-turned-political host-turned-sports anchor again was just hired back for the sixth time by ESPN, which happens to be owned by Disney.
ABC also is owned by Disney. And Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, just cancelled Roseanne, citing her comments as being "repugnant" and "inconsistent" with Disney standards. No argument from anyone there.
From Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 29, 2018
There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.
But Olbermann has a history on Twitter that may not be consistent with Disney values, either. He's called the president and members of his family "Nazi motherf***rs" on numerous occasions. Critics of Iger and Disney see that as proof that the company only applies a certain standard to one side.
On Wednesday night, enter Samantha Bee, host of "Full Frontal" on TBS. In her opening segment, she decides to focus on a policy separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. And then, for whatever reason, she shows a photo of Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpGrisham: Time in Trump administration 'will follow me forever' Grisham: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump saw themselves as 'shadow president and first lady' Grisham says her 'enabling' cost lives during pandemic MORE embracing her infant son that was posted by Trump over the holiday weekend. Bee's response: “You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say one mother to another: do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless c--t.”
Well, for starters, TBS couldn't be more proud that Bee will be recognized for "advancing social change" by the Television Academy tonight in Hollywood.
I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.— Samantha Bee (@iamsambee) May 31, 2018