By now we have all been pummeled by the controversial episode of Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” episode from last Wednesday. In case you are someone who leads an upright and important life, and you are unfamiliar, last week Mrs. Bee described President Trump’s daughter Ivanka as a “feckless C***”. She also suggested (in this #MeToo era, no less) that Ivanka tart herself up and seduce her father to get him to change policy. All of this because she dared post a photograph of herself and her child. If this does not make full sense to you, do not feel isolated in that thought.
While members of the media and a passel of Hollywood celebrities defended Mrs. Bee’s use of course language and targeting Ivanka in this fashion, that support was invalidated once the hostess came forward with an apology. The network in kind issued its own retraction, and CNN’s media expert Brian Stelter (who has treated Mrs. Bee’s attack with kid gloves) declared the controversy will be addressed by her this week.
Amusingly Mrs. Bee was scheduled to receive an award from a Television Academy Honors for “Advancing Social Change”; this was for her broadcasts concerning the #MeToo movement, something she managed to set back with her comments the night prior. The Academy barred all previously invited media from their event as a result of the flare up. (IndieWire obtained a copy of her speech.) Additionally TBS has eliminated all the copies of the show from broadcast and the web that it could, attempting to memory-hole the controversy.
Mrs. Bee used for justification the news story circulating that President Trump’s administration was in the practice of greeting illegal immigrants at the border and seperating children from their parents, and housing them in government facilities. Enraging Mrs. Bee the most was that the government “lost” close to 1,500 of these children while in its care. This was her inspiration for attacking Ivanka as she did, because a mother being happy with her child in such an environment is…unacceptable equivalency…I suppose…???.
Except her justification was in error. The basis for Mrs. Bee’s hatred was a USA Today column by E.J. Monyini – a reprint of his own column for the Ariziona Republic – where he stated “The federal government has lost — yes, lost — 1,475 migrant children.” This column was cited and repeated frequently last week by numerous media outlets. I should amend that phrase; by numerous incurious media outlets.
One of the few willing to actually look into this story was the National Review. They found that the details of this practice differed from the wide media coverage. (Imagine, since this never happens in today’s press…ahem.) The writers at NR reached out to USA Today, and The Arizona Republic, with this information, and after initial pushback both outlets ended up running corrections on the column. Note the stark difference in the explanation (emphasis added.):
Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this column mischaracterized the legal status of 1,475 undocumented migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without their parents. Those children were placed in the custody of sponsors screened by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. They are no longer in federal custody.
Rather an impressive turnaround. So the kids were not separated from parents, as they arrived without them. And they have not disappeared while held by the government. The children were placed with families and then follow up phone calls were not answered. There’s your dramatically hysterical story that earned Ivanka the type of scorn that Hollywood and the media have spent months telling us is completely unacceptable.
Also unlikely to be mentioned in this week’s episode is how she encouraged Ivanka to dress sexily and attempt to seduce her own father. That was as distasteful a passage as anything else spoken. While most focused intently on the vulgar word Mrs. Bee employed, her encouraging Ivanka to dress sexily in order to coax influence flies directly against the purpose of the #MeToo movement.
The objectification of ladies in society is grievously wrong…but it is completely acceptable to suggest a woman from an opposition party to go out and behave like a seductress in order to get her way. If you encourage a woman to reduce herself to a sex object professionally you can be awarded a trophy for trying to prevent women from being reduced as professional sex objects.
This makes perfect sense to our media masters.
And it is something likely to be perfectly avoided by Mrs. Bee this week. As she said in her speech during Thursday’s ceremony, “I take it seriously when I get it right and I do take responsibility when I get it wrong.” We will see just how much responsibility she takes on with her new broadcast Wednesday night.