Samantha Bee will enjoy her brightest spotlight this weekend at her alternative White House Correspondents Dinner. And that’s a crying shame.
The former “Daily Show” contributor now hosts “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.” The TBS weekly series debuted last year and is enjoying its “moment” thanks, in part, to a fawning media. Let’s face it: If Samantha Bee savaged Democrats the way she attacks Republicans the press would treat her like an infection that just won’t heal.
But she’s arguably the loudest critic of the Trump era, so everything she does or says is celebrated in media circles. Consider her cover story treatment over at The Hollywood Reporter.
It’s tied to this weekend’s “Not the White House Correspondents Dinner.” The event, to be telecast April 29 on TBS hours after it wraps, will clearly take on President Donald Trump along with special guests like Keegan-Michael Key and Kal Penn.
The show will be broadcast live, uncensored, on Twitter. And the uncensored part matters, since Bee has arguably the nastiest mouth of any late-night comic.
Here’s why Bee is not just profane but a stain on pop culture:
1. She Is Wildly, Unbelievably Partisan
Even Stephen Colbert will occasionally tweak the left on “The Late Show.” It doesn’t’ happen often, and he appears uncomfortable doing it. But he does it all the same.
And that’s to his credit.
On some instinctual level, Colbert realizes he risks losing some audience members if he’s 100 percent progressive. When was the last time Bee “destroyed” anyone on the left? The unsteady ramblings of Rep. Maxine Waters? The latest news showcasing just how awful President Barack Obama’s Iran deal truly was? The insane comments coming from the mouths of Hollywood stars?
Nope. It’s all about smiting any politician with an “R” next to his or her name. Period.
2. She’s Unrelentingly Cruel
It’s no accident that her show made fun of a cancer patient a few weeks back. “Full Frontal” scanned the crowd at CPAC, eager to mock anyone the show’s staffers saw. In the process “Full Frontal” called Kyle Coddington, a young man suffering from stage-4 brain cancer, a “Nazi” based on his unorthodox haircut. Bee later apologized and made a puny contribution to the man’s GoFundMe site ($1,000).
That’s hardly an isolated act of cruelty.
Bee repeatedly slams Christians, inferring they are racists and considers such bits “pure pleasure.” Has she ever criticized Muslims for how they treat women and gays? Please share some links in the comments below if she has.
And she once called Justice Antonin Scalia an “obstructionist ass” shortly after his death.
3. She’s a Hypocrite
Bee called Sen. Ted Cruz a “fish-faced, horses*** salesman” on the very first episode of “Full Frontal.”
She’s also mocked the appearance of other politicians, like Sen. Mitch McConnell (“a chinless dildo”). Yet when her own network cheekily compared Hillary Clinton to a hyena she came out fighting. Sadly, the network relented and pulled the “hyena” tweet. Still, the hypocrisy remained for all to see.
For what it’s worth, she recently referred to President Trump as “pint of flat orange Fanta”
4. She Won’t Defend Free Speech
Part of this weekend’s Bee-led celebration is about supporting both free press and free speech. The former is under attack under President Trump, she fears, even though the administration is but 100 days old. Remember how she sat on her hands while President Obama serially slammed Fox News, stonewalled on FOIA requests and targeted journalist James Rosen, among other acts?
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Lately, she’s been remarkably quiet on the attacks on free speech happening across America. The latest situation, which involves conservative speaker Ann Coulter, has yet to draw a serious public rebuke from Bee. A good faith Google search yielded nothing on the terms “Samantha Bee” and “Ann Coulter.”
Why? Doesn’t Coulter have First Amendment rights? What does Bee think of Howard Dean’s declaration that “hate speech” is illegal? Will she mention any of the above during her TBS event? If not … she’s a free speech coward.
5. Her Empowerment Façade
Bee, like her fawning friend Lena Dunham, is all about empowering women. Only Bee is afraid of her own Twitter account.
When I really felt a geyser of hatred was the day after the election — actually, the night of the election. I checked my Twitter mentions, and it was one of the last times I’ve checked it. I just went off. I just went dark.
Her “hyena” defense of Clinton smacks of her faux empowerment shtick, too. If Clinton wants to swim with the sharks, which is exactly what it means to be a part of the national political scene, she’ll get bit now and then. Whining about it is hardly empowering. It’s just the opposite, in fact.
SIDENOTE: The Hollywood Reporter’s Bee interview, conducted by a fawning Lena Dunham, is a primer in liberal media bias. Why? For starters, the article announces Dunham “grilled” Bee. Said grilling proved anything but. She groveled and worshipped Bee, nothing less.
And then the magazine says “Full Frontal’s” ratings are huge. The show reaches 4.3 million per episode. That’s fuzzy math, since the actual ratings are much lower. Clearly, that’s sort some of elixir involving a combination of DVR viewings and repeats, perhaps. That methodology should be made clear. As is, it smacks of cheerleading, not reporting.
6. She’s Full of It
What would “Full Frontal” look like had Hillary Clinton emerged victorious last November?
We looked forward to holding President Hillary Clinton’s feet to the fire. We were so excited about that. We thought, “We’ll be able to tell a diverse range of stories. This will be so interesting. We’re not going to let up on her. We want her to be president.” But we don’t see anyone as the messiah. It’s not like she wouldn’t have failures and make terrible mistakes and do things we wouldn’t like.
To paraphrase Bee herself – bull***. If there is an honest soul out there who believes Bee on this matter, we’ve got a bridge to sell you.
How can we say that? How often does she target Democrats these days? Did she “destroy” President Obama during his last year in office?
A comedian with a sense of justice would double down on President Trump. How could you do anything else, given his persona? He or she also would balance out the material with slams against the other party.
And Bee once referred to herself as an “independent.” Really.
Come Sunday, the media will be bursting with praise for Bee and her performance. Guaranteed.
“Brave.” “Truth to Power.” Comedy we need “now more than ever.” “How can Trump survive this?”
Gimlet-eyed observers know the truth, however, about the rise -- and reality -- of Bee. Her brand of comedy -- divisive, mean and often phony -- is exactly what the nation needs less of right now.