It wasn't too long ago that the mainstream media decried the lack of civility in the public space.
That was before Samantha Bee, Larry Wilmore, Trevor Noah and other late night comics turned their shows into one-stop shops for vulgar humor.
So where’s the outrage? Could the lack of criticism be connected to where the venom is being directed? The vast majority of bleeped comments are hitting conservatives.
Consider the evidence:
Bee, the newest entrant in the late night landscape, has only been on the air for a few weeks. Still, her TBS Monday show is loaded with potty-mouth proclamations.
In her short run…
- Bee attacked Mitt Romney’s new anti-Donald Trump tirade by saying the Mormon “soil[ed] his temple garments at the thought of a brokered convention.” Later, she said President Barack Obama beat Romney in 2012 like “a Muslim girl at Trump rally.”
- In her TBS debut, Bee called Sen. Ted Cruz a “fish-faced horses*** salesman.”
- Bee mocked the GOP’s attempt to block any Supreme Court nominee selected by President Obama by saying Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, was, “wiping your obstructionist ass on the very document he holds so dear.” Later, she referred to the Constitution as “this “f*** this stupid thing.” She added that McConnell wanted to have “a Supreme Court vacancy for a year because some chinless dildo wants a justice who will use his gavel to plug up your abortion hole.”
She isn’t the only late night vulgarian. Consider Larry Wilmore, who entered the late night field promising a more moderate voice. That facade quickly gave way to a hard-left partisan whose content reveled in blue material.
- Wilmore trashed Cruz by mocking his penis size by way of the canard regarding those who shoot big weapons. He played a clip of Cruz firing a gun and then said, “do you know how small your dick has to be to do something like that?”
- “The Nightly Show” host used Sen. Marco Rubio’s admission that he failed to perform on a given debate night as a way to make an erectile dysfunction gag: “Fun fact. Guys, this is true. Um, that soundbite is ten times more fun if you imagine he’s sitting up in bed saying the exact same thing [to his wife].”
‘Daily’ Host Works Blue, Too
“The Daily Show’s” Noah, not to be outdone, actually kicked off his show last year with a penis joke involving Pope Francis. He has kept up the ugly tone since then.
- He called the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a “dick” for his views on minority voting rights legislation. In that same episode, he referred to Republicans as “lame f****.”
- Noah savaged Carly Fiorina for using children during a political speech: “You know what’s crazy is, Carly Fiorina can say that to a roomful of pre-schoolers, and I can’t say, ‘Holy [expletive], Carly,’ without being bleeped. That’s f****** up.”
And then there’s HBO’s Bill Maher, who leverages his “Real Time with Bill Maher” platform for crass attacks against the GOP too numerous to count.
The aforementioned shows air at night, often around 11 p.m. EST. Yet the content routinely makes the rounds on social media, and news outlets crib the material to extend its shelf life.
Did You Hear That Vulgar Bernie Joke?
Just imagine if Bee, Noah and co. hurled some of those profanities at Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Secretary State Hillary Clinton or even President Barack Obama. Would the same reporters smiling silently at the jokes suddenly demand a more reasonable tone? Perhaps.
As it is, there’s virtually no call for something approaching reasonable debate.
The comedy playing field is very far from level. Remember the outcry when a rodeo clown mocked President Obama? The clown didn’t get the last laugh. He lost his gig. Permanently. Death threats followed.
All for a joke.
Yet the constant barrage of vulgar gags directed at GOP politicians, some vying to become our next Commander-in-Chief, can’t yield much in the way of condemnation from media gatekeepers.