Consider the following entirely plausible news cycles:
Following the killing of 28-year old Lakeesha Taylor in gang crossfire as she was pushing her 4-year-old daughter on a swing in Detroit’s dangerous Precinct 9, former Michigan governor (and current Hillary Clinton surrogate) Jennifer Granholm (D) posted a message on Facebook: “Michigan’s serious problems will never improve under the heartless leadership of Republican Governor Rick Snyder, the same man who didn’t bat an eyelash or lift a hand for months as hundreds of minority children were being poisoned by the water in Flint. If Americans don’t want a president from the party which doesn’t care if you’re healthy or even alive, we have to elect Hillary Clinton in November.”
In response, dozens (or perhaps hundreds) of liberal activists, Democratic politicians and Hollywood celebrities “shared” the post, adding their own support in comments such as “It’s about time someone calls out the evil GOP” and “Trump = Hitler.” The New York Times editorialized that “While Granholm’s rhetoric may be initially shocking, her fundamental point is correct: Republicans simply do not value the lives of many Americans.”
Later the same week, conservative comedian Ricky Travis — while hosting a large fundraiser for the victims of the recent Louisiana flooding — took some jabs at current Democratic National Committee chairperson Donna Brazile. Ms. Brazile was born in, and attended college in, Louisiana and was in attendance at the event. Among Travis’ comments: “I thought the title of Donna’s book, ‘Cooking with Grease,’ related to getting her hair too close to the stove.” And, “The country would be better off if she were hit by a bus, but with legs as big as Donna’s, the bus would probably lose.”
Reaction was immediate and furious, and rightly so. The head of the NAACP issued a press release saying “Mr. Travis’s hateful remarks represent everything that’s wrong with so-called ‘conservatives’ in America today.” Writing for the Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson opined: “If it were possible for the entertainment industry to ensure that Ricky Travis never be allowed to set foot on stage again, never be allowed to ‘entertain’ again, that would be a good start.” And Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the next leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate, told CNN that “Travis is the living embodiment of a hate crime. I can’t imagine who thinks this guy is funny.”
These stories — a Democratic politician politicizing a tragedy to the applause of the American left, and a furious liberal reaction against wildly inappropriate comments made by a conservative comedian — are fictional.
But in the real world, as demonstrated in two instances in the past week which are mirror-images of the stories above, Republicans are pilloried for perhaps slightly unwise statements which Democrats would be cheered for, and no attack on a conservative public figure is too nasty, aggressive, or obscene to cause a liberal to stand up for basic decency and the “tolerance” we’re told by the left to embrace.
Last Friday, Nykea Aldridge, an African-American mother of four who was pushing her three-week old infant in a stroller, was shot in the head and killed on Chicago’s South Side.
It might have been yet another unmentioned tragedy in the city run for the last 85 years by a Democratic political machine, a city known for the violence and murder and mayhem in its low-income neighborhoods despite long having some of the nation’s most stringent gun control laws, a city which has just experienced its most violent month in 20 years with more than 400 people shot and roughly 80 murders. (Yes, that’s a single month in Chicago.)
But it was noticed because Ms. Aldridge was the cousin of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, now a member of the Chicago Bulls. DWade announced the death on Twitter: “My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough.” He continued the next morning with “RIP Nykea Aldridge… #EnoughIsEnough” and “These young kids are screaming for help!!! #EnoughIsEnough.”
Donald Trump, continuing his recent rhetorical emphasis on the harmful impact of Democratic policies on communities of color (including specific mention of the risk of being shot while walking down the street), jumped in with some arguably-too-soon politics: “Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”
The reaction on social media was swift outrage:
An hour later, Mr. Trump offered his condolences to Wade and his family. But the damage was done.
Clarence Page, veteran writer for the Chicago Tribune, offered, without any apparent intention of hyperbole, “Trump loves Chicago for its murders.”
Actor and occasional activist Don Cheadle (whose Twitter icon seems to show a murdered and disemboweled Donald Trump — you tell me) joined the fray, telling Trump “You are truly a POS.” Minutes later, he added “He doesn’t give a fkk. More red meat to his alt-right troglodytes.”
You get the picture.
To be clear, even my Spectator colleague Jeff Lord said of the tweet, “Maybe it was a little clumsy but I don’t think it was opportunistic.” I’d say it was a little of both.
Yes, it would have been much better politics to lead with the condolences. But enough with the left’s faux outrage. What about the innumerable examples of liberal “I told you so” hyper-politicization of every shooting outside of Barack Obama’s city, sometimes while the bodies are still warm? Will a prominent black columnist or actor ever decry those pandering politician’s paeans to gun control or their painting the blood of the victims on to the hands of Republicans? I think not.
Now consider my hypothetical scenario above in which a Democratic politician politicized a murder. Are not the plaudits of liberal talking heads and “journalists” and celebrities entirely credible?
Outrage is a one-way street.
And so, by the way, is humor — or what passes for it these days.
On Saturday night, Ann Coulter walked into the lion’s den when she attended the taping of Comedy Central’s roast of actor Rob Lowe. Actually, that description is unfair to lions who would have treated their dinner more mercifully than these tolerant liberals treated Coulter.
(Note: Ann Coulter will join my radio show this morning (Wednesday, 8/31) at 7:20 AM Mountain Time/9:20 AM Eastern Time to discuss her new book, “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome,” and I’m sure we’ll take a few minutes to talk about the despicable behavior of star actors, comics, and even, sadly, Peyton Manning, at the roast. You can listen live at https://khow.com/live or on your iHeartRadio app by tuning to TalkRadio 630 KHOW in Denver.)
The purpose of the evening was to roast Lowe, who with a history of media successes and failures interspersed with sex tapes, including one with a 16-year old girl, is certainly a target-rich environment. Indeed, some of the jokes were pretty tough, such as from comedienne Nikki Glaser: “Rob defies age… restrictions. Really, you’re a (%$&^@!) Adonis, I hate you. You look like you’re sculpted. You put the ‘statue’ in ‘statutory rape.’ God, I had such a crush on you when I was a little girl. If only I’d known that’s when I had my best shot.”
But the true brutality was saved for Ann Coulter. Frankly, I don’t want to repeat the vast majority of what was said to and about Ann, while she sat among the smirking self-satisfied celebs. Let’s say there were many insults offered about her looks (including by Manning), most of which offered little pretense of even trying to be funny. What troubled me most, however, were the comments of the above-mentioned Glaser and British “comedian” Jimmy Carr, both of whom spoke without any actual humor about their wish that Coulter would die.
Glaser: “Ann, you are awful. The only person you will ever make happy is the Mexican who digs your grave.” That was just before she suggested that Coulter “has written 11 books, 12 if you count Mein Kampf.” And Carr: “Ann is one of the most repugnant, hateful, hatchet-face b—-es alive. It’s not too late to change, Ann. You could kill yourself!”
Ann Coulter has heard everything before. She’s hardly a thin-skinned shrinking violet and she has long recognized the “tolerant” left for the bunch of hypocritical thought-police bullies that they are. Nevertheless, nobody whose only offense is expressing (non-violent) political opinion should be subject to such abuse.
It’s true that online conservatives tweeted negative reaction to Coulter’s treatment at the hands of the Hollywood liberal elite; indeed they (and I) were probably more upset than Coulter was. When she got a chance to speak, Ann told the assembled lions, “I am so overwhelmed with the love in this room. As a right-wing hate-monger, it is fantastic to be at a big Hollywood shindig with all these glittering celebrities that isn’t a fundraiser for Obama.” She later added, “There is nothing you can tell me to discourage me. My whole career has been an Ann Coulter roast.”
So while some of us were angry on Ann’s behalf, where was the “tolerant” left?
Esquire magazine tweeted a link to its own article (which I won’t link to) about the “meanest Ann Coulter jokes from the…roast.” Nowhere in the article did they suggest that a comedian calling Ann a “racist c**t” was anything other than the typical “low-down dirtiest, most insulting jokes we hear…at Comedy Central roasts.” (That particular comic, the youngest Saturday Night Live cast member, was offered to me as a guest on my show this week and I refused to have him.)
Liberal online rag Salon.com reported on the evening that Ann “attempted to match other attendees quip-for-quip, but predictably failed, and equally predictably was unfazed,” as if a political writer is supposed to “match” professional comedians “quip-for-quip” and as if her not showing reaction to the barrage of reprehensible insults made them OK. Salon’s writer added helpfully that Ann was the event’s “most irrelevant and out-of-place attendee.” Because nothing says “irrelevant” like not being a liberal in Hollywood.
Former musical star Jewel, embodying liberal tolerance, expressed her modest discomfort at an event guest twice being called the c-word: “As a feminist I can’t support everything that’s been said tonight. But as someone who hates Ann Coulter, I’m delighted.”
Again, consider my fictional account of a conservative comedian offering inappropriate jokes about a prominent liberal. You know that the online reaction of the left would, to quote the wisdom of Kim Kardashian, “break the Internet.”
Yet when it comes to the savage and unfunny attacks on Ann Coulter, it’s crickets from the celebs and the “mainstream” media alike.
Meanwhile, the last two adjectives Cher has used to describe Donald Trump are “fkng traitor” and, at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, “f**king idiot,” but at least the latter was, as one report put it, “to wildly enthusiastic applause” just before she went on to compare Mr. Trump to Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Did I mention the applause?
I often say that complaining about liberal bias and hypocrisy is like complaining about a puppy peeing on a rug. It’s just what they do, and if you don’t like it then don’t get one.
As for Ann, and I’ll try to remember to ask her this directly, she could easily assume that, as Oscar Wilde put it, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” If history is any guide, she’ll soldier on with her conservative rabble-rousing, proving the liberal haters right about one thing: She remains utterly unfazed by them.
But there is a lesson in the treatment of both Trump and Coulter by those many liberals who dwell on the Internet and in television studios: Don’t ever forget it, you are the enemy, and we will do anything and say anything to hurt you and we will not stop until you are defeated and, with any luck, dead.