Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Media Muck

We all know "The N-Word Rule," delineating who is "allowed" to use that powerful term.  Is there a "C-Word Rule" that follows the same logic?  Far be it from me to mansplain such matters.  Still, I do see a correspondence between Samantha Bee's vulgar reference to Ivanka and Roseanne Barr's racist tweet: both women put their employers in the uncomfortable position of having to decide what to do about them.

Roseanne appeared on ABC, which is a subsidiary of Disney: a company that has been polishing its family-friendly reputation for as long as anybody can remember.  Disney gambled on the self-control of an unstable racist, and it lost.  Full Frontal with Samantha Bee appears on TBS, which is owned by Time-Warner; and Time-Warner soon may become part of AT&T,  a company nobody likes anyway.  Marketed as a foul-mouthed assault on Tr*mp and company, the show won't lose any viewers; queasy sponsors will be replaced as soon as public attention is diverted by the next outrage.  The show stays on the air in an instructive illustration of "corporate ethics."

There are a great many late night shows that can be mistaken for MSNBC with a laugh track — possibly too many.  Watching TV, of course, is not a form of activism — but it can feel like it is.  Do the comedy shows ever inspire any action, or are they just profit-making wall decorations inside the liberal information silo?  When did comedy get so depressing?  And, tell me, are you bored yet?

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