As always when I venture down a philosophical path that may be construed as support for President Donald Trump, I begin this week with a familiar refrain:
Don’t like him. Didn’t vote for him. Not happy that he is President.
That having been said, I noticed a curious pattern in the media coverage of Saturday Night Live’s weekly idealogical cold open beat down of the great orange one that points to a disturbing trend.
As any good cheesy 80s sportscaster would say, “For those of you who have not seen it, let’s take a look at the tape” …
Other than phoning it on Bannon by using a weak grim reaper costume that looks like they would have been better off if they ordered one from Party City, that’s some funny stuff … regardless of the religious qualifier at three minutes and 50 seconds and the homophobic insult at the five minute and 39 second mark.
As I’ve proven previously in this space with the help of Sheldon Copper/Will Hunting level mathematical equations, and a quote from a learned feminist, context and motive are all that really matter when it comes to determining whether or not words rise to the level of “hate speech”; like when you imply that someone is gay for the soul purpose of insulting them. Calling a straight man a twink as a way of insulting him is hate speech.
And wouldn’t something like “a male Amelie wrapped in Brooks Brothers” have sufficed to provide contrast between Jared Kushner and Audrey Tautou without bringing potentially hateful religious stereotypes to mind? And maybe even have been funnier? After all, the Amelie joke is mostly visual, relying on Jimmy Fallon’s hysterical kittenish portrayal of Kushner. How exactly does Kushner’s religion help support that punchline?
Maybe the writer(s) of the sketch is/are gay and/or Jewish so he/she/they feel entitled to use certain words that others who are not members of said demographics are prohibited from using on pain of social backlash. Also known as The Banks Deflection.
That kind of thinking does NOTHING to help bridge the racial and religious differences that divide us. I stopped watching one of my favorite sports talk shows and reading one of my favorite sports writers because of thinking like that.
(Miss you, guys.)
But, like I stated previously, that’s really the least of my concern. If Jared Kushner actually gives enough of a shit about Saturday Night Live labeling him a slim, pretty, hairless, gay Jewish boy-toy to retaliate, that’s his prerogative. Though, if that is his highest priority right now, we’re definitely doomed as a nation. Maybe even as a planet.
My suggestion would be that he just vent in his private Jerry Seinfeld / Jay Leno / Matthew Perry automobile hangar by taking a Lucille replica bat to one of his twenty Porsches (all rich people have that set-up, right?). The administration has had enough high profile fumbles that he should not be allowed to air any personal grievances publicly. And God help them if they let Spicer handle it.
No, my problem is with how many “news” sites covered the sketch afterward.
all gave fairly complete text regurgitations of the sketch, minus one thing.
You see where this going, right?
Yep, not one of these sites bothered to mention the line “God, you’re such a cute little twink.” They stuck their heads in the sand and pretended that it never happened. At least by the time that I’d finished writing this piece.
That’s a problem.
Once a media outlet becomes so Trumphobic that they’re even willing to abandon their own beliefs and ignore a man’s religion and a homophobia tinged insult being used as part of a takedown because it was aimed at someone that they don’t like (Kushner and by extension, Trump), they’ve gone beyond losing all objectivity and into waging personal vendettas. And there are myriad problems with that scenario.
The media has more control over the United States than the government ever could. They are the ultimate lobbying group with the power to destroy lives. Is too much to ask that if they refuse to use that power objectively that they at least try to use it consistently?
Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.