BRETT: I’m thinking about the current culture under which we live. I know that’s a broad, encompassing phrase. So let’s look at the current iteration of culture under which we live.
Cancel culture. Do you know that there are people in Hollywood who don’t believe that what we’re watching play out is actually cancel culture? More on that in just a second. But take a look around at all of the changes that we’ve seen take place just in the last four or five years. Setting aside the coronavirus pandemic, look at just the way the culture has trended since — let’s say for argument’s sake — just about 2016, 2017.
We have seen a full mobilization by activists to drive people from the public stage based upon interviews they give or based upon opinions they have, and it’s not just that you’re to be driven from the stage. You’re to be disappeared from the popular culture! Now, I do believe with the incredibly low ratings of the Oscars two nights ago that something interesting is manifesting. There is a segment of the population in our country, in our culture that is just opting out.
They’re just saying, “You know what? Hollywood doesn’t respect us. Hollywood doesn’t respect me. Hollywood wants to take these positions? Let Hollywood watch Hollywood. I’m out.” The idea that the ratings were, what, 9.9 million for the Academy Awards — and I understand. It was a weird world, the pandemic, all that sort of stuff. The fact of the matter is people are fleeing.
In a free market, people are fleeing and choosing to consume other bits of information and entertainment. But it’s not a free market both ways. Because if the Hollywood elites, if the Big Tech oligarchs are able to decide whether or not your point is valid, whether or not you are worthy — whether or not you may proceed to express your opinions, your thoughts, your beliefs, be a part of a debate…
If they decide you get to proceed, you get to proceed; if they decide you must go away, well, they will disappear you. It’s that simple. LeVar Burton was on The View and was talking about this cancel culture narrative, and he contends that “cancel culture” is a “misnomer.” No, I don’t remember, that it’s not a cancel culture. He says it’s a “consequences culture.” It’s a culture of consequences.
“Actor LeVar Burton said Monday on ABC’s The View that the term ‘cancel culture’ was a ‘misnomer.’ Burton said what is really happing is a ‘consequence culture and that consequences are finally encompassing everybody.'” Well, it’s another way of saying consequences are being delivered by — What? — the clear-thinking, analytical folks that get together to judge whether something is good or bad, or is it the mob, a mob of people who just ascend either on social media or in real life on somebody’s front yard to demand what fix, exactly?
The First Amendment is the First Amendment.
You have a right to your opinions.
You have a right to your opinions. But when we’re looking now at what cancel culture is creating, ’cause he says it’s “consequence culture” and he says that “systemic racism” is alive and well, but it’s no cancel culture. It’s a consequence culture, and as a result, the systemic racism is alive and well, and so anything goes in terms of battling that narrative.
Well, on Sunday mornings Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace was speaking to Senator Lindsey Graham and asked Senator Lindsey Graham, “Is there systemic racism in the country in policing and in other institutions?”
GRAHAM: No, not in my opinion. We just elected a two-term African-American president. The vice president is of African-American and Indian descent. So our systems are not racist. America is not a racist country. So this attack on police and policing? Reform the police, yes. Call ’em all racist, no. You know, America is a work in progress, but best place on the planet, and Joe Biden spends a lot of time running the place down. I wish he’d stop it.
BRETT: Joe Biden does. The president does oftentimes point to the sins we have experienced and uses those sins and says those sins are apparent and happening en masse today. Yesterday on The View you had a conversation during a discussion about Senator Lindsey Graham’s remarks that he doesn’t believe that there is systemic racism in America. And cohost Joy Behar said this.
BEHAR: What’s clearly appalling is, um, Lindsey Graham, who says that there is no systemic racism in this country. I mean, somebody needs to give Lindsey a — a — a — uh, globe. ‘Cause which country he’s living in. I mean — is it possible for somebody to get dumber as they get older? I don’t remember him being this bad when he was a younger guy. What the heck happened to this guy? First of all, systemic racism is not about tokenism! It is not about the vice president being black or the president being black. It’s about what goes on in the lives of everyday people in this country. White privilege needs to be dealt with. These are the things. It has nothing to do with Kamala Harris being a — a vice president!
BRETT: What Joy Behar engaged in there was what’s called “a press.” She didn’t have a response to Lindsey Graham so she throws two insults his way. “Give him a globe and ask him what country he lives in.” That falls flat. Not a real contention. And then he gets dumber as he gets older. Again, not a response. That’s an insult that she would have used back in 1936 when she was doing stand-up comedy in New York. The reality is we have to recognize progress that’s been made in order to understand what has worked and how we can continue to improve.
If you were to say to somebody that there’s absolutely no redemption, no room for improvement, no nothing, what you end up with at that point is, you end up with people — and eventually a nation — going to a place that believes that rehabilitation and redemption is not able to be handled or fixed. Redemption is fundamental to the human experience, that we can strive and do better and improve day after day. Otherwise, we’re just not learning anything.
Well, back in April of 2016 Rush talked about the time when Joy Behar forgot that she actually agreed with him about America not wanting to watch a woman age at president. Here’s how it sounded.
RUSH: The babes at The View have just discovered what I said maybe eight years ago about the concept of an aging female president. Remember when at the end of a monologue defending Hillary Clinton…? She was under assault for this. I was defending Hillary Clinton, and I asked the question, “Do the American people want to observe their president obviously aging?”
Well, that little question is all that Maude Behar and the babes — ahem — at The View apparently are aware of what I said. So they think it’s outrageous, it’s horrible, it’s just horrible, and so they had a little discussion about it. Here’s Joy Behar with her comment on something.
BEHAR: This is from, uh, Rush Limbaugh. He says, “Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?” That’s Rush Limbaugh.
CROWD: (boos and griping)
BEHAR: That’s Rush Limbaugh!
RUSH: All right. Okay. That’s this morning on The View. Let’s go back, same program, December 18th, 2007, Whoopi Goldberg, “Baba Wawa,” and Joy Behar.
GOLDBERG: Rush Limbaugh was on the radio, as he always is, and he was commenting on whether we want to watch a woman aging in the White House. He explained he knew that he was going to get into trouble for the comment, but said, “I’m talking about the evolution of American culture here, not so much Mrs. Clinton.” He also said that presidents age rapidly and added “a woman is not going to want to look like she’s getting older because it will impact poll numbers. In politics, perceptions are reality, so there will have to be steps taken (laughing) to avoid the appearance of aging.”
WALTERS: He says that a man looks authoritative, and a woman does not. That’s the difference.
BEHAR: Yes. Except that I think he has a point in that people’s looks impact the election.
RUSH: Ohhh, wait a minute! Back in 2007 Joy Behar said, “But wait, I think he has a point.”
BRETT: It’s amazing to watch these hosts on The View always take these positions of outrage, and what they’re doing is they’re functioning as the prosecutor and the judge and the jury. “Rush Limbaugh said this? Oh, my gosh! It’s just… It’s the worst thing he ever could have said in his life.” You’re allowed to have opinions. You’re allowed to have a discussion. You’re allowed to have a debate. Okay? The reason why there is a phrase called “a heckler’s veto” is to protect somebody from being prevented from speaking because it might be unpopular speech.
There are cases as long as your arm that deal with free speech across the spectrum, and the idea that you can have an opinion that is so dangerous that it must be outlawed? Well, that’s anathema to the Founding Fathers. It’s an opinion. It can be countered. It can be matched. It can be proven wrong. That’s an important part of what’s been lost in our culture, by and large. The ability to make debate: To make a case, present evidence for an argument, and then to prevail or lose in that debate and discussion. Everything now descends into simple fighting. And we are better than that.