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Right-Wing Toadstools All In A Dither Over Fran Lebowitz Now

Culture

This morning the internet awoke to find Fran Lebowitz, of all people, trending on Twitter. Not gonna lie, my heart stopped for a moment, and Twitter really needs to start putting "NOT DEAD" beneath people's names when they trend. As it turns out, the reason for this beautiful living saint trending on Twitter was because she said a THING on Bill Maher last night and the right is really, really upset about it and they are all sobbing their faces off on the Twitter about how Fran Lebowitz, a person they have never heard of because they're just not that well read as a people, wants their beloved president to be murdered.

Here's what went down!

Bill Maher and Fran Lebowitz were talking about whether or not Trump should be impeached. Lebowitz says "That would be just the beginning of what he deserves" and then goes on to suggest that we give him "over to the Saudis, his buddies – the same Saudis who got rid of that reporter." Then she pauses and says "Maybe they could do the same for him."

It was, you know, a joke.


Nevertheless, shortly thereafter, on Overtime, Lebowitz apologized and said "I didn't realize that I had said it. I had 12 cups of coffee. I regret saying it."

Overtime: Fran Lebowitz, Jonathan Metzl, Neera Tanden, George Packer, Jarmes Kirchick www.youtube.com

It should not have been a big deal, especially because the people most upset about this are the people who were fine with what happened to Jamal Kashoggi. It also should not be a big deal, because it is Fran Lebowitz, a woman known for writing things like:

"Do not allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth"

and

All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable. The most common error made in matters of appearance is the belief that one should disdain the superficial and let the true beauty of one's soul shine through. If there are places on your body where this is a possibility, you are not attractive — you are leaking.

and

Any child who cannot do long division by himself does not deserve to smoke.

And yet, this morning, we've got the New York Post coming out with this shit:

And we've got other crap like this:

And these:

Really?

This kind of shit is actually dangerous. Fran Lebowitz did not "call for" anything. It was a joke, it was an offhanded comment. Given what the Donald Trump or general right-wing conservative version of making a joke or an offhanded comment is, they should probably shut their stupid mouths.

Do I actually believe, for one second, that these people believe that Fran Lebowitz, a 68-year-old humorist that they are probably too stupid to have heard of, is legitimately and sincerely calling for Saudi Arabia to murder poor, innocent Donald Trump? No, I do not. What is going on here is that the Right believes that the Left uses outrage in order to unfairly manipulate people into feeling empathy for others and then supporting things that help those people, and they see this as an opportunity to manipulate people into feeling empathy for them and for Donald Trump, with the hope that this will translate into people supporting things that help them.

The grand irony is, of course, that their obvious and very trolly insincerity undermines their ability to achieve that objective. We can do "outrage" because we are sincerely outraged about things that actually merit said outrage, and we actually sincerely want to do things that help people. As hard as they try, their disingenuous outrage isn't really gonna do the trick.

Also, they will never be as funny as Fran Lebowitz.

All of that being said, I shall leave this off with my all time favorite Fran Lebowitz quote, as it seems rather appropriate here:

I understand, of course, that many people find smoking objectionable. That is their right. I would, I assure you, be the very last to criticize the annoyed. I myself find many-- even most-- things objectionable. Being offended is the natural consequence of leaving one's home. I do not like aftershave lotion, adults who roller-skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tan. I do not, however, go around enacting legislation and putting up signs. In private I avoid such people; in public they have the run of the place. I stay at home as much as possible, and so should they. When it is necessary, however, to go out of the house, they must be prepared, as I am, to deal with the unpleasant personal habits of others. That is what "public" means.

It sure is!

[Real Time with Bill Maher]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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