Rightwingers Killed 15 Americans In Last 10 Days, But 'SNL' Said Veteran Looked Like A Porner
I'm not a regular viewer of "Saturday Night Live," which I'm not certain even needs to air live or on Saturdays. The last sketch the show produced that I found amusing was "Liza Minnelli Tries to Turn Off a Lamp," because that involved two of my favorite things -- Liza (with a Z!) and light fixtures (with an X!). So, all the headlines and social media screaming on Sunday about Pete Davidson, a cast member who isn't Kate McKinnon, surprised me. What's the big deal?
Apparently, Davidson made a joke, on an occasionally joke-making show, about the appearance of GOP House candidate Dan Crenshaw. Crenshaw is a former Navy Seal who was almost blinded in 2012 while serving in Afghanistan. He lost his right eye in a blast, and his left eye was so badly damaged it's considered a "miracle" he retained sight in it after several surgeries. He was deployed again twice, with just the one eye, which is impressive. But still, I guess I'm not seeing why Davidson's joke has inflamed the Internets. He didn't mock Crenshaw's actual service, which led to the injuries, like a common president of the United States.
Davidson's joke is now the "most disgusting, atrocious thing to ever happen in America," because you just don't say mean things, even in jest, about conservatives. "Free speech" demands bigots and misogynists receive prominent platforms to spout garbage on college campuses, but barely off-color humor during a "Weekend Update" segment is just too much for our Republic to stand. In fairness, though, it's not just that Crenshaw is a conservative. He's a veteran and you should only mock veterans if they're also dying of brain cancer.
Crenshaw, who was once an administrator of an Islamophobic, racist Facebook page, appeared this morning on "Fox & Friends" to denounce Davidson's bit: "They probably should apologize, but that doesn't mean I'm going to demand an apology... They certainly crossed the line, but their apology won't mean anything to me." He'd earlier commented on Twitter that vets "don't deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes."
Man, that dude is all over the place. He literally can't decide if he's a snowflake or a tuff guy and everyone should apologize not that they should apologize and not that it would mean anything but they should but he's not calling for it.
One of the president's spare children tweeted that "Saturday Night Live" should be "ashamed of themselves" and called Davidson a "gutless coward." Republican Peter King said Davidson should be fired, and Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, implied that Davidson's breakup with Ariana Grande must've left him unhinged. Is this how you treat someone who lost their firefighter father in the 9/11 terror attacks?
Republicans capitalizing on the outrage are banking on people -- including even members of the press -- not actually watching the three-minute "Weekend Update" segment. Davidson is giving his first impressions of midterm candidates and scathingly says of Crenshaw: "This guy is kind of cool." The brutal roasting continues when he comments that "You may be surprised to hear he's a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie." The audience laughs for some reason, and Davidson then literally apologizes: "I'm sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever." I guess it's the flippant "whatever" that was the true insult to veterans everywhere. Honestly, the Bob Dole parodies had more bite. At least when Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a "feckless (REDACTED)," it was a genuine political attack.
What's even less funny than Davidson's bit and "Saturday Night Live" in general is the media's eagerness to scold Davidson and help give Crenshaw oodles of free press days before the midterms. It's a true gift for Republicans everywhere to not have to address Brian Kemp's attempts to steal an election, the white supremacist in their own caucus, or the 15 people right-wing extremists killed in the past week and a half.week and a half. The press was in such high dudgeon, you'd think Davidson had noted Sarah Huckabee Sanders wears makeup.
ABC News found at least 17 criminal cases where Trump's name was mentioned in "direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault," but sure, whatever, let's focus on the true threat that's Pete Davidson and his appalling hair.
Now watch something actually funny.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He recently fled Seattle, where he did theatre work for Book-It Rep and Cafe Nordo.