Jack Hunter: Samantha Bee is the Fox News of the left


On Saturday, liberal comedian Samantha Bee hosted her “Not the White House Correspondents Dinner” to mock the actual event.

On Sunday, Bee was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if there was a “smug liberal problem”— a universe in which she and other Trump-bashing ideologues existed, blissfully unaware of anyone else who might hold a different view.

Somewhat surprisingly, Bee admitted it.

“I do the show for me and people like me and I don’t really care how the rest of the world sees it, quite frankly… We make a show for ourselves.”

The comedian made this statement after insisting there was no “smug liberal problem”—which is exactly what a smug liberal would think and say.

Regardless, I would like to thank Samantha Bee for her honesty.

How many times have progressive personalities—politicians, pundits, activists, comedians and beyond—accused conservatives of being mindless drones who can’t fathom anything beyond the worldview that Fox News gives them? I don’t know a single leftish friend or acquaintance that doesn’t believe this on some level.

And they’re not wrong.

Fox News is rightwing by design, branded from the beginning as a “fair and balanced” alternative to the much larger “liberal media” that conservatives had complained about for decades. Today, the cable giant reaches a massive audience of millions of Republican voters who prefer their news and opinion red.

There is nothing wrong with this.

Ideological leanings are as old as journalism itself. Most know Fox News is conservative. Most know MSNBC is liberal. At Rare Politics, we lean libertarian-conservative.

But if seeking a more civil society and politics, there is something wrong with only wanting to talk to people who think exactly like you do.

The problem with a Fox News viewer who only watches that channel isn’t that he or she consumes conservative media, but that it might be the only thing they watch. This can lead to a belief that it is indeed “fair and balanced” with no ideological agenda.

I have known many conservatives who believe this. They loathe Rachel “Madcow,” but appreciate Sean Hannity giving them “real news.” The same is true for progressives. I literally laughed out loud at a close liberal friend a few years ago who tried to convince me that Fox News was “rightwing garbage,” but MSNBC was just “regular news.”

I really did think he was pulling my leg. He was dead serious.

You have to be deep in your echo chamber to legitimately believe that your hard right or left perspective reflects objective reality without giving the other side an ounce of consideration.

As a libertarian, I have the ideological luxury of seeing positive aspects about the left (pro-civil liberties, antiwar sentiment when Democrats aren’t president, marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform) and also the right (constitutionalism, belief in limited government when Republicans aren’t president, deregulation, free markets).

Also as a libertarian, so many hard leftists view me as indistinguishable from the average conservative Republican, while many conservative Republicans see me as a bleeding heart liberal due to my areas of agreement with progressives.

But that’s the problem with doctrinaire leftists or rightists—their ideological tunnel vision prevents them from seeing beyond their self-imposed blinders. They more often seek to avoid debate than engage in it, because alternate truths that might clash with theirs could make them uncomfortable. If you don’t fit into the established preconceived ideological boxes, particularly theirs, you’re an enemy who belongs on the other side.

That’s really the problem with many conservatives who only watch Fox News, not merely that they watch Fox News. That’s really the problem with liberals who only watch MSNBC or comedians like Samantha Bee and do not care to engage anyone with different perspectives.

“I do the show for me and people like me and I don’t really care how the rest of the world sees it, quite frankly…” political comedian Samantha Bee says, matter of factly.

Could there be a more illiberal or close-minded statement?

Hunter is politics editor for Rare.us.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Letters to the editor: Aug. 20, 2017

To those who say that Confederate memorials do not support racism but merely celebrate culture — and that men like Robert E. Lee did good deeds other than their participation in the Civil War — I ask, “Why should we be publicly honoring traitors at all?” Benedict Arnold was a fine general and a worthy colleague of George Washington...
Facebook comments: Aug. 20, 2017
Facebook comments: Aug. 20, 2017

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Mark Wilson, the Texas Confederate Militia says it will hold the Dixie Freedom Rally Sept. 2 at Woolridge Square, which will include a march and rally. Representatives from the State Preservation Board and Austin’s Parks and Recreation department said the group had not reached out to either entity...
Viewpoints: On racism, a president who’s lost the moral authority
Viewpoints: On racism, a president who’s lost the moral authority

Like the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who emerged from under their hoods for all the world to see last week in Charlottesville, Va., President Donald Trump laid bare his character and his soul Tuesday, telling America that the white nationalists and those who protested racism were equals who shared blame in the mayhem. There “were very fine...
Viewpoints: On racism, a president who’s lost the moral authority
Viewpoints: On racism, a president who’s lost the moral authority

Like the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who emerged from under their hoods for all the world to see last week in Charlottesville, Va., President Donald Trump laid bare his character and his soul Tuesday, telling America that the white nationalists and those who protested racism were equals who shared blame in the mayhem. There “were very fine...
Commentary: U.S. health care is too big to fail. What Congress can do
Commentary: U.S. health care is too big to fail. What Congress can do

Republicans won control of Congress and the White House based largely on a single promise: They’d rid the world of Obamacare, despite that law’s reduction of the number of uninsured people in this country by 20 million. “Obamacare is death,” the president told us. After so closely tracking various iterations of GOP health care...
More Stories