Glenn Greenwald launches a delightfully savage attack against Samantha Bee
Glenn Greenwald is an interesting guy with a passion for the First Amendment. Because he hated George Bush and the Iraq War, he spent years aligned completely with the left. However, because he hates the Biden administration's sustained attacks on individual liberty, he's suddenly a regular guest on Tucker Carlson. I don't forgive Greenwald his uninformed hostility to Israel, but I find him worth listening to in other contexts — and given my abiding disdain for today's late-night TV hosts, I was dazzled by his attack on Samantha Bee, whose show, Full Frontal, just got canceled.
I was lucky enough to come of age in the Johnny Carson era, and I watched him fairly regularly from the mid-1970s through his retirement in 1992. His show was carefully calibrated to entertain the greatest number of Americans, regardless of political stripe. While his comic routines were often silly (although I do love this oldie), his monologues were good pokes at the people and foibles of the day, funny without ever being savage. He was also an exceptionally witty man who always made his guests look good.
Jay Leno pretty much followed in Carson's footsteps. He had an ecumenical monologue, gently poking fun at everyone, and had good regular bits, whether it was laughing at headlines, pointing out inadvertently funny wedding announcements, playing amusing 911 calls, or giving us a glimpse of Americans who displayed scary but amusing ignorance.
I didn't like Letterman, whom I found mean and self-centered.
But the person I really disliked was Jon Stewart. A friend of mine loved Stewart and, whenever we were together, insisted we watch the show. Even before I completed my political conversion from Democrat to conservative, I found Stewart and his regulars off-putting. They reminded me of the bullies at high school: their acolytes laughed at them, not because they were witty or insightful but simply because they were mean to the appropriate targets.
And of all the people I disliked on Jon Stewart's show, the one I disliked the most was Samantha Bee, the quintessential mean girl. It was no surprise to me years later, when she got her own show, that she applied a crude, misogynistic appellation to Ivanka Trump. Even if one dislikes Ivanka's politics, she was never anything other than a lady in public. Bee was not, yet it was still amazing to see her lower herself as far as she did.
It turned out that I was not alone in disliking Bee. In terms of late-night programming, she was at the bottom of the list, below even Don Lemon. Ouch!
What we learned a couple of days ago is that even leftist-loving TV executives cannot indefinitely maintain a show that no one wants to watch, so Samantha Bee's Full Frontal got canceled. Good.
But what was great was Glenn Greenwald's absolutely savage attack on Bee, along with his equally harsh words for the whole late-night line-up of unamusing political propagandists:
The ratings collapse of prime-time cable news shows on CNN and MSNBC gets a fair amount of attention because of how severe (and deserved and amusing) it is. But late-night TV, once attracting tens of millions, has collapsed with it by becoming liberal:https://t.co/yJuW6su5Zd— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 25, 2022
By far Sam Bee's most notable moment in 7 years hosting that dreary, banal liberal show -- arguably her only notable moment -- was when she called Ivanka Trump the c-word. A feminist legacy as trivial and inconsequential as it was failed and pointless. https://t.co/m2ulwZH3fn— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 25, 2022
Given Greenwald's journey from leftist to conservative-leaning libertarian, maybe there's hope for his also revisiting his mistaken ideas about Israel and recognizing that the only Jewish state in a dangerous Muslim neighborhood is also the state with the good core values most closely matching Greenwald's own. But even if that doesn't happen (which would be sad), I'll never stop having a smile for Greenwald's deserved attack on a woman who had a forum way too large for her mean little ideas.