Twitter, Facebook, Trump, Daum, Bee and Barr
Mary McNamara’s perspective piece [“Please Stop Calling Them ‘Social’” June 4] links Roseanne Barr’s dumb racist tweet to the power of social media but fails to address the inaction on the part of the national media to step up in an unbiased way. Barr compared Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape and the media went ballistic.
Yet, none of the media criticized columnist Meghan Daum when she labeled all men as apes. Then, on television, Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a word that most men don’t like to use. Since Bee and Daum are getting away with their comments, one has to begin calling the inaction of the press “selected feminism.”
No one has mentioned another valid reason Barr’s show “Roseanne” was canceled by ABC after her racist tweet. The show’s premise, and the reason it carried such cultural weight, was that it intended to show that President Trump’s supporters were not awful people. This family had political differences and they could work through them and enlighten one another. Barr’s own actions disproved this.
Trump’s hypocrisy in the Bee controversy is business as usual for him. He has condemned Bee for her use of a word and suggested that she be fired. But it wasn’t long ago that Trump invited gun fanatic Ted Nugent to be honored at the White House. Nugent famously called Hilary Clinton the same word in an infamous 1994 magazine interview. I guess Trump has forgiven him.
Barr rightfully lost her show — why does Bee still have hers? Bad behavior is unacceptable. This is common ground, and it applies to all.
Trump’s outrage at Bee’s slur against Ivanka Trump is actually yet another interesting case of hypocrisy. Trump did not disavow Nugent’s use of the same word against Clinton, or criticize his followers’ use of the word during his campaign. I guess it matters only when the word is used for a member of your own family. I hope The Times, as an unbiased reporter of the news, will place this in the broader perspective.
I liked what TV critic Robert Lloyd wrote about “The Middle” [“Saying Bye to a Reliable Friend,” May 22]. I loved the show and always thought the characters were very real and relatable. I will miss them so much. And while I’m at it, I’ll miss “Rosanne.” I think that the writing was superb and that each character was pretty compelling and believable. I don’t watch many sitcoms, because I find them artificial, contrived, morally bankrupt and, worst of all, unfunny.
Remember Danson the dancing DA?
I read with pleasure Emily Zemler’s article on Ted Danson [“Turns Out, TV Is His Good Place,” June 3], where he reflected on his past roles, but I was surprised there was no mention of the role that introduced him to most of us, the dancing DA in the film “Body Heat.” It was a supporting role, but it showed all the talents that Danson would display subsequently. He just gets better with age.
I liked the notes from Danson on his older performances, but I can’t believe nobody mentioned his magnificent supporting performance in “Body Heat,” the incredible 1981 film noir directed by Lawrence Kasdan. Danson added some wonderful lightness to this otherwise intense movie.
A solo act is not the same
Regarding “Steely Dan Finds a Way to Shine” [June 1]: I’m sure that Donald Fagen put on a nice show the other night at the Inglewood Forum. But calling himself and his accompanying musicians Steely Dan is just plain wrong. Steely Dan was never anything more than a duo (Fagen and Walter Becker). Even in their heyday, the two men interchanged musicians at the drop of a hat. Now that Becker has passed on, Fagen should drop the Steely Dan name altogether and bill himself as a solo act.
Won’t you come home, theater critics?
As a longtime subscriber with an interest in local theater, I am sick and tired of having precious space spent on reviews of out-of-town productions [“‘Angels in America’ Flies on Its Actors’ Wings,” May 30]. If I want to read a review of a New York production, I can read about in a New York publication. Likewise for anything in London, Chicago or Northern California. The Times’ coverage of local theater continues to be abysmal. Why do you spend scant resources on covering an out-of-town revival when so many local productions are ignored?
A comic walks into Golden Gate Park…
As a former San Francisco comedian, I enjoyed Chris Barton’s article on the San Francisco comedy festival Clusterfest [“How Clusterfest Proves Comedy Is More Relevant Than Rock,” June 1]. Although the article mentioned other national and international comedy festivals that had inspired it, I was surprised there was no mention of San Francisco’s annual Comedy Day. Since 1981, nearly 1,000 of the world’s funniest comedians have performed free of charge for more than 500,000 people in Golden Gate Park’s Robin Williams Meadow. (Williams was a major supporter and performer there.) Comedy Day also provides outreach programs. Comedy workshops teaching conflict resolution through the use of humor are available for Bay Area public schools throughout the year. Comedy Day performers have included Dana Carvey, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Cho, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Pollak, George Wallace, Janeane Garofalo and Eddie Izzard.
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