The Roseanne Barr Double Standard Is Ruining Our Country

by John Hawkins | June 2, 2018 12:34 am

“Roseanne Barr is extremely liberal and clinically insane. I’m not a fan just because she’s back on TV doing a show that isn’t 100% hostile to conservatives.” – John Hawkins[1], March 29, 2018


“I think Roseanne Barr is crackers. Completely out of touch with reality. Hard to tell on the Left these days tho.” – John Hawkins[2], Aug 7, 2010


I include those quotes just to make it clear that I have never been a fan of Roseanne. I watched her show a handful of times in its initial run and didn’t even bother to watch the wildly popular new incarnation that gathered so much steam because it wasn’t entirely hostile to Trump.


All that being said, I’m not sure that Roseanne didn’t get a raw deal. For one thing, did she even know Valerie Jarrett is black? I do politics for a living and I sure didn’t. I thought she was Iranian. If Roseanne did know she is black, I would assume she was aware that comparing black people to monkeys has long been considered an offensive racist stereotype, but apparently not everyone knows that.


So, did ABC have the RIGHT to fire Roseanne? ABSOLUTELY. This is not a First Amendment issue because we’re talking about a private company that has the right to do what it wants. That being said, it’s hard to understand how Roseanne’s latest dumb comment is any different than her 5 bazillion other dumb comments. I suspect that the real reason she was fired is that she had gotten too popular with the wrong people in ABC’s eyes and so, management was looking for any excuse to get rid of her.


Once again, ABC certainly has a right to get rid of Roseanne if it wants to do it. However, why is it that there so often seems to be a “one mistake and done” standard for people that appeal to conservatives while offensive liberals need a wheelbarrow to carry around all the free passes they get?


Just as an example, as I write this, the big controversy of the day is “comedian” Samantha Bee calling the President’s daughter a “feckless c*nt” on air because Ivanka had the audacity to post a picture hugging her own child. There is no doubt that any host that aimed comments like those about Barack Obama’s daughters when he was in the White House would be out of a job – and that double standard is the real problem.


For example, crazy as a loon Keith Olbermann just got hired on at ESPN, which is a division of ABC. This is a guy who has said stupid, offensive and profane things over and over and over again on Twitter. This is a guy who tells Trump and other Republicans “F**K you” (but without the asterisks) on a regular basis. How does ABC shrug its shoulders at that and then fire Roseanne? Because ABC has a double standard.


How does Google fire James Damore for making the argument that women may just not be as biologically inclined toward STEM as men while feminists in the company are freely allowed to argue that any discrepancy must be based on bias toward women?  Because Google has a double standard.


MSNBC’s Joy Reid had a number of homophobic comments that were made years ago on her blog that came to light. Her laughable excuse was that “Hackers did it,” which nobody believes. So, was Joy Reid branded a homophobe and banished from the air like a conservative would be? No, she still has a job at the world’s most politically correct news channel, MSNBC.


You could even compare Roseanne to the numerous black liberals whose entire shtick is to hurl abuse at white people and call them racist. If you want to say, “There are lots of people who could be reasonably offended by Roseanne’s racial comment,” that’s fair. But, you could say the exact same thing about Shaun King, Michael Eric Dyson, Steve Smith, Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson. In fact, even if Roseanne is a secret racist who, despite all other appearances to the contrary, hates black people, these people are still orders of magnitude worse because it came out once in a tweet for her while they spew out their abuse at white people on a regular basis.


As a conservative, I LIKE standards. If anything, I think we’re way too tolerant of horrible behavior and obnoxious comments as a society. That’s why I particularly despise double standards, because ultimately they don’t lead to one side or another getting an advantage; they lead to orgies of whataboutism and no standards at all.


….To which all the liberals reply, “Well, what about Trump!” See? But, you know what the response of Trump’s biggest fans is every time he says something horrible or does something he shouldn’t? It’s “Well, remember that time Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, mainstream media….” – and guess what? The whataboutism is usually valid. Incidentally, whoever the next Democrat is that’s in office will be able to play the same game with whataboutism. “Sure, I did it, but remember when Trump said….” Personally, I’d rather live in a country where having an affair with a porn star causes a politician to leave office under a cloud of shame, but it’s hard to make the case for that to conservatives when Bill Clinton gets a free pass for cheating and sexual harassment in the Oval Office.


If we want to create a country where we almost have to be tribalists by default because we can’t possibly get a fair shake from anybody but our tribe, we can do that, but it will ultimately destroy almost everything that’s good about this country. The other option is to have standards that apply to everyone, whether a person is liberal or conservative. When someone like Roseanne starts to get exactly as much benefit of the doubt as Samantha Bee, Joy Reid or Keith Olbermann, then the country will be moving in the right direction again.


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