If you read conservative media recently you’d think the biggest problem in the world was so-called “cancel culture.” Cancel culture is a catchall phrase used to describe the habit of removing people from the public consciousness for previous sins. At least that’s the way the right-wingers would like to describe it. Media Matters broke down the numbers regarding FOX News’ latest obsession, the revision of Dr. Seuss books.
Fox News' Dr. Seuss obsession, by the numbers
Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for original programming on Fox News Channel for…
The decision to remove outdated and offensive depictions of Africans and Asians was made by Dr. Seuss Enterprises. But FOX News spun it as Dr. Seuss falling victim to the Democrat-led cancel culture. In reality, Democrats had nothing to do with the decision, but FOX News never let the facts get in the way of a good story. According to Media Matters, FOX News dedicated more airtime to the Dr. Seuss story, than FBI Director Christopher Wray’s Senate testimony on domestic terrorism!
“The network covered Dr. Seuss and the ‘cancel culture’ for 1 hour and 9 minutes, more than twice the time it spent covering Wray’s testimony — 22 minutes — and the vaccine distribution news — 26 minutes,” said Media Matters.
The new culture war
In addition, conservatives have selective memory when it comes to hatred of cancel culture. They cheered when the group formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, a country band who were boycotted after they criticized President George W. Bush, and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick had their careers put on ice because of their political views. But Republicans are upset when the same effect works against them.
So-called cancel culture isn’t about tyranny, it’s about asking people to respect other people’s culture and choices. If you can’t do that, what you’re saying is you have the right to remain racist
However, there’s another reason why FOX News and the right-wing entertainment machine are focusing on cancel culture. They realize they can’t win on their standard Republican message of tax cuts for the rich and less government spending, so they’re trying to win in the culture wars. These are issues such as abortion, gun control and gay marriage, which have no bearing on Americans’ pocketbooks but are guaranteed to make social conservatives mad enough to vote against their interests.
John Oliver takes down Fox News for refusing to cover domestic terrorism over fake 'canceling' of…
The last word on the Fox News Dr. Seuss nonsense came from John Oliver, who called out the right-wing for their fake…
Comedian John Oliver brilliantly explained why Republicans were engaging in this age-old bait and switch.
“Oliver explained that the real reason that Fox News wanted to get people up in arms about Dr. Seuss was to avoid talking about domestic terrorism in the United States,” said Raw Story.
However, “cancel culture” is really about holding people accountable. The world has changed, there are a lot of things that you can’t say and do anymore. I’m 50 years old and I’ve witnessed a lot of terms change in my lifetime. For example, when I was growing up in England in the 1970s, it was perfectly normal to refer to people of mixed race as “half-caste.” Of course, that would be inexcusable these days.
But there are some people, mainly Republicans, who want to keep doing things the old way. They want to insist on using those old, offensive terms simply because they like them. And when people get upset with outdated terms, they cry about the “cancel culture.” But what they really have a problem with is the fact that they’re being held accountable, and people expect them to behave like reasonable adults and refrain from making offensive statements.
It’s not just a joke
A lot of times the right-wing “bro” culture, often seen in Fox News personalities such as Jesse Watters, tries to hide offensive comments with humor. Watters once did a bit where he went to Chinatown and made fun of Chinese people who couldn’t speak English. It was funny, if you like laughing at marginalized people. Humor is subjective, and there’s always a fine line between being funny and being offensive.
Fox News Host Expresses Regret Over Controversial Chinatown Segment
Fox News host Jesse Watters said he had "regret" Wednesday over a segment on "The O'Reilly Factor" that drew…
When the Fox News types are making comments about women and ethnic minorities, they’re not being funny they’re trying to hide their racism and misogyny behind humor. That’s pretty much the same game that unmourned talk show host Rush Limbaugh played. Much of what he said was offensive, but he claimed he was a comedian. But as real comedian Bill Maher pointed out, Limbaugh wasn’t funny and he could never make a living telling jokes.
I’ve run into this kind of attitude before. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, I heard a lot of offensive and racist comments. When I challenged the people making these comments they would often say, “It’s just a joke.” However, making fun of someone’s skin color or ethnicity isn’t funny, unless they ask you to laugh with them. If you’re laughing at them, you’re just a bully. Almost 40 years later things are pretty much the same.
But now, conservatives have cast this as a free speech issue. They believe they have the right to be as offensive as they want to be and you’re wrong if you get offended by their comments. How about you simply not make those racist comments?
So-called cancel culture isn’t about tyranny, it’s about asking people to respect other people’s culture and choices. If you can’t do that, you’re saying you have the right to remain racist, and other people should learn how to deal with it. If that’s the case, don’t be surprised if you do get canceled.