I’m sure you’ve heard—and heard, and heard—but Samantha Bee has been in the news recently.
The comedienne, formerly of The Daily Show and now host of TBS’ Full Frontal, came under fire for referring to White House administration official (and first daughter) Ivanka Trump as a “feckless cunt” for posting an tone-deaf picture of her nuzzling her child on the heels of troubling news about her father’s administration separating immigrant children from their parents at the border and, in some cases, placing them in shelter-prisons. The barb, which was delivered during a comedy bit on Bee’s late-night program, prompted President Trump to call for her firing.
As comedienne Michelle Wolf told The Daily Beast, “Ivanka is part of the Trump administration. She’s fair game. And she is useless. So I think it’s very fair to point out that she’s doing a terrible job.”
After caving to network (and advertiser) pressure and apologizing, Bee addressed the fracas on last week’s Full Frontal. “I crossed a line and I do apologize for that,” she said, before placing the focus back on the Trump administration’s punishing policies, as she intended: “Look, if you are worried about the death of civility, don’t sweat it. I’m a comedian. People who hone their voices in basement bars while yelling back at drunk hecklers are definitely not paragons of civility. I am, I’m really sorry that I said that word but you know what, civility is just nice words. Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions.”
On Wednesday’s edition of her TBS show, Bee hit pause on immigration/Ivanka and instead aimed her ire at the far right’s obsession with conspiracy theories—namely, their belief that many of the recent mass shootings in America were either “false flag” operations or were staged events involving the use of “crisis actors.”
“These conspiracy theories are also seeping into the political mainstream,” said Bee, before throwing to a news clip about how Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet accusing Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg of being a “crisis actor.”
“That is really scary!” Bee exclaimed. “Influential people with real power buy into this stuff—and also Donald Trump Jr. Our walking 4chan of a president has also helped embolden hoaxers by chumming around on Alex Jones’ talk show.”
Bee then threw to footage of candidate Trump on InfoWars, Jones’ wacky show designed to sell sketchy supplements. “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down,” Trump told Jones, a man who claims the U.S. government was behind the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11, and is engaged in a plot to poison our nation’s drinking water to turn people gay. He’s also called the Las Vegas and San Bernardino shootings “false flag” operations and claimed, “Sandy Hook is a synthetic completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured.” Tell that to the grieving parents, who’ve recently decided to sue Jones for defamation. Perhaps Jones will use a similar defense to the one he employed in his recent divorce trial, where his own lawyer argued that Jones was “a performance artist” and “playing a character.”
“Aw, that’s the kind of gushing praise Trump usually reserves for dictators,” Bee said of Trump’s Jones praise, before throwing to a clip of Trump and Kim Jong Un embracing. “Crisis actors are not a thing—although we did find one instance of a politician hiring actors to pose as real people.”
What followed was a news clip referencing The Hollywood Reporter’s story that revealed the Trump campaign offered actors $50 to cheer for him at his presidential announcement. More recently, the Trump administration recruited White House and GOP staffers to pose as Philadelphia Eagles fans for an event honoring the Super Bowl champs at the White House (after the president disinvited the team).
“I really miss the days when Donald Trump had to pay people to cheer for him,” said Bee.