I'm not proud to admit it, but I laughed.
the two-week cooldown period in which a controversial person is suspended purely for PR purposes will hereafter be known as a “Whoopi cushion” https://t.co/rlYf7AJFrx— Kat Rosenfield (@katrosenfield) February 2, 2022
But there are more serious thoughts out there…
Charlie Cooke, what do you think about Whoopi Goldberg's suspension? "Thanks for asking, Pun Salad! Whoopi Goldberg's Suspension Is Illiberal and Irrational. Specifically…"
What Goldberg said was factually incorrect, yes. But so what? Figures on political TV shows say stupid and historically illiterate things every day — including about the Nazis — and nothing much happens to them as a result. What, exactly, was different about this one? Is warmed-over critical theory prohibited now?
And why does anyone care? ABC’s president explained that the suspension was a product of Goldberg’s “hurtful comments.” But who, specifically, was “hurt”? The View is a talk show, and a particularly stupid one to boot. Is there anyone in the world who takes it as gospel? I simply do not understand the mechanism by which viewers are supposed to be damaged in some way by watching an actress make mistakes on live TV. Where is this “hurt”? What does it look like? How long does it last? And how is it assuaged by barring Goldberg from the program for a fortnight? Goldberg isn’t the CEO of American Airlines, or the president of the Historical Society. She’s a participant on a chat show. No one in America is affected by her errors.
Thanks, Charlie. For another view…
Let's hear from Robby Soave. Robby, do you agree with Charlie about the "illiberal and irrational" thing? "Sorry, no, Pun Salad! Instead, I hold to the opinion that Whoopi Goldberg's 2-Week Suspension From The View Is Idiotic."
I have yet to find anyone who agrees with the punishment. Goldberg's comments do not appear to come from a place of maliciousness toward Jewish people—in fact, she has described herself as a non-practicing Jew in the past. What purpose does the suspension serve, except to chide a political talk show host from talking about politics? Goldberg made her claim, and was called out and repeatedly corrected. She wasn't underplaying the horrors of the Holocaust or denying anti-Semitism, she was earnestly making a point that, as it turns out, is wrong.
Fascinating. For our next guest…
Arnold Kling, you are Jewish. Surely you have some unique perspective on the Whoopster? "Not really, Pun Salad! But I'd like to say something In Defense of Whoopi Goldberg."
First, the snark: By Joe Biden’s criteria, Whoopi Goldberg is more qualified than Laurence Tribe—to pick a name on the left—to fill the pending Supreme Court vacancy. End of snark.
Her comments on the Holocaust were erroneous and in bad taste. But as a free-speech absolutist, I defend her right to say things that are erroneous and in bad taste. And as a Jew, I am ashamed of the Jewish establishment leaders who pounced on her remarks and helped cause her employer to “suspend” her for two weeks.
The charge that was immediately made against Goldberg, and to which she later pleaded guilty, is that the remarks were “hurtful.” This is a red flag that the critics are crybullies. Whenever the criticism of speech is that it is “hurtful" to some group, I say that it is time to defend the speaker and criticize those who find it “hurtful.”
Good point, Arnold. And I liked that snark.
Tristan Justice, do you know what company owns the ABC television network? "Why, yes I do, Pun Salad. That would be Disney. And I'd like to point out that Disney's Double Standards Go On Full Display In Goldberg Suspension."
Goldberg’s treatment comes in stark contrast to how the same company handled online outrage when “Mandalorian” star Gina Carano made a Holocaust comparison with logical and factual bases. In February last year, Carano was promptly fired after the actress wrote on Instagram that mass political violence such as that of Nazi Germany begins with hatred of one’s neighbors.
Ouch. Bet they wish they had that one back, amirite? Maybe Whoopi will hire Gina as a recurring character on the upcoming Star Trek spinoff series Guinan!
And in case you haven't yet awakened… Eric Boehm points out America’s $30 Trillion National Debt Should Be a Wake Up Call.
America's national debt exceeded $10 trillion for the first time ever in October 2008.
By mid-September 2017 the national debt had doubled to $20 trillion. That was so recently that it probably feels like the week before last. Remember Donald Trump issuing a threat of nuclear war against North Korea from a New Jersey country club? Did you see Thor: Ragnarok in theaters? That was fall 2017. It was less than five years ago.
Yesterday, data released by the U.S. Treasury confirmed that the national debt reached a new milestone: $30 trillion.
The speed with which the federal government has piled up the third mountain of 10 trillion I-O-U notes is truly remarkable. Yes, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic drove government borrowing and spending to stratospheric heights—but even before COVID appeared on the horizon, the operative question about the national debt was when not if the country would hit $30 trillion. The drivers of the debt are an unbalanced entitlement system and a persistent gap between government spending and tax revenue—the result of more than two decades of poor decision making in Washington, where politicians from both parties have carelessly borrowed to pay for everything from foreign wars to $1,200 checks for most Americans (even those earning six-figures) during the pandemic.
The culprits, unfortunately, are easy to find: (1) Democrats; (2) Republicans; (3) Voters.
George F. Will has a clickbait headline? Well, maybe for political geeks. Here it is: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson have much in common, with one vital, deflating difference.
Transfixed Americans, watching from afar, are perhaps nonplussed by events in London. There, Her Majesty’s first minister is, as this is written, in danger of losing his lease on 10 Downing Street because he lied. Astonishing.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson might survive, for a number of reasons, one being that he, like two of the five most recent U.S. presidents (Bill Clinton and Donald Trump), has the awesome strength that comes from being incapable of embarrassment. Also, to his critics he can fairly respond: “What did you expect?”
He has never disguised his belief that in any situation, truthfulness is merely one option among many, and not to be preferred over more advantageous or just more entertaining choices. As Winston Churchill said of another politician (evidently Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin), he “occasionally had stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.”
And, all right, all right, I won't make you click over to find out the "one vital, deflating difference." It turns out that it's not a difference between Trump and BoJo, but…
Simon Kuper notes in the Financial Times that Johnson’s net favorability rating collapsed from +29 percent in April 2020 to -52 percent in January 2022. “Here, in microcosm,” Kuper writes, “is the uniqueness of American polarisation”: Those who favor Trump are bound to him as with hoops of steel, come what may. This total indifference to evidence is today’s “American exceptionalism.”
We dodged that bullet here at Pun Salad.