December 5, 2017

At MSNBC, in the time of The Reckoning, there's zero tolerance for sarcasm aimed at the rich and powerful.

I'd never even heard of Sam Seder, but apparently he had a show on MSNBC and now he's lost it, all because of a joke he made in a (now-deleted) tweet back in 2009:
Don’t care re Polanski, but I hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/a great sense of mise en scene.
I understand why the risk-averse, uncreative management at MSNBC doesn't want any of that anywhere near them. But I understand that joke as a criticism of everyone who cut Roman Polanski some slack because he's a great artist.

Seder was being sarcastic. We may cringe to see him put his own daughter in the middle of that joke, but I think that was the way to give it edge. He was speaking in the voice of a character he disapproves of, someone who wants to restore Roman Polanski to a place of honor in the elite world of film.

Let's remember what was going on in 2009 when Seder indulged in that sarcasm. The French Philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy was collecting the signatures of "writers and artists" to spare Roman Polanski from the consequences of the rape he committed. He wrote:
We ask the Swiss courts to free him immediately and not to turn this ingenious filmmaker into a martyr of a politico-legal imbroglio that is unworthy of two democracies like Switzerland and the United States. Good sense, as well as honor, require it.
I don't know if Seder is an ingenious news-show host, but retaliating against him for that tweet is the opposite of ingenious. It's willfully stupid.

92 comments:

tim in vermont said...

If you are gonna get rid of Trump extra-democratically, ya gotta break some eggs!

robother said...

I imagine that the Salem witch prosecutors did not appreciate irony/sarcasm/litotes either. "That's not funny!" has been a watchword for puritans across the ages.

Ann Althouse said...

"This obviously isn't a café post, but the Amazon link button is missing. It was there about an hour ago and now it's gone."

Yeah, I am having some trouble with Amazon and may drop out of the program. They are changing they way they handle it. But look further down the sidebar. There's still an Amazon search box.

They are trying to get "associates" (like me) to do more of the individual product linking (the way you see it done on Instapundit). I'm just not going to live like that.

Amadeus 48 said...

Leftist autophagy. Maybe this should be a cafe post.

Good times, good times.

Dude1394 said...

It is difficult to control a wildfire when everything said, written or thought is a sexual harrassment. When everything will burn, it is hard to stop a wildfire.

Awful.

JPS said...

Wow. Thanks, Prof. Althouse.

I heard a quick line about Seder's tweet - paraphrased - on the radio while driving yesterday. The person doing the paraphrasing made Seder's statement sound absolutely sincere.

tim in vermont said...

I think that it's fine that many of these old pervs are getting washed away, but this seems like "score settling" almost. I wonder what else he did to piss off the left besides failing to defend Polanski?

Bay Area Guy said...

Roman Polanksi drugged and seduced a 13- girl, got convicted, and fled the country.

The Grand Jury transcript shows how a sly Hollywood predator operates.

So, how did Hollywood respond for 40 years? They ignored and gave Polanski accolades and an Oscar.

So, 40 years later, some leftwing schmo at MSNBC gets the axe, because he merely joked about Polanski?

Yeah, that makes sense...not.

fivewheels said...

I think everyone recognizes exactly what was meant by the joke. But there is certainly a corner of feminism where the law is: There is no such thing as an acceptable rape joke. And MSNBC is a place where they're going to bow to even the least nuanced forms of feminism. Gotta know that going in if you're going to work with crazies.

gspencer said...

To learn who rules you make jokes at everyone. Your rulers will quickly let you know who's outside the limits,

dreams said...

This is what we've become. I think this is relevant.

"One of the great paradoxes of our age is that we have somehow managed to have become far more sanctimonious than previous generations—and far more immoral as well."

https://amgreatness.com/2017/12/04/is-a-presidents-character-his-presidencys-destiny/

Freeman Hunt said...

More evidence that television is hopelessly stupid and not worth watching. The joke is funny.

Sebastian said...

"retaliating against him for that tweet is the opposite of ingenious. It's willfully stupid." Willful, yes; stupid, no. Just catering to their that's-not-funny prog female audience. Epater les bourgeois, great; epater les SJWs, off to the gallows with you.

We'll know the Reckoning is serious when every Hollywood celeb who supported Polanski as a matter of "honor" is blacklisted.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

How do we know he was being sarcastic? Not my take.

Jon Burack said...

It is not "willfully stupid," Ann. I am not sure the phrase makes any sense, actually. You are more on to something in your point about sarcasm. Sarcasm is dead in an age when language is reduced to signals, and language comprehension is reduced to pavlovian stimulus response. "Tribalism" does not seem to me to fully capture how primitive the politicized thinking of our era is becoming. It is almost pre-human. It is all of a piece with the pressure not to allow kids to read Huck Finn, one of the greatest anti-racism novels of all time, because the word "nigger" is used throughout. What could be more pavlovian than the very term, "trigger warning." And all this from people who think Trump is a throwback.

Yancey Ward said...

"They are trying to get "associates" (like me) to do more of the individual product linking (the way you see it done on Instapundit). I'm just not going to live like that."

They might be giving you trouble because you have drifted to far from the left. If you don't comply, they will find some excuse to ax you altogether.

Thomas Cooper said...

Someone should check me on this, but I understand that Polanski had a plea deal worked out with the prosecution. Shortly before sentencing, he got word that the judge was going to reject the deal and treat him much more harshly. When he learned that he fled the country.

Martin said...

Who said the Left has no sense of humor?

Whoever it was, they were right.

tim in vermont said...

Someone should check me on this, but I understand that Polanski had a plea deal worked out with the prosecution. Shortly before sentencing, he got word that the judge was going to reject the deal and treat him much more harshly. When he learned that he fled the country.

What's your point?

rehajm said...

Sarcasm is dead in an age when language is reduced to signals...

We can choose to reject it. Those who do are directed to gather at the rendezvous point.

Inga said...

He obviously was engaging in reductio ad absurdum. MSNBC needs to calm down.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Don’t care re Polanski, but I hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/a great sense of mise en scene."

And if Polanski rapes a 13 year old, it's not "rape rape."

Why are they canning this guy and not Whoopie Goldberg, who made the idiotic "rape-rape" comment on that clown show called "The View?"

Why does she get a pass?

Inga said...

“Who said the Left has no sense of humor?“

Sam Seder is a leftist.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

They might be giving you trouble because you have drifted to far from the left. If you don't comply, they will find some excuse to ax you altogether.

Nah. Amazon doesn't care about that. Some VP in charge of the affiliates program has a stock grant riding on his numbers and is trying to goose them. That's all that is.

Drago said...

The most interesting point being made by the leftist "intellectuals" (who are much better than all those horrible Trump voting Deplorable Nazi's) was that HONOR required giving a convicted pedophile a clean slate.

So, if you are wondering where it is that Inga's lefty pals got the idea that giving a convicted a globally televised standing ovation, well, there ya go.

bgates said...

Feigning outrage at statements that were clearly not written to be interpreted that way has become a favored tactic of the who again?

Ken B said...

Zero tolerance for jokes about covering up for rich, entitled men in a glamour job who abusetheir position to extort a bit of sex. Gee, why would NBC object?

Next you'll tell me they frown on jokes about deceptively editing tapes to get men killed or start race riots, for ratings.

Paddy O said...

dreams @11:22, Yes! It goes back, I think, to the fundamental paradox of our age in which sex is both meaningless and just something to do and, at the same time, sex gives identity and is the most important aspect of a person's life.

Sex is nothing and sex is everything, leading to incoherent ethics.

Inga said...

“So, if you are wondering where it is that Inga's lefty pals got the idea that giving a convicted a globally televised standing ovation, well, there ya go.”

Roy Moore

Donald Trump

Ken B said...

Tim
His point is that RP was promised that it was Okay, until some nasty judge committed a really, really gauche faux pas.

JPS said...

DB@H:

"How do we know he was being sarcastic? Not my take."

Really? I read that as withering sarcasm, and a smack to those trying to say it's different when a genius does it.

But I can't prove it. You could be right.

Ken B said...

Inga
Congratulations on the time-machine! That's quite an invention!

Ken B said...

"But I can't prove it. You could be right."

I read that as withering sarcasm!

Drago said...

Poor Inga.

She keeps forgetting that she is all about "due process".

Maybe the left decided today was not a "due process" day. The lefties position changes daily you know!

Inga, let me guess, you still believe GW Bush was AWOL and that Tom Delay and Ted Stevens broke the law, don't you?

LOL

A convicted pedophile who admitted to drugging and sodomizing a 13 year old girl.....standing ovation.

Standing. Ovation.

Owen said...

Can I just "ditto" everything upthread? Yes: these are the Burning Times, suddenly upon us. How strange that a cloud no larger than a man's hand might suddenly overtake the most powerful and blameless?

Lesson (1): in the Age of Perfect Memory, everything you say or do will be instantly recorded without context or in a form where context can be stripped and replaced with the worst thing imagined by your worst enemy; by an enemy worse than any you can imagine. Therefore: never allow anything you do or say, to be recorded.
Lesson (2): in the Age of Lost Privacy, your inmost joking thought will be known instantly by your most feared enemy; by an enemy more fearful than you could ever imagine. Therefore, say nothing, not even to yourself.

Drago said...

I'm still waiting for Inga to explain the democrats standing ovation for Gerry Studs when he retired!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/08/12/studds-gets-standing-ovations-at-first-meeting-since-censure/5e93fe67-de2f-463a-a657-e56c9abc7796/?utm_term=.db6f87126384

Those democrats. They are so very, very principled.

n.n said...

Due process, implying a presumption of innocence, was nullified with the feminist establishment of the Pro-Choice Church pursuing political/social progress, that has overseen millions of baby trials and witch hunts since its inception at the twilight fringe.

Inga said...

Poor Drago, I didn’t say they were convicted. I said their actions being just fine with rightists is where others perhaps get the idea that sexual molesters and offenders can be a President and a Senator, that these don’t matter to you Rightists.

Crazy Jane said...

The US was excoriated as a nation of prudes re Polanski, but in recent months several other accusers have come forward, including one who says he attacked her when she was 10 years old.

He and his supporters should be grateful it's just jokes. There must be more than a few parents and brothers and sisters out there who'd like to kill the guy.

Drago said...

Inga: "...is where others perhaps get the idea that sexual molesters and offenders can be a President..."

Because history began anew this morning, we must forgive Inga's forgetfulness related to Billy boy Clinton.

LOL

Drago said...

Uh oh Inga. Another (!) dem caught up in the payoffs for harassment scandal!

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/12/05/another-democrat-revealed-to-have-used-congressional-sex-harassment-slush-fund/amp

Well, Meeks is probably an "ICON" so, you know, no biggee.

Drago said...

So Inga, just to summarize, the democrats happily and gleefully put into the Presidency a fellow who was credibly accused of rape and multiple instances of sexual assault and harassment.

His name was William Jefferson Clinton.

You can find information on him all over "teh interwebs".

Good luck.

Inga said...

And Drago, if a conviction is your gold standard, then you can put Bill Clinton in the same category as Trump and Moore. He was never convicted, was he? So just remember, YOU put Bill Clinton on the same level as Trump and Moore.

Inga said...

Drago sez...

“My sexual offenders can hold office because they’re rightists.”

Drago said...

Inga: "And Drago, if a conviction is your gold standard, then you can put Bill Clinton in the same category as Trump and Moore. He was never convicted, was he? So just remember, YOU put Bill Clinton on the same level as Trump and Moore"

Hmmmmm, does someone else want to help Inga out with this one? We've been here before but its clear that her memory caches of prior discussions have been cleared out completely with her periodic History Resets.

Also, Inga, Clinton lied under oath.

I wonder what the left would say if Trump lied under oath?

Inga said...

Sorry Drago, I gotcha, lol.

Drago said...

In addition to mind-reading, Inga is, once again, generating fake quotes.

Unexpectedly.

I wonder what other fake quotes Inga will make up? The possibilities are endless.

Drago said...

Inga: "Sorry Drago, I gotcha, lol"

Yes, of course you did.

My personal favorite of all the Inga ploys is to "imagine" a scenario where her ravings could be true and simply proceed on that basis.

See above.

Inga said...

“In addition to mind-reading, Inga is, once again, generating fake quotes.”

Because Drago never ever would mischaracterize someone’s comments, lol.

Unexpectedly!

Inga said...

“Yes, of course you did.”

So good of you to admit it Drago!

Drago said...

I wonder if Meeks has a son he can hand his seat off to?

Probably won't be necessary. The lefties don't have the guts to go after more than 1 member of the CBC.

Bro's before Ho's, as the lefties told us in 2008.

Inga said...

“My personal favorite of all the Inga ploys is to "imagine" a scenario where her ravings could be true and simply proceed on that basis.”

You do this every single day Drago, multiple times a day. Are you really this self unaware, or projecting?

Drago said...

Inga: "Because Drago never ever would mischaracterize someone’s comments, lol."

Note to self: Inga doesn't understand what "fake quote" means.

Drago said...

Here's a fun video where Meeks is calling on Conyers to step down...just a few days back.

When he knew that he himself had paid off victims!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYY_VplPY_c

Like Inga and the rest of the left, he had no problem being a victimizer and lecturer of others!

Well played Meeks!

Inga said...

Drago, don’t get upset. I’m playing by your rules and using your very own rhetorical “devices” against you. It was fun and it worked!

JPS said...

Ken B, 11:59:

Nicely done!

No, I meant that. It's just interesting to me that it can seem how-did-I-miss that? obvious to me while DB@H, a commenter with whom I often agree, can read the same simple words and say, Not my take.

Gahrie said...

It's willfully stupid.

That's the MSM and SJWers in a nutshell.

walter said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
They are trying to get "associates" (like me) to do more of the individual product linking (the way you see it done on Instapundit). I'm just not going to live like that.
--
That's why Glenn has Helen do it.
Hey Meade..step up.
Maybe you could directly link to "unique" products in a sarcastic manner.....

Drago said...

Inga: "Drago, don’t get upset. I’m playing by your rules and using your very own rhetorical “devices” against you. It was fun and it worked!"

Yes, of course it did.

It's clear you are very, very impressed with your own "abilities" and "successes".

You and LLR Chuck. Which is interesting...

Inga said...

“It's clear you are very, very impressed with your own "abilities" and "successes".”

I’m just playing your games Drago, with your rules. You obviously don’t know how to react when they’re used against you. I have observed your rhetorical deviances, as opposed to devices, and I’ve learned from the master. Be prepared for more of the same, until and unless you debate in an honest manner.

I like you Drago and your sense of humor, but there comes a time when the naughty patient needs some of their own medicine.

YoungHegelian said...

I don't know if Seder is an ingenious news-show host, but retaliating against him for that tweet is the opposite of ingenious. It's willfully stupid.

In our sit-back-and-pass-then-popcorn glee at watching the Left immolate its own, we on the Right may be attempting our own version of the Leninist "Forcing of the Contradictions". We're hoping that this ends with the Left figuring out that a society can't live like this, with careers destroyed by mere accusation, by one bad joke, & that they lighten the fuck up.

But what if the Left doubles down on societal judgement? What if enough folks in cultural power find this state of affairs useful, &, double down, even knowing that they may be the future victims? Think about how many members of the Bolshevik Party cheered the growth of state terror, & then, not too many years later, became its victims.

We on the Right may end up passing the ammunition rather than the popcorn, I'm afraid.

Drago said...

Inga: "I’m just playing your games Drago, with your rules."

You falsely believe that fake quotes are simply rhetorical devices.

#Sad

Drago said...

Perhaps Inga needed today to be a day where she gives herself lots of encouragement and "victories".

There is no doubt ample reason for that....

Rick said...

But what if the Left doubles down on societal judgement?

Then more people will understand who they are and vote against them.

Drago said...

BTW Althouse, I'm getting about 5 error messages for each posting and sometimes having to refresh the page multiple times for a single post.

This is my third try with this one.

readering said...

It's like punishing a politician for using nigardly.

Inga said...

“Perhaps Inga needed today to be a day where she gives herself lots of encouragement and "victories".”

If Drago were to be honest with himself he’d admit to being taken off guard by someone using his own tactics against him.

Drago said...

Inga: "If Drago were to be honest with himself he’d admit to being taken off guard by someone using his own tactics against him"

I don't do fake quotes. You do.

And you call them "rhetorical devices". Which they aren't.

Then you claim victory.

Which is all really quite amusing.

Drago said...

Inga, you are really trolling hard for some sort of compliment today.

Desperation is not a good look.

But do carry on until LLR Chuck arrives to pick up the slack.

Drago said...

Just say it with me Inga: Fake quotes are not rhetorical devices...fake quotes are not rhetorical devices...fake quotes are not rhetorical devices...

I'm hoping the repetition helps to drive the understanding of this very simple concept home for you.

Char Char Binks said...

Seder is getting a raw deal, as is an unknown percentage of the men caught up in this moral panic.

Inga said...

“I don't do fake quotes. You do.”

Drago, every single day multiple times a day you report on a story in which some liberal or Democrat has done something wrong. Then you consistently include my name in a dishonest fashion, like ”Inga’s pals”, despite the fact that I’ve corrected you many times regarding my opinions on the matter. You have also outright lied about me and what I’ve said regarding Conyers, Franken, Bill Clinton, etc. I’ve corrected you on this also several times, yet you continue to do it. You mischaracterize comments I never even made, these come right out of your imagination. You do this type of dishonest thing with poor Chuck also. But here is the difference between me and Chuck, I’ll do the very same thing to you on steroids, unless you change your ways.

Drago said...

Inga, you are apparently quite confused.

I'm not sure anyone can help you.

Further, you appear utterly unable to comprehend that fake quotes are not rhetorical devices, which you claimed they were.

I guess you'll simply return to posting more and more gibberish to cover up your mistakes but it's pretty clear for anyone reading the thread to see what you are up to.

Your defensiveness combined with your almost pathological need to have someone tell you you are correct or doing something well is childlike and disturbing for a supposed adult.

Which makes you, along with all your pals, perfect leftists.

Drago said...

Inga: "You do this type of dishonest thing with poor Chuck also. But here is the difference between me and Chuck, I’ll do the very same thing to you on steroids, unless you change your ways."

Hmmmm, that is a very, very "Chuck-like" comment and "threat" to make.

And LLR Chuck finds himself operationally and rhetorically aligned with you about 100% of the time.

And you are always quick to jump up in a protective way to defend his antics.

It's all quite interesting, isn't it?

Inga said...

Drago mused...

What’s wrong with diddling 14 year old girls anyway? Roy Moore must be the Senator for Alabama because we need his vote. That’s all that matters anyway.

Inga said...

“Your defensiveness combined with your almost pathological need to have someone tell you you are correct or doing something well is childlike and disturbing for a supposed adult.”

Drago wishes and hopes that I won’t notice that once again he’s is projecting. Drago is in a bit of a panic, he doesn’t like it when the tables are turned on him, he thinks no one would ever do it, Drago is a silly boy.

Drago said...

Inga wisely retreats from earlier self-declared "victories" (and self-inflicted wounds) to more comfortable political environs.

Unexpectedly.

Drago said...

But since the thread topic is about older posts/performances etc being judged in the harsh new light of day, what to say about lefty heroine Joy Reid's homophobic postings from not that very many years ago?

I mean, I'm not completely up to speed on the latest contradictory, ever-changing and farcical lefty "rules" about this stuff, so I'm just going to assume that homophobic comments made about a republican by an african american lefty woman will always be "totes cool".

Inga said...

Drago told me he likes to be punished, as evidenced by his continued comments directed toward me. I say fine, I’ll play your game.

Drago said...

Inga: "Drago told me he likes to be punished, as evidenced by his continued comments directed toward me. I say fine, I’ll play your game."

That looks persuasive.

I'd double down on that if I were you....

LOL

Inga said...

Honest Drago admits his admiration for Polanski. He secretly thinks Roy Moore as a pedophile, but that must not ever be spoken out loud, because Moore is a Republican with a vote in the Senate! Drago knows this is much more important. Drago thinks if he distracts from the sins of the men of the Republican Party and project them non stop onto leftists no one will question why Drago has never once condemned Dennis Hastert. Maybe it’s because Dennis Hastert too was a pedophile. Does Drago have a soft spot for pedophiles? No, I won’t believe that of our Drago.

Kevin said...

I don't know if Seder is an ingenious news-show host, but retaliating against him for that tweet is the opposite of ingenious. It's willfully stupid.

OK, but what does Jezebel think? Two pitchforks up?

Drago said...

Inga, I find it fascinating that you believe that is an effective tactic.

But then again, I'm not in favor of walking around with genitalia-regalia, so perhaps you are on to something!

It will be fun to watch as you scramble.

Carry on!

Inga said...

Drago tries to use a slick maneuver by feigning surprise that I’m actually doing what I said I would do. So, do carry on using my name in a dishonest fashion every time you mention some sexual misconduct by a leftist and I will continue to use your own tactics on you. It’s quite funny to see you out of sorts because of it. Drago, I found your weak spot. You don’t like the tables being turned on you.

Unexpectedly.

Drago said...

You know who else declares "victory" alot after embarrassing himself?

LLR Chuck.

Yes indeed, Inga and Chuck make quite a pair. A match made in heaven, possibly.

Inga said...

Drago would like to project his embarrassment onto me. Drago is doing an awful lot of it today. Drago is off his game.


Don’t be embarrassed sweetie, I still like you.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The "has Justine landed yet?" false outrage steamroller keeps chugging along.
What do you want me to do about it? Many of these same people cheered when civilians lost their jobs, when Memories Pizza was shut down, etc. That the outrage machine was fundamentally uncontrollable--that as a weapon and a tool it was something that would never been fully contained nor guaranteed to hurt only "bad" people--was obvious from the start but wholly ignored in their glee at using it.

Geez, I still see posts where people say "too bad Gawker isn't around" to help with this or that outrage-fest.

These idiots wanted the power to subject individuals to an auto-de-fe, and they got it. That one of their own might burn should have occurred to them, and if that's a problem then the solution would be to disarm...something I guarantee they will not do.

Jim at said...

You two need to get a fucking room because you're boring the hell out of everybody else on this board.

sean said...

It's a good thing Jonathan Swift didn't work for MSNBC.

Darrell said...

The 2008 Friar’s Club roast took place at the New York Hilton. . .Speaker Martha Stewart joked, “I hear NBC executives call Matt the ‘Cock of the Rock,'” Then “Today” co-host Meredith Vieira was especially crude, making jokes about Lauer and Roker partaking in anal sex during the Turin Olympics, with Roker as the receiving partner. Katie Couric said He loves to eat Curry,” as Curry (sitting in the audience) went pale and the crowd roared with laughter. “What? Indian food! What’s wrong with you people?”

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/12/05/media-elite-laughed-at-2008-roast-sending-matt-lauer-s-pervy-behavior.html


How could NBC executives have known?

William said...

I don't so much mind the Academy Award. Maybe it was a good picture. It's the standing ovation that's irksome, but maybe they were being sarcastic. Meryl Streep was demonstrating post modern irony when she lept to her feet and started applauding wildly......You've got to pay attention. Delicate forms of sarcasm are easy to miss. That Nobel Peace Prize given to Obama was an extremely delicate form of irony. " Here's the Peace Prize. You and your drone strikes really deserve this." They were making fun of him, but he never caught on.

Darrell said...

That Nobel Peace Prize given to Obama was an extremely delicate form of irony.

Bullshit. Obama got the prize when he first took office--before his first drone strike. They were honoring America's "Leftiest" President and urging him to new Lefty heights.The Left never cares about body counts. Obviously.