Sarah Silverman’s Empathy Shtick Is More Fake News

Rodney King famously said, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

Comic Sarah Silverman has been summoning that spirit while promoting her Hulu series, I Love You, America.

Here’s the progressive comic detailing her mission statement for the politically-charged show last year:

“I like people and I’m a people person. So I feel I always find that with people’s porcupine needles go down with that first hug hello as long as it’s sincere and real. It’s very easy to get divided when you don’t see people’s faces and you don’t feel the warmth of their skin.

The night Trump was elected, for instance, I remember thinking to myself I need to get a gun. And I need bottled water and canned food. Then I thought, oh, this is how a whole bunch of people were feeling when Obama was elected, and although I can’t relate to that on any level I can now understand that feeling of not feeling safe or feeling like you need to protect yourself from the government.

I have very strong political views and I’m not abandoning them. I’m still me, but I’m trying to be as open as possible because unless our porcupine needles are down, change can’t happen. The goal is really to find a way to be funny that isn’t “We’re right and you’re wrong and we’re smart and you’re dumb,” because I just think there’s enough of that.

That was a year ago.

Less than a week ago Salon published this interview with Silverman about her show’s second season. The reporter hailed Silverman for embracing the fact that everyone has a right to his or her point of view. The article goes on, saying, “she never treats the people to whom she speaks with anything less than respect.”

The show “is a resolutely optimistic enterprise its host describes as “a show about trying to be open,” the writer explains.

Silverman makes it a point to listen to what [Republicans] have to say, firsthand, challenging them at times but never disrespecting their views.

“There’s a huge disparity between those people even though they all seem to be on the same ‘side,’” she continued. “So yeah, this show is just as much about speaking truth to power as it is about trying to connect with people who get their news from Fox News and Breitbart and the president’s tweets. They’re believing liars, that’s their crime. Their fears are being exploited. That’s the difference.”

Now, let’s look back at some recent episodes of I Love You, America.

 

 

The show returned for a second season last month by interviewing a pro-life group (healing!) but using pro-choice voices to negate their views. It’s a tactic filmmaker James Stern deployed in American Chaos.

The capper? Silverman accused the pro-lifers of “co-opting the Holocaust.” The same episode also found her savaging anyone who dared to disagree with NFL kneeling protests.

Subsequent shows got worse. She called the country’s one percenters the “a**holes of America – along with a graphic in the shape of a rectal aperture,

Need more healing?

Another show found her mocking Brett Kavanaugh’s physical appearance (“frowny pink face and his Pert Plus hair”), assuming his guilt and dubbing President Trump “big fat President Dumbs***.”

She later depicted a conservative blonde pundit as a robot and grinned while former Republican Steve Schmidt said the Supreme Court is illegitimate based on Kavanaugh’s inclusion.

And then there’s her Twitter feed…

 

 

Entertainment reporters deserve some slack. When a star talks up a new show it’s hard to be cynical. One year later, when every indication flies in the face of the star’s fair and balanced pose? Now, it’s time to throw some skepticism into the mix.

Salon’s misguided Silverman profile isn’t the first time a reporter dodged reality on Silverman’s behalf. How many more expletive tirades against those with whom she disagrees will she utter before reporters call her out on her “Kumbaya” shtick?

[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]


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