Megyn Kelly Calls Out Sam Bee: ‘I’m a Comedian’ is Not An ‘Excuse’

On her 9:00 a.m. ET hour show on Thursday, NBC anchor Megyn Kelly called out left-wing Full Frontal host Samantha Bee for only “sort of” apologizing for the vile attack she launched against First Daughter Ivanka Trump. While giving Bee credit for showing some degree of remorse on her TBS show Wednesday night, Kelly made it clear that simply claiming to be a “comedian” was not “an adequate excuse” for hurling such “deeply offensive” invective.

“But we begin with the backlash surrounding comedian Samantha Bee, after she called Ivanka Trump a, quote, ‘feckless c-word,’ during her cable TV show last week. Sam Bee returned to the airwaves last night and made a point of saying she’s used that word many times on TBS, but she did apologize, sort of,” Kelly informed viewers.

 

 

Talking to NBC colleague Stephanie Gosk and New York Times reporter Megan Twohey, Kelly took Bee to task for trying make excuses for her vulgar remarks:

First of all, apologies that are quickly followed by the word “but” are always problematic. I give her credit for saying on the air that she is sorry, and for trying to explain what she was trying to do. Right? Because it’s like, I never thought Sam Bee should be fired over her remark. But to me, the interesting thing was to fall back on, “I’m a comedian.” So is Roseanne.  That doesn’t – being a comedian doesn’t excuse everyone’s comments.

On her May 31 show, Kelly pushed back when NBC reporter Jacob Soboroff lamely attempted to defend Bee using the same “comedian” argument.

On Thursday, Kelly emphasized just how disgusting Bee’s insult was: “And it was more than uncivil, in my view. I mean, that term is more than just vulgar. It’s deeply offensive. Deeply offensive to a lot of women.”

Gosk urged:

I think when you talk about civility, we all have a responsibility to take part in it, and especially now. Every word that you say, if you’re a public figure, if you're on TV, whatever it is, we all have to take a step back and say, “What am I saying, and what effect is it going to have on people?

Twohey pointed out that Bee was “talking out of both sides of her mouth” in her apology:

I do think the “but” was significant. I do feel like she was sort of talking out of both sides of her mouth. That there was an apology there last night, but there also was a scolding of people for caring about this and for having issues with her using the word on air against a woman. And I think that it’s very possible for people to care about this immigration issue, to care about children being removed from their parents at the border, and also care about the word, the use of the c-word.

Kelly wrapped up the discussion by reiterating: “And I don’t find, ‘I’m a comedian,’ an adequate excuse....once you’re given a television show, whether you’re Jon Stewart or you’re Samantha Bee or you’re Roseanne, like it or not, you’re held to a higher standard....You’re in our homes.”

The host then offered some support for Bee: “So listen, I feel like she apologized. She has a brand, either you like it or you don’t. But I tip my hat to her for saying on the air that she is sorry, which isn’t always easy to do.”

Hiding behind the “comedian” label has been favorite tactic of left. Bee’s mentor and former Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, frequently employed that strategy the moment anyone called out his liberal bias.

Here is a transcript of the June 7 exchange on Kelly’s show:

9:00 AM ET

MEGYN KELLY: But we begin with the backlash surrounding comedian Samantha Bee, after she called Ivanka Trump a, quote, “feckless c-word,” during her cable TV show last week. Sam Bee returned to the airwaves last night and made a point of saying she’s used that word many times on TBS, but she did apologize, sort of.

[REPEAT OF TAPED CRAIG MELVIN REPORT]

(...)

KELLY: Joining me now to break it all down, NBC's Stephanie Gosk, along with New York Times investigative reporter and NBC News and MSNBC contributor, Megan Twohey....Let's start with Sam Bee. First of all, apologies that are quickly followed by the word “but” are always problematic. I give her credit for saying on the air that she is sorry, and for trying to explain what she was trying to do. Right? Because it’s like, I never thought Sam Bee should be fired over her remark. But to me, the interesting thing was to fall back on, “I’m a comedian.” So is Roseanne.  That doesn’t – being a comedian doesn’t excuse everyone's comments. And it was more than uncivil, in my view. I mean, that term is more than just vulgar. It’s deeply offensive. Deeply offensive to a lot of women. But did she get it done?

STEPHANIE GOSK: Well, I mean, I think when you talk about civility, we all have a responsibility to take part in it, and especially now. Every word that you say, if you’re a public figure, if you're on TV, whatever it is, we all have to take a step back and say, “What am I saying, and what effect is it going to have on people?” Because we are at odds with each other all the time.

MEGAN TWOHEY [NEW YORK TIMES]: I do think the “but” was significant. I do feel like she was sort of talking out of both sides of her mouth. That there was an apology there last night, but there also was a scolding of people for caring about this and for having issues with her using the word on air against a woman. And I think that it’s very possible for people to care about this immigration issue, to care about children being removed from their parents at the border, and also care about the word, the use of the c-word.

KELLY: Yeah, exactly. With respect to our children, as well, not wanting the word circulated in the lexicon. It’s like the same people who got upset that Trump called me and others bimbos, should be equally upset. And I don’t find, “I’m a comedian,” an adequate excuse. I understand, you want to go to the Comedy Cellar and make those jokes on stage, go for it. I mean, that’s – comedians get paid to be completely irreverent in that setting. But once you’re given a television show, whether you’re Jon Stewart or you’re Samantha Bee or you’re Roseanne, like it or not, you’re held to a higher standard. You’re held to a higher standard. [Applause] You’re in our homes. And, yes, we can change the channel, but you still have a huge microphone.

So listen, I feel like she apologized. She has a brand, either you like it or you don’t. But I tip my hat to her for saying on the air that she is sorry, which isn’t always easy to do.

(...)


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