Green Party Calls for National Conversation on Oppressive Comedians

No this is not from the Onion, but sadly, is real life.

A brave voice speaks out against Big Comedy. Jill Stein posted this on Facebook yesterday:

We need to begin having honest conversations about the oppressive tactics corporate comedians continue to do towards already-marginalized groups of people.

This country was built on oppressing The Other (Blacks and indigenous people) and I’m not going to stand for more of this while we deal with major crises in this country that could determine whether we’ll even survive as a species.

Read my statement about how deceptive comedy continues to silence anyone who speaks out against it: jill2016.com/oliveremail

https: //www.facebook.com/drjillstein/videos/1340906079282912/

Since she’s objecting to Oliver’s criticism of herself (for her pseudoscience and unworkable economics), the “marginalized group of people” she’s referring to must be multi-millionaire white politicians.  It’s about time someone stood up for them.  Go Jill!

I admit I’m confused as to how Oliver’s “deceptive comedy has silenced her for speaking out against him,” since here she is posting about it.  Guess her phone has been cut off.  John, you bastard!

Also this week in a new Reddit AMA (the advisor suggesting it no doubt having been fired), Stein was overwhelmed by a heartwarming display of science skepticism.  She disappeared early after she went down under a storm of downvotes for doubling down on the dangers of wifi on kids’ health.

Anyways… Alec Baldwin, your days of oppressing Donald Trump are OVER.

 

26 thoughts on “Green Party Calls for National Conversation on Oppressive Comedians

  1. She’s a moron. That’s why she’s polling at less than 2%. And the fact that she is siding with Trump should say a lot. It would be an insult to professional political hacks to call her a tool she’s pretty much a nobody desperate to get heard anyway she can.

    As it’s already been stated . . .
    “Oppressive comedy.” Lampoon is covered by the first amendment – she’d know that if she took the tinfoil off her head long enough to look at the Constitution and the laws governing free speech.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was puzzled about what she means by “corporate comedians.” I guess she means the ones that are on TV nationwide — John Oliver, Bill Maher, or in prior days Jack Paar, Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, etc. I wouldn’t call them that, but that’s me.

    I also wonder if she would include Barack Obama. Although he’s not corporate by any stretch, he tosses out some zingers at the Press Club dinners. I hear tell the reason Trump ran for president is that Obama got under his skin with some barbs…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Unsurpised by Ideology | Matt Thornton'

  4. I’m all for comedy and satire. (I’m even involved in comedy myself, although not satire.) When comedians satirize or point out the ridiculousness of something *which is actually true of the person being satirized*, that’s great — that’s what satire should be. But when comedians satirize something completely irrelevant (like Jill Stein’s artistically naive folk songs), that’s just a misleading waste of time. And when they do “strawman” satire (satirize a “position” supposedly held by someone, but based on misrepresentation or misstatement … or outright falsehood) that’s as reprehensible as when a non-comedian does it. Perhaps even more reprehensible, especially for someone like John Oliver, who is very intelligent, perceptive, and analytical, and who frequently does get his facts right; people (especially nowadays) are *more* likely to believe it when John Oliver says it, than to believe it when Donald Trump says it.

    Actually *read* her response to John Oliver’s segment, linked to at the top of the article. It’s quite accurate.

    BTW, good advice for *any* subject, not just politics, is “If you want to know what someone says, read what that person actually *says*, not what someone else *claims* they say.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If you watched that episode of Last Week Tonight, and actually looked up Dr Jill Stein’s views, you would realize it was just a repeat of false propaganda pushed by the mainstream. She’s clearly not anti-vax or anti-science at all. It is unfortunate when a millionaire comedian attacks the only candidate who actually has the guts to stand for the people. If only he had actually done a little research, or God forbid he call up Dr Stein for her response. I’m sorry but you’re wrong on this one, and so is Oliver. He lost my respect and I no longer watch his show.

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      • I was happy to see that both Amy Goodman and Tavis Smiley gave her a lot of exposure. She acquitted herself very well in every way! In the good old days when the League of Women Voters ran the debates, she would have made an equally favorable impression — which is why the Republicrat Commission on Presidential Debates doesn’t let her or other third-party candidates debate, and why John Oliver had to savage her. Of course, Goodman and Smiley are *serious* commentators. (I don’t know why Gary Johnson declined to appear on Goodman’s show. On Smiley’s show he came off better than I expected, although I still disagree with a huge number of his positions.)

        Like

  6. This post has over 10,000 Facebook shares from here, another few thousand from FB reposts, and is viral on multiple Reddits. Most of the comments are

  7. No seriously, is this the Onion?
  8. A multi-millionaire white politician calling herself “oppressed” by a comedian, and comparing that with the oppression of ethnic and racial groups? Clueless white privilege gone berserk.
  9. Wait, aren’t Greens supposed to be about freedom to dissent?
  10. Greens prove they’re too immature to hold political office. If Stein loses her mind over a comedian, imagine her dealing with Congress (forget foreign leaders).
  11. (Greens who were wavering:) Sorry, Jill, I’m out.
  12. But the die-hards who should be chastising their homegirl with “Oh Jill, WTF???!!” are joining her war on Big Satire and thinking the conversation is still about whether Oliver correctly characterized her policy position, as if anyone is still listening after this.

    Has Stein learned from this national facepalm? Need you ask? She’s now actually made her opposition to “corporate comedians” part of her ongoing campaign, I kid you not:

    Move over, Blacks, Native Americans, immigrants and LGBTs, there’s a new marginalized class in America: privileged politicians.

    For those who don’t know the code, by the way, “subvert the election” in the above screencap is widely understood now to mean “throw the election to Trump, thereby wreaking so much damage Americans will be begging the Green Party to save them.” The evidence is in my new Daiy Kos piece, Yes, the “Green” Party has Endorsed Trump Over Clinton.

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    • It really saddens me to disagree with a fellow humanist skeptic, but …

      “But the die-hards who should be chastising their homegirl with “Oh Jill, WTF???!!” are joining her war on Big Satire and thinking the conversation is still about whether Oliver correctly characterized her policy position, as if anyone is still listening after this.”

      Satire should be about pointing out the absurdity of an actual held position, not about the absurdity of a falsely attributed, or misstated, or even made-up, position. That’s why I referred to it as “strawman” satire. To put it more bluntly, lying is not a form of satire. So, yes, the issue *is* whether Oliver correctly characterized her position.

      You mention your Daily Kos article, so you *do* think it’s important whether the claim that she has “supported Trump” is true or not. Why do you not think it’s important whether she is anti-vaccination or not? (Yes, I know you *do* think it’s important. Why do you not think it’s important whether Oliver correctly or falsely characterizes her position? Whether comedian or serious commentator, he still influences public opinion.)

      The question of whether she is anti-vaccination (or anti-science) *is* an important question … and it’s just as important in the realm of satire as it is in the realm of “serious” discussion.

      You as as skeptic should know (and I’m sure you do know) that stating the number of people who agree with your position is hardly evidence of the correctness of your position. Truth is not a popularity contest.

      Finally, the various snarky comments posted here (including you sarcastically calling it a “war on Big Satire”) seem to me to have about the same intellectual depth as the comments usually made by rightwing posters against (say) humanism and skepticism.

      Your blog is new to me, and I like most of what I see. I’m very sorry that (as is, unfortunately, frequently true with so many internet posters!) my first comment should be a negative one. So let me at least say “Keep up the good work!” about most of your other content. But I really hope you will do some re-thinking on this issue.

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      • “lying is not a form of satire”

        You can NOT have a substantive discussion by attacking from the onset someone as “lying” and a corporate shill. If he was in fact wrong, you still have no evidence it was an intentional lie.

        Stein eliminated ANY possibility for that discussion by coming straight out of the gate with a nuclear character attack. She made it impossible to be heard by turning this into a ludicrous war on comedians and comparing herself with marginalized minorities. She derailed her own message and has only herself to blame.

        “You mention your Daily Kos article, so you *do* think it’s important whether the claim that she has “supported Trump” is true or not.”

        Absolutely. And she does, she is clearly signaling to those who feel morally obligated to choose between Clinton and Trump to vote Trump.

        “Why do you not think it’s important whether she is anti-vaccination or not? (Yes, I know you *do* think it’s important.)
        I don’t think the question of whether she’s anti-vax is important because no one has seriously raised it except for her, as a strawman to deflect from the real question. Which is: Why is she, who knows better as a pro-vax doctor, willing to risk children’s lives by pandering to anti-vaxxers by using their rhetoric and thereby sow vaccine pseudoscience and fears?

        “Why do you not think it’s important whether Oliver correctly or falsely characterizes her position?”

        I meant only it’s not important in the new issue that’s arisen. It’s important on its own, but at the moment is tabled while we discuss the revelations about Jill Stein’s principles and temperament, and whether they render her ineligible Baseless accusations of corruption against satirists doing their job, anti-democratic messages with a lack of respect for free speech and dissent, zero of the emotional strength and maturity required to handle presidential-level challenges, and disrespecting actually oppressed marginalized peoples.

        Why do YOU think these are not important in a candidate?

        “Finally, the various snarky comments posted here (including you sarcastically calling it a “war on Big Satire”) seem to me to have about the same intellectual depth as the comments usually made by rightwing posters against (say) humanism and skepticism.”

        How weird to suggest that humanists and lefties can’t use satire, snark or sarcasm, and that these belong only to the right (who are terrible at them, btw). These are venerable and important tools to democracy and have been throughout history. Calling this a War on Big Satire is of no less depth than anything Colbert or Jon Stewart might do. Not that I’m comparing myself with them, but you must really despise them and think they’re right wing too.

        There are plenty of dry, humorless humanist bloggers who eschew satire, snark and sarcasm. I don’t want to insult them by naming them, but please head on over, rather than trying to make me into them.

        Like

        • “You can NOT have a substantive discussion by attacking from the onset someone as “lying” and a corporate shill. If he was in fact wrong, you still have no evidence it was an intentional lie.”

          Very well, I will scale back to saying (what I did already say) that getting laughs out of misrepresenting someone’s position is not satire. Someone who has the clout and exposure of John Oliver should be very knowledgeable about the accuracy of what he satirizes.

          BTW, has nobody noticed that Oliver does not usually even TRY to be funny, in the sense that Stewart and Colbert do. His humor usually consists (as Stewart’s and Colbert’s SOMETIMES do) of occasional moments of throwing in some rather arbitrary pop-culture reference or some grotesque caricature. In between, he mostly talks seriously and “educationally” … which means he should be taken seriously. Speaking as a professional humorist (although a physical humorist, not a verbal one) this is my characterization of him even when I’m 100% in agreement with him.

          “I don’t think the question of whether she’s anti-vax is important because no one has seriously raised it except for her, as a strawman to deflect from the real question.”

          I can only speak from my personal (and, therefore, obviously limited) experience of a whole lot of left-wing friends of mine who will not vote for her “because she is anti-vaccination and anti-science”.

          “Baseless accusations of corruption against satirists doing their job, anti-democratic messages with a lack of respect for free speech and dissent”

          YOUR characterization (and gross over-exaggeration) of her actions. I totally disagree, and do not think that she has done ANYTHING that can be described that way. If you heard someone getting laughs from saying something about you which you know not to be true, and which played along with the untrue things you have constantly heard said about yourself, would you really not protest?

          “zero of the emotional strength and maturity required to handle presidential-level challenges,”

          Again, YOUR reading of her, not mine

          “and disrespecting actually oppressed marginalized peoples.”

          She said “marginalizes US”. (Actual quote from the Tweet you show.) I read “us” as “the Green Party”, and explained in another post here the sense in which the Green Party IS marginalized … including by Oliver’s comments. YOU made the comparison to marginalized PEOPLE. SHE didn’t. You are putting words into her mouth.

          “How weird to suggest that humanists and lefties can’t use satire, snark or sarcasm, and that these belong only to the right (who are terrible at them, btw).”

          I completely agree with your parenthetical remark.

          I think I was objecting to the use of snarkiness by skeptics, not by humanists and leftists. Personally, I think that skepticism only works when it is done by rationality, not by emotionally manipulative techniques. I used to be very snarky myself when I first went on the internet. (The internet seems to do that to people. Like the cartoon they show in Driver’s Ed where mild-mannered Goofy becomes a maniac behind the wheels of a car.) I got so dismayed by what I saw all over the internet — snarkiness MASQUERADING AS SERIOUS DISCUSSION — that I now try very hard to avoid being snarky myself. And it IS hard! ;^) Snarkiness only lets people know how strongly you feel. Which is fine, nothing wrong with that. (It also lets you bond with people who feel similarly, which is perhaps not as obviously good.) But it doesn’t PROVE anything, and I think that SKEPTICISM should be about proving.

          “Calling this a War on Big Satire is of no less depth than anything Colbert or Jon Stewart might do. Not that I’m comparing myself with them, but you must really despise them and think they’re right wing too.”

          Now you’re putting words into MY mouth. I LOVE Stewart and Colbert. Especially Colbert — his Washington Press Corps roast of George Bush was probably one of the greatest pieces of political satire EVER! And the two of them are ALWAYS funny … even when (very seldom) I disagree with them. And I wouldn’t call them snarky. They hardly ever say anything actually insulting about anyone (or that has the feeling “look how clever I am for having made this remark”); instead, they merely show a video of the person actually saying something obviously ridiculous, or show two things the person has said which contradict each other. When they interview a guest, or when they themselves are interviewed, they show much more fairness than Oliver did towards Stein. (I would hope that if he had actually interviewed her, he might have been more fair.) They make fun of the phrase “War on Christmas” and the people who claim that there is such a war. So I think that rather than making fun of Jill Stein they might make fun of the phrase “War on Big Satire” … and it was not Jill Stein who used that phrase.

          “There are plenty of dry, humorless humanist bloggers who eschew satire, snark and sarcasm. I don’t want to insult them by naming them, but please head on over, rather than trying to make me into them.”

          I know that you are not saying that your blog is only about entertainment and not enlightenment. Even if it were, I might find it entertaining enough to become a fan. But we don’t even seem to agree on the FACTS (about this particular issue), so it seems highly unlikely that we will agree on the interpretation of the facts. It’s a shame, because it’s nice to know who the other humanists and skeptics are.

          BTW, I also loved Christopher Hitchens … and he was snarky! But brilliantly so. And so completely honest (in his demeanor, if not in actual words) about the fact that he WAS doing it for the self-congratulatory entertainment value, as well as to make a point and get at the truth.

          Like

  13. First of all, Jill is one of the refreshing options for President this year. Not corrupt or flat crazy.

    For my bonafides, I’m a software guy who worked on the Citigroup commodity floor running their trading platform. And I saw how horribly corrupt the banks and their systems are. Suffice it to say that I understand the details.

    Jill took great exception to John Oliver’s satirical piece on her plan to cancel student debt. Jill’s plan is laudible (removing debt from them), but also irresponsible. And John’s analysis, while cutting, is actually correct. Quantitative Easing happens when the FED buys US Treasury Bonds and puts them on their books. The short version is that they are basically just printing money. Quantitative easing plays a large part of why our standard of living is going down. The more money in circulation, then the less it is worth….

    And John is correct. The President has no actual control over the FED short of nominating who will run it. Jill is correct in that the banks were bailed out. She said $4 trillion. It was more like $7 trillion. And it was theft from the middle class, plain and simple. Do we really want to tack on another $1.5 trillion dollars to our already unsustainable debt? And, at the same time, causing inflation on top of that? Absolutely not a good idea. Great for getting votes, but another example of kicking the fiscal can down the road.

    That’s my take on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that’s a valuable comment, I thank you, Andrew. I consider student debt a shocking tragedy and desperately want real talk about it. Unfortunately, Dr. Stein obliterated any hope for this kind of substantive debate on her proposal by responding instead with a crusade against “corporate comedians” oppressing “marginalized peoples” like her. What a disservice she did herself and the serious issue of indentured young people.

      Like

    • Interesting, Andrew Adams. Thanks for the details. (WordPress lets me post comments, but it doesn’t let me click the “Like” button.) I wish that Oliver’s comments had been as balanced as yours.

      Bo Gardiner, I’m sorry, I still think that Stein is *not* overreacting, namely, because (1) Oliver *is* a “corporate comedian” — a characterization whose definition is quite obvious; (2) it’s not that she, or even the *members* of the Green Party, are marginalized, it’s that the Green Party is marginalized *as a party* by the collusion between the Democrats and the Republicans which exclude her and other third parties from the debates, and hence from serious consideration (whether by the public or by a particular comedian) — a situation which was not the case when the League of Women Voters controlled the debates(*) fairly and even-handedly; and, perhaps most importantly, (3) her reaction is nowhere near as large as you are parodistically painting it. To say that she “OBLITERATED any hope for this kind of substantive debate” by her “CRUSADE against corporate comedians OPPRESING marginalized PEOPLE” is just a ridiculous hyperbolic rhetorical device, and not worthy of a self-professed skeptic. It sustains the already cartoonish media-created image of Stein … and, unfortunately, the cartoonish image of snarky skeptics.

      (*) Just guessing, but you look like possibly you are too young to have really followed those debates, since the last one was in 1986, IIRC.

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      • “. To say that she “OBLITERATED any hope for this kind of substantive debate” by her “CRUSADE against corporate comedians OPPRESING marginalized PEOPLE” is just a ridiculous hyperbolic rhetorical device”

        Uh, you’re right that there’s lots of ridiculous hyperbole in this sentence, but I think you’ve forgotten that they’re hers (corporate comedians oppressing marginalized people) are hers, not mine).

        Your extreme double standard for hyperbole is
        duly noted.

        Like

    • For god’s sake, it’s the opening of this article you’re writing in. You’re not worth bothering with further. I’ll just leave it here:

      “We need to begin having honest conversations about the OPPRESSIVE tactics corporate comedians continue to do towards already-marginalized groups of PEOPLE. This country was built on oppressing The Other (Blacks and indigenous people) and I’m not going to stand for more of this…”

      Like

  14. Bo, Please! “Since she’s objecting to Oliver’s criticism of herself” Oliver’s criticism of HER!!, not herself. It’s pet peeve of mine when myself, herself, himself are misused. It happens too much. (But good article) Really strange response from Jill. I’m not with “her” but I am with “HER” Lol!

    Like

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