The Problem With Samantha Bee

    Samantha Bee, host of news-comedy program “Full Frontal.” (Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP)

Longtime Truthdig contributor Scott Tucker sent to Truthdig staff the following reaction to a clip (below) of Samantha Bee’s TBS show, “Full Frontal.”

Sometimes Truthdig posts clips from the TV comedians who comment on U.S. politics. I laugh at some of their jokes, but I am ambivalent about all of them.

Samantha Bee has been among the worst, as confirmed by last night’s opening segment on “Full Frontal.” She is free to trash Trump and campaign for Hillary Clinton — her only criticism of Clinton is her boring brand — but she at least gave Gary Johnson the courtesy of a picture ID and a name. For Jill Stein, all that was given was a blank white silhouette and a garbled name. In short, a righteous dismissal and the usual claim that those who actually practice democracy are spoilers — meaning in this case that Clinton is entitled to the votes that will go to Stein. 

By turning Stein into a nonperson, Samantha Bee encourages her audience to choose only from the full market value of the Democrats or the Republicans. Branding with a smile. 

I think that’s worth some kind of notice on Truthdig. I don’t want to overestimate the significance of these comedians, I only want to suggest that scattershot satire can serve career politicians well but democracy poorly.

Scott Tucker
Scott Tucker is a writer and a democratic socialist. His book of essays, "The Queer Question: Essays on Desire and Democracy," was published by South End Press in 1997. He met Larry Gross in 1975, and they…
Scott Tucker

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