Media

Samantha Bee attempts the most inane abortion humor-propaganda yet

Baby-Facepalm

Larry Wilmore, John Oliver, and Trevor Noah have been using their TV shows to follow the Jon Stewart model of propaganda: feed the audience pro-abortion lies by coating them in a layer of arrogant certainty and sarcastic, condescending “humor” that creates a false impression of confidence in what they’re saying.

Now comes a new disciple, Samantha Bee, who on her TBS show Full Frontal recently attempted to gin up some more hate against Texas’s HB2 abortion regulation law (as if we didn’t get quite enough of that from the media already). And worse, it’s being hailed as substantive analysis by the likes of the Huffington Post, Jezebel, and the Dallas Morning News.

First, while discussing the upcoming Supreme Court case over the law, Bee warns, “don’t schedule your cervical cancer yet, Texas!” and quips that “Pretending the Supreme Court never ruled on abortion has been Texas’s attitude ever since Roe v. Wade!”

Actually, Texas, you can relax. Real women’s health clinics outnumber Planned Parenthoods in Texas almost twenty times over anyway, and PP’s nationwide pap tests amount to a whopping 378,692 a year—or 0.6% of America’s 61 million women.

Pregnancy centers like this new one add to the real choices women have.

And while expecting the world to uncritically kneel before Roe might be a good applause line for an abortion rally, if we’re going for logic here HB2 is actually, as the Fifth Circuit ruled, consistent with Roe’s admission that states have “a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient.”

The meat of the segment comes from an interview with State Representative Dan Flynn, one of HB2’s authors. Bee’s introduction sneering that she had to talk to “this uterus expert” confirmed that the exchange to come would be absolutely insufferable:

FLYNN: We’re not removing access to healthcare. We’re improving—

BEE: So the intention of the law was not to do away with abortions, it was just to make them impossible to acquire.

While abortion facilities have indeed closed in Texas following HB2, Bee would do well to ponder why they’re closing just as much in blue states without laws like this.

FLYNN: Any time you start cutting on women’s bodies, you need to have it in the procedure where it can be healthy.

BEE: Of course. You don’t cut a woman in an abortion, though.

At this point her desire to paint Flynn as an ignoramus kicks into overdrive: rather than play his full response, the audio cuts out and is replaced by Bee making a “joke”—if you can call it that—about Game of Thrones being the only place where abortions involve cutting, complete with a scene from the show of a pregnant woman getting stabbed in the belly. Too bad she didn’t stop to think how labeling a gruesome double homicide “abortion the old fashioned way” undermines her position that the procedure is harmless and wholesome.

A bit of failed humor and graphic depicting Flynn scrawling his name on HB2 in crayon (let’s hear it for mature argumentation!) later, Bee turns to NARAL president and esteemed serial liar Ilyse Hogue, who claims pro-life laws are forcing women to attempt dangerous self-abortions: “We’re hearing from doctors that more women are asking them, you know, “can I throw myself down the stairs, can I drink bleach, can I douche with bleach?” Armed with this talking point, Bee returns to the Flynn interview, where she asks, “Have you thought about regulating the safety of back alleys? Because that’s where a lot of women will be having their abortions now”:

FLYNN: I just don’t think it happens.

BEE: It does, like in the tens of thousands of exceptions.

FLYNN: I don’t believe that. Where do you get those numbers?

BEE: Reality.

And what constitutes a source rock-solid enough to justify this juvenile rejoinder of “reality”?

…the Texas Policy Evaluation Project study Live Action News and others debunked in November that didn’t even ask when, where, or why the self-abortions were supposedly attempted or compare their “findings” with a control group, and which was funded by the pro-abortion Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

To be fair, “reality” does sound more impressive than “one discredited partisan study.”

After a mind-numbingly insipid skit with Hogue, Indiana Fever coach Stephanie White, and a shark Supreme Court justice (that’s what happened, I swear), the segment ends as follows:

BEE: I speak with the authority of one who has a uterus. And I guess that’s why I think that you’re the wrongiest, wrong-headedest wrong person.

FLYNN: Well, I can tell you some things about a man that you wouldn’t understand. I could do a better job of educating you.

[Audience laughter]

BEE: That’s an awesome pep talk.

What a beautiful illustration of how little sense or integrity backs the condescension here. Whatever you think of Flynn’s answer (more on that in a bit), it is the exact same point Bee just made! My biology gives me unique insight into gender-specific things. It cannot logically have been both a perfectly sensible thing for her to say and a misogynistic presumption worthy of laughter for Flynn.

That said, it was the wrong answer. The correct response would have been:

Funny, the “authority of one who has a uterus” somehow didn’t keep you from citing bogus statistics, failing to grasp that Roe permits abortion industry regulation, mistaking the abortion industry for a vital source of cervical cancer care, missing the abundance of women’s health alternatives in Texas, overlooking alternative reasons for abortion facility closings, or inadvertently illustrating that abortion is violent. So thanks, but I’ll stick to the authority of honesty and evidence.

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