Opinion: ‘SNL’ Pete Davidson calls out this unbridled hypocrisy

Davidson’s farewell stole the show, as it did more than just be funny. He also perfectly denounced the hypocrisy of the right.

Davidson, who joined “SNL” in 2014, at the age of 20, said goodbye to the show “Weekend Update”. He started out joking when he first came on the show, “I was just a skinny kid no one knew what race I was. And now everyone knows I’m white because that I was hugely successful when I barely showed up for work.” He added, “Look at me now, I’m aging like an old banana.”
From there, Davidson delivered a series of punchlines exposing the right to his blatant double standards. The 28-year-old comedian noticed, “A lot has changed. In three years, Fox News has gone from my monster treatment for mocking Congressman Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch to also mocking Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch.” Davidson added: “Tucker Carlson called him ‘McCain eye patch.’ It’s two veterans in one insult.”
Davidson couldn’t have been more right. And it wasn’t just that a Fox News host mocked Crenshaw’s war wound, but that the same people on the right who attacked Davidson on his previous joke about the lawmaker was now silent when Carlson did arguably worse. His remark was not on a comedy show but on an (alleged) news network.
As a reminder, in the run-up to the 2018 election, Davidson sparked a backlash on the right when he joked on “Weekend Update” about then-GOP congressional candidate Crenshaw — who lost an eye from a war wound while serving in Afghanistan. Davidson – with an image of Crenshaw on screen – said: ‘You may be surprised to hear that he is a candidate for Congress for Texas and not a hitman in a porn movie. Davidson then added, “I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in the war – or whatever.”
It was too much for many on the right, including Carlson, who criticized Davidson’s joke on his show in a segment featuring an on-screen graphic that Lily“SNL sinks to new low by insulting injured veteran.”

Carlson then attempted to claim that Davidson somehow represented the Democratic Party, saying, “Well, over the last couple of years the Democratic Party has outsourced a lot of its political philosophy to late night TV shows. .” Carlson concluded that the message of “SNL” and the Democratic Party was “Republicans are disgusting”, even though they are wounded in war.

Others on the right also shouted with outrage at Davidson’s joke at the time, including the Republican National Congressional Committee, which demanded, “NBC should immediately apologize to Dan and the millions of veterans and military families who tune in every weekend.”
Fox News host Greg Gutfeld sentenced “SNL” and Davidson on Twitter for making “a vet laugh”. Eric Trump, the then-incumbent president’s son, went even further, Tweeter “SNL” “should be ashamed of themselves for last night’s show” and calling Davidson a callous coward.
Dan Crenshaw and Pete Davidson's heartfelt plea for unity
After the uproar, Crenshaw appeared on “SNL” and Davidson apologized, saying, “This man is a war hero and he deserves all the respect in the world.” Crenshaw replied he hoped for this incident that “the Americans will be able to forgive themselves”.
Last week, Carlson, who is used to spouting pro-Putin propaganda, criticized Crenshaw for his continued vocal support for US aid to Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, calling the congressman “McCain eye patch. Carlson strategically linked Crenshaw to the late GOP Senator John McCain, a frequent target of former President Donald Trump, even after his death. But Carlson didn’t need to laugh at Crenshaw’s war wound.

So where is the furor over Carlson’s digs by those on the right who went ballistic because of Davidson’s 2018 joke? When I look at the Twitter feeds of the Republican National Committee of Congress, Gutfeld and others who criticized Davidson at the time, I cannot find the slightest criticism of Carlson.

This double standard sends a clear message that many on the right will only criticize people when they see a political advantage in doing so. Going after a comedian like Davidson who is part of Hollywood’s so-called liberal elite is a political winner for them. Taking on the top-rated cable news host like Carlson, who is part of the right-wing media ecosystem, is not.
Self-interest also explains why we don’t hear from GOP leaders slamming Carlson for his repeated peddling of the “great replacement theory” allegedly cited by the gunman accused of killing 10 people recently in Buffalo, New York. (Carlson now says he doesn’t know what conspiracy theory is.) These Republicans see no political benefit in speaking out against Carlson’s views. However, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, denounced House GOP leadership last week for allow white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism.

Davidson is leaving “SNL” and he will be missed. But it is quite clear that right-wing hypocrisy leads nowhere. In fact, we can expect to see him for many more seasons to come.

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