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Our Intellectual Betters in the Media Need to Get Better at Grasping Humor

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It is always a special treat when the media elites resort to condescension while also missing the point.

Right at the start, I need to state this is not a knee-jerk defense of Laura Ingraham, nor of Fox News, or conservative media in general. It also is not an insistence that a segment I am about to show you from her show is particularly trenchant and important. What I do intend to show, however, is that there is not only a tendency on the left to launch attacks, but to forgo anything approaching critical thinking when they are primed to launch a political hit on opponents.

What I am driving at centers around a segment from The Ingraham Angle, where the hostess, Laura Ingraham, had on frequent guest Raymond Arroyo. He was on to discuss the topic of woke culture and whether or not audiences are tiring of the lectures and the demand that parameters be put into place, by everyone from the scolds on social media to the producers of movies and television shows.

However, he never really manages to get to his main point, as they seem to get ensnared in a bit of syntax confusion and he cannot make it to his larger intent.

If you are at all confounded by what is taking place, this is an intentional gag. Ingraham and Arroyo frequently stage little bits and routines like this, often delivered in dry fashion so that there can be some confusion in some viewers. Well, it appears their possible trolling effort has achieved its goal, because there are a number of those on social media forwarding this clip and using it to ridicule Ingraham as being a dunce.

I can take it as a relatively good assumption that Laura is not the least bit bothered by this, and that, in all likelihood, she is chuckling at the presence of those who are sharing this video in earnest. What adds an additional piece of mirth is that there are those who have bought into the concept — that Ingraham was truly befuddled here — who by their own designation should be aware this is a setup.

A number of known pundits are pushing this clip out there who are insisting that it is a straightforward reality that the hostess here was baffled and unable to grasp what Arroyo was telling her. This is a revealing piece of media. For starters, we have Aaron Rupar, a writer who has seemingly built a career out of not getting it, or intentionally putting out items in bad faith.

Democrat operative and recidivist unthinker, Scott Dworkin got in on the pile on.

 

A documentary filmmaker thought this was legitimate.

And alleged news sites bought the routine as real.

My favorite, though, has to be Mehdi Hasan from MSNBC, who actually trended close to getting it, but then could not conquer his preordained bias and fell right into the rabbit hole, before eventually coming around on it being a routine.

If there are any lingering doubts, Justin Baragona from the Daily Beast gets it correct, and he would leap/pounce/lurch at the chance to scorch Fox if he had the goods. This general reaction shows a level of either undisputed ignorance or willful obliviousness that they were joking, either of which has to be fueled by preconceived assumptions. I am not arguing whether or not the planned gag was funny — as it is a purely subjective result — but these people complaining or highlighting her alleged ignorance are supposed to be elevated thinkers.

That these minds could not pause for a moment, as Baragona clearly had done, and assess what they were looking at before launching into their predictable reactions is a testament to much of what we are dealing with in today’s media landscape. There is no doubt that Ingraham and Arroyo were riffing comedically. They do this often on her show. They had created a similar stir years ago when people thought Arroyo had actually fallen on her program during an attempted selfie.

This instantaneous reaction to ridicule, though, exposes so much. In many of the reactions, the commentary is on how stupid Laura Ingraham is, something that has to be brought into their judgment. What becomes astounding is that in their rush to be condescending, they fall prey to the very unthinking behavior they attempt to accuse. The mad rush to criticize and demean leads to imbalanced thinking, and that is the favorite accusation from these very same minds about the network.

Just last week, this same duo had another segment where they were highlighting the use of Big Bird by the government for vaccine outreach. Ingraham played an animated clip of the character vomiting on the steps of a walk-up in what was apparently the setting of his show, before falling down unconscious, or even dead. This segment, too, inspired a reaction from learned sources. Recall, I said Justin Baragona would not hesitate to slam Laura if given the chance?

These hysterical overreactions expose so much about the emotion-based and uncritical thinking at play. For one, how is Ingraham criticized over this brief clip when she did not produce it? It was taken from the Adult Swim program, “Robot Chicken,” where the character was shown perishing from Bird Flu. That was not offensive, but repurposing the imagery becomes so, we are told.

But why is there outrage and the charge of incivility when the offense is supposedly being directed at a fictional character? How is it in any way dangerous to show a fake animal being affected by the vaccine? It is another emotional reaction, absent a calm pragmatic approach. This is further displayed by the prior reactions in the media to the Joe Rogan and Aaron Rodgers announcements they had tested positive for the virus.

Many in the press were dismayed that these men dared to come forward with their testimonies of dealing with the virus — successfully, it has to be added. Their comments were said to be dangerous and anti-scientific. Now many of these same aggrieved sorts are demanding respect for the medical advice from a fake bird. Living people with empirical knowledge about what they went through are invalidated, but a puppet is regarded as a sane voice on severe medical information.

This is the state of our media complex these days. They insist they are the elevated minds in this country and demean those who dare question their narrative. Yet here they are, unable to glean when a TV segment is joshing around, commanding we respect the good character of fake characters, and after telling us to only follow the guidance of medical experts, they require we obey the orders of an animated bird.

Their words require our obedience, yet their actions demand we ignore their entreaties.