You Can't Say the Right Is Vile While Slate Publishes Insulting Obituaries

You Can't Say the Right Is Vile While Slate Publishes Insulting Obituaries
This 2014 image released by Fox News shows radio and television host Alan Colmes. Colmes, best known as the amiable liberal foil to the hard-right Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel, died Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, after a brief illness. He was 66. (Fox News via AP)

Earlier this week, Alan Colmes passed away after a brief illness. Colmes was for years a contributor to Fox News, most notably with the early hit show Hannity and Colmes, which effectively helped launch the television careers of both men.

Colmes’ death was mourned by his colleagues at Fox News, which, by the way, is a right-leaning news organization. Everyone from Sean Hannity to Megyn Kelly to even Ann Coulter shared their positive thoughts on Colmes, who wasn’t just a coworker to many of them, but a friend.

That’s how his political opposites reacted. How did some of those on his side react?

In case you were thinking the headline was the worst it could get, allow me to dissuade you of that silly notion. This is Slate, after all.

And while one should usually view tributes to the recently departed with a forgiving cynicism, in this case they are all too believable: Colmes was the most absurd, useless, and mocked television personality in America for many years, precisely because he was nice. In the context of Fox News, being a nice guy—and a “liberal” nice guy at that—meant being a buffoon, and a patsy. Colmes not only played the part to perfection—he defined it.

The writer also takes the opportunity to blame Colmes for Donald Trump. Seriously.

But while Colmes may not have been a genius, he wasn’t a complete moron either; in short, he was smart enough to know he was being used, and to take the money that his services demanded. If this is something less than morally reprehensible, it is still pretty gross. We can mourn that Alan Colmes won’t be around to watch the political era he, as an important cog in the Fox News machine, helped usher in; unfortunately, the rest of us have no choice.

Colmes, you see, willingly decided to be on Fox News. He optioned to stay on the air there. He, someone who leaned left politically, who disagreed with whoever he was on the air with, who stood up for the Left’s values, is therefore unclean and not worthy to be mourned.

Slate and the Left would not hesitate for a moment to caught the Right the most vile, corrupt, insensitive political movement there is. But to turn around and write this piece, publish it, and think that there is nothing wrong with it is the very definition of tastelessness. It itself is vile.

Colmes, for his part, would probably laugh at the obituary. His entire career was based on being the dissenting opinion, which is what made him better than a lot of other liberal commentators. He had perfected the art of dissent. That someone would object to his role at Fox just means he did the job right.

But, Slate should be ashamed that it allowed this to be published. If, you know, they knew any shame anymore.

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