The woke scolds are now seriously targetting comedy talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres because she dared to say that people should be kind and respectful toward those with whom they disagree.
In a scathing op-ed for Vanity Fair, Laura Bradley argues that Ellen DeGeneres somewhat betrayed her LGBT allies by publicly displaying friendliness with George W. Bush at a football game and then using the moment to deliver a message about unity.
“Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different, and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay,” DeGeneres said on Tuesday. “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna be friends with them. When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter.”
Referring to George W. Bush as “the man whose résumé includes the invasion of Iraq and the botched federal response to Hurricane Katrina,” Bradley says that Ellen contributed to the ongoing revisionist history campaign to somehow rehabilitate the former president. This, according to Bradley, stemmed from Ellen’s brand of “unconditional kindness,” which Bradley claims does not jive with reality.
“There’s something especially on-brand about DeGeneres’s plea for unconditional kindness; she’s made her name as a bubbly talk show host slash celebrity whisperer who can befriend just about anyone,” writes Bradley. “But the continued backlash against DeGeneres—even after her address—is also a sign that such a brand is incompatible with reality.”
“Ellen has been a towering presence on the talk show scene for a reason; for millions of viewers across America, DeGeneres and her show’s sparkling set represent a sunny alternate reality—one in which everyone is fun and nice and happy to dance and play games,” Bradley continues. It’s a simulated apolitical utopia, one that seems to reflect DeGeneres’s belief that kindness is the most important virtue of all—one that should trump all else.”
But that brand only goes so far, claims Bradley, because, at some point, people should be able to determine if the target of their unconditional kindness is worthy of it. Bush does not qualify because he launched the Iraq war, supported traditional marriage, and appointed conservative Supreme Court justices, culminating it the Citizens United decision of 2010.
“In that clip, DeGeneres seems to hope we will see unity—a representation of what we could achieve if we put aside our differences and recognize our shared humanity. But how deep does this unity run? What are the parameters of the kindness we should all practice?” Bradley asks.
“Throughout her address, DeGeneres reduced this history to a difference in ‘beliefs,'” Bradley continues. “But when one person has historically believed other people should not have the same basic rights as another, it’s hard to treat these differences as benign—especially when that person once exercised their power to help make their beliefs a reality.”