Samantha Bee apologised on Thursday for using the c-word to refer to Ivanka Trump during her show Full Frontal.
"Ivanka Trump, who works at the White House, chose to post the second most oblivious tweet we've seen this week," Bee said, referring to a photo Ivanka posted of herself with her 2-year-old son Theodore. "You know, Ivanka, that's a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad's immigration practices, you feckless c---!"
The White House responded by slamming Bee for being "vile and vicious," while others came to her defence.
Soon after, Bee tweeted, "I would like to sincerely apologise to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it."
I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.— Samantha Bee (@iamsambee) May 31, 2018
Bee also urged Ivanka to stand up to her dad. "He listens to you," she continued. "Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to fucking stop it. Tell him it was an Obama thing and see how it goes, okay?"
Critics were quick to say that the policy of separating children and parents at the border was Obama's. However, the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy has ramped up the number of migrant children in government shelters by 22%.
"The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling. Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast, and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network," Sanders said.
Sanders' response was much stronger than her statement about Roseanne Barr's racist tweet, which led to the cancellation of her longtime hit show earlier this week. When asked about the former ABC star comparing former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape, Sanders said the remarks were "inappropriate" but that ABC owes the White House an apology for giving a platform to Trump critics.
"The President is pointing to the hypocrisy in the media saying the most horrible things about this President and nobody addresses it," Sanders told reporters at a press briefing on Wednesday.
While many conservatives on Twitter said it was hypocritical to cancel and reprimand Roseanne but shrug at Bee's comment, liberals pointed out that insulting someone — no matter how harshly — is not the same as Barr's blatant racism. Besides, Barr has been peddling racism and conspiracy theories for years, and Bee's aim was to defend migrant children against deportation and abuse.
Still, some will say that context doesn't matter here. People like Clinton invoked respectability, insisting that Bee crossed a line, and — between the c-word and the "tight and low-cut" bit — was sexist. Then again, others pointed out, the president himself has no problem making derogatory statements about women — how much can we really malign her?
The actual problem here is that these manufactured controversies dominate days of media coverage, the White House (and Twitter) respond among predictable party lines, and no one really learns anything. Let's move on to real issues.