A Shared Love Of Hating Others
The Media Research Center once despised Ricky Gervais and J.K. Rowling for being too liberal. Then they attacked or made fun of transgendered people, and the MRC suddenly decided they were worthy of being loved and admired.
By Terry Krepel
That hate continued:
But the MRC's opinion of Gervais began changing once his comedy targets became more acceptable to conservatives -- specifically, transgendered people.
When Gervais made retrograde jokes about Caitlyn Jenner in 2018, Clay Waters rushed to his defense, arguing that "Gervais was reasonably pointing out that the entire world knew Caitlyn Jenner for decades as Olympic winner Bruce Jenner" and denounced the New York Times for calling him out of step with the times. A few weeks later, right-wing movie critic Christian Toto lamented, "Ricky Gervais was beloved by the media right up until the release of his new Netflix special Humanity. Now, he’s 'transphobic' and worse.
In July, Gabriel Hays similarly found Gervais' transphobic humor acceptable:
British comedian Ricky Gervais has been called “transphobic” over defending women refusing to wax transwomen in Canada because they are uncomfortable dealing with their clients’ very male genitalia. Gervais defended the spa workers saying that it’s “real feminism” for women to choose who to wax or not, but internet users aren’t having it.
Hays then declared that Gervais' joke showed he was "demonstrating himself as a celebrity that isn’t completely devoid of common sense (a real showbiz unicorn, these days).
In November, Hays upgraded the MRC's view of Gervais from "vulgar" and "brutal " to merely a "politically incorrect mischief maker" because he once again, yes, made more transgender jokes, proudly crowing, "Despite the left’s best efforts, cancel culture has not yet ousted Ricky Gervais." He didn't mention that his employer had been trying to work cancel culture against Gervais for years.
The 180 was complete when Gervais once again hosted the Golden Globes. Rather than see his attacks on the Hollywood crowd as "brutal" and "merciless," the MRC couldn't get enough of his insults. Karen Townsend gushed in a Jan. 5 post:
Kicking off Sunday's 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC, comedian and host Ricky Gervais, pulled no punches as he is known to do. He even voiced an opinion that must have had half of the viewing audience cheering. He told the stars and the others nominated for awards that if they should win, not to make a political speech because they know nothing about the real world.
Elise Ehrhard linked to Townsend's post to praise "more courageous comedy writers such as Ricky Gervais who are truly willing to attack powers that be," as compared to "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane, who "should ditch the tired scenes mocking Catholic clergy, which come at no cost to him."
Scott Whitlock served up more gushing in the midst of his stock MRC complaint that the "liberal media" won't sufficiently cover something that advances the right-wing agenda, cheering that "Gervais delivered a blistering, brutal attack on liberal Hollywood, Sunday night, bringing up awkward topics like covering up for Harvey Weinstein"
The U.K. comedian ribbed the wealthy movie-making elite with jokes about how out-of-touch and corrupt many of them are, and how they are “in no position to lecture the public on anything.” Normal people watching found it hilarious and right on the money, however Hollywood apologists in the media wept for the sake of the celebrities.
Hays added: "Hollywood’s full of hypocrites, and it might do better for everyone if they’re told to their faces. Lefty media needs to get out of the way!"
Bozell and Graham completely ignored their criticism of Gervais' attacks on Hollywood in 2011 in cranking up their effusive praise for the new, conservatively correct Gervais, touting how he "set social media on fire after he mocked arrogant Hollywood in his opening monologue as host of the Golden Globe Awards. ... It was too accurate to be funny. It stung."The two didn't explainhow Gervais moved from hurling "insults and they were brutal" to being "too accurate to be funny."
Toto, the first at the MRC to praise Gervais' transphobia, unsurprisingly loved the new rant as well: "Gervais landed a haymaker against Woke Hollywood. He reminded viewers that many stars live lives disconnected from the struggles of their blue-collar fans. Hollywood celebrities aren’t well versed in political science, technology or bio-engineering. Yet they demand we listen to their views as if they’ve studied these topics for years, if not 'decades.'" Toto went on to praise how "Gervais’ scorched earth monologue" was "more than a simple series of jokes."
Amazing how far hating transgender people gets you in the right-wing media these days.
Another media figure to have learned that lesson is J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. The MRC has generally tried to find ways to hate Rowling for seemingly as long as she's been writing the books:
The MRC did offer up one early defense, though: a 2016 post by Matt Philbin stated in his usual jerkish fashion that Rowling "is in heap-big trouble for not being sufficiently sensitive to the diversity within the 'Native American wizarding community,'" concluding: "So Rowling has played fast and loose with American Indian stuff, in the same way she played fast and loose with dozens of other traditions in the name of entertaining children and making some money. Some crime. You’d think she played for the Red Skins or something."
But what really turned the MRC into a group of Rowling fanboys was her dismissal of the transgender community. Hays sneered in a Dec. 19 post:
Turns out Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling might not be as progressive as she thought. Recently, the fantasy writer angered radical LGBTQ folks on social media for tweeting a defense of a person fired for believing that there are only two genders. The author has since been called a “transphobe,” or more specifically a “TERF” (trans exclusive radical feminist.)
Clay Waters asserted that a New York Times reporters "joined the mob against Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for transgender wrong-think" by "merely affirming there are in fact two sexes."
When Rowling said in June that only women menstruate, the MRC rushed to her defense again. Waters lamented that Rowling has been "long targeted by radical transgender activists on Twitter for her stubborn adherence to the biological reality that men are men and women are women" and complained that a New York Times article on the controversy "actually contained the slur 'terf,' a derogatory and decidedly un-journalistic acronym employed by trans activists to smear their feminist opponents."
Hays proclaimed that Rowling "appealed to a more concrete view of human anatomy" with her statement and huffed that "Several blue checks accused the author of being “transphobic” and an “asshole” because Rowling affirmed that no matter what they call themselves or how they “identify,” only women have periods, period." Hays concluded: "This pseudoscience adds to the confusion, which is undoubtedly the real reason as to why trans folks have such difficult lives. Stay with it, J.K.!"
That's how you get the MRC to like you: share a common enemy, preferably transgenders.