What infuriates me about the Roseanne Barr fiasco isn’t the comedian’s questionable joke on Twitter, but ABC’s knee-jerk reaction in abruptly canceling her show because of it.
Did Roseanne’s joke go too far? Perhaps, but only because we live in a society where any mention of race or certain religions is automatically deemed irreversibly offensive. Did ABC’s reaction go too far? Without a doubt. Roseanne made her joke; many people laughed; others did not. That should have been the end of it. Now, hundreds of cast, crew and support staff (many of whom are Muslims, immigrants and people of color) have lost their jobs, while millions more people are void of a valid entertainment option.
Perhaps the bigwigs at ABC, as well as those well-intentioned souls who swiftly called for the show’s ouster, might want to actually watch an episode or two. If they did, they’d realize the show featured cherished black friends of the fictional Connor family, as well as one grandchild who identified as gender nonconforming and another who was black.
“Roseanne” was a ratings behemoth during its original run and again since its reboot this year. Did ABC solicit opinions about the show’s status from viewers in the few hours between Roseanne’s joke going viral and the network’s decision to pull the plug? No, the network caved to the political left, most of whom are not “Roseanne” viewers given that both the comedian and her character support President Donald Trump. Why not allow the marketplace to dictate whether a show survives or fails, as is normal procedure? I’d wager the majority of viewers would have ignored a bad joke in favor of years of entertainment.
Jason Gabbert, Plymouth
• • •
I’m glad ABC fired Barr over her Twitter comments, but not because she may have deserved it. I’m glad because firing her and at the same time being perfectly happy with, if not outright praising, the vitriol and hateful language being used almost daily against Republicans and conservatives plainly reveals the utter hypocrisy of Disney/ABC and the rest of the liberal media.
Whether it’s the boorish and often obscene remarks by so-called “comedians” on late-night shows, award shows or even White House Correspondents’ Dinners that are aimed, often, at women, or the misogynistic rantings of leftist opinionistas like Keith Olbermann (whom Disney employs), or the racist and homophobic tweets of those like Joy Reid; these are all done with complete impunity. Because if you are a member of the protected class of liberal elites, another standard is applied to you — one that assumes the target of your attacks actually deserves it, so you are entitled to say whatever you like about them.
And so those on today’s left (i.e., the Democratic Party) continue to show how out of touch they are with regular Americans. But their arrogance blinds them to what they have become, a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites.
Garth Thoresen, Eagan
State’s smart soybean farmers voted patriotically, not selfishly
The May 29 article about how soybean tariffs could affect Minnesota farmers (“Tariff stakes high in soybean country”) paraphrases a University of Minnesota Extension soybean agronomist as saying that “what’s puzzling is that so many farmers voted for Trump despite his campaign promises to ditch trade deals with China and others, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, and renegotiate them with a tougher approach.” He speculates (his exact words this time): “My gut feeling is that farmers didn’t understand what a great thing they had in all these international deals to begin with.”
This must reflect a misunderstanding about Minnesota farmers, who have to be very savvy at their businesses, with so much at stake for them. My take on it is that the farmers are setting a high example for the rest of us and are to be congratulated for their heroic and patriotic act of voting for policies that they believed would be great for America, even though they would have to make a personal financial sacrifice. I find it hard to fathom that they didn’t know that more than half of Minnesota soybeans are bought by China, and that tariffs are always met with countertariffs. Maybe they know something about world trade the rest of us don’t know.
David Morris, Marine on St. Croix
Comparing the Jewish lobby to NRA, others is not OK
Let me offer my counterpoint to a May 30 letter about the difficulty in having an unbiased opinion when one sees “how badly the Palestinian people are treated every day by the Israelis” and comparing “the powerful and well-funded Jewish lobbyists” to “the NRA, the pharmaceutical industry and hundreds of other organizations that are running our country.”
Yes, it is OK to claim the Palestinians are treated badly by the Israelis, but also by Hamas, and even by the Egyptians, so please don’t single out Israel. And yes, it is OK to claim that a peaceful resolution by a two-state solution is still barely possible and should be pursued most vigorously by the U.S., Israel, the Palestinians and all the nations of the world.
But, no, comparing Jewish lobbyists to those other organizations is definitely not OK. This comparison feeds the long-standing theory of an international Jewish conspiracy that runs the world with its money. When President Harry Truman recognized the Jewish state on May 14, 1948, it wasn’t because of any well-funded Jewish anything; it was because he saw the justice in a Jewish homeland. When other nations have voted pro-Israel in the U.N. Security Council, it’s not because the Jewish wealth is on their cases.
Please leave legitimate lobbying, however well-financed, out of your complaints about Jews, about Israel and about the occupation.
Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis
PEOPLE BEHAVING WELL
This is who we are
We hear a lot these days about the mean-spiritedness in this country. However, recently I had the opposite experience. My car hit an object on the road, spun and went into a ditch. Immediately, a number of people stopped to help. One young man got the door opened on the passenger side so I could get out. When I got to the top of the small incline, others were there to support me. Their kindness and compassion toward a stranger were extraordinary.
This is who we really are as a country. If anyone who stopped to help is reading this, please know I am deeply grateful. I am doing well, and will never forget your kindness. I will definitely pay it forward!
Karen Black, Edina
• • •
On a recent, steamy 95-degree day, I was walking at Bde Maka Ska. At Thomas Beach, I saw a number of people helping a man who was lying on his back on the grass. One bystander was on the phone to 911 as two others gave CPR and mouth-to-mouth. One man counted the compressions while another gave them. Then the first man administered mouth-to-mouth. The counting was done loudly, with the counter saying every few minutes, “Sir, stay with me” and “Sir, I need you to breathe.”
This continued for 10 minutes before the ambulance arrived. During this time, two women ran over and said they were nurses, while two other men came over to relieve the first two men. Everything was done professionally, expertly and with cooperation. It was as if these six people had been together as a team for years. I have no idea how the fallen jogger is. But, he was given a fighting chance at survival.
Janice Kalin, Minneapolis