NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck was back on the Fox News Channel late Monday/early Tuesday for Fox News @ Night and tag-teamed with Seattle talk radio host Jason Rantz to sound off on liberal screeching over comedian Chris Rock’s Netflix special Selective Outrage that hit both sides of the spectrum and included Rock’s most extensive comments yet on the slap he received from Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars.
Setting the table with a report from weekend Fox News Live host Eric Shawn, host Trace Gallagher explained: “Almost a year after receiving the infamous Oscar slap, comedian Chris Rock is getting slammed again after daring to offend liberal snowflakes in his new Netflix stand up special.”
After Shawn’s report, Gallagher cited one of the lefty meltdowns to Rantz with Carnegie Mellon professor Uju Anya having whined Netflix was “screwing over subscribers” by showing why “Will Smith was right to slap” Rock.
Rantz explained the line Rock crossed, which was the reality of liberals becoming enraged “anytime someone says something that strays even just a little bit from — from their preferred worldview, particularly if you happen to be from a minority community or a community that has been disenfranchised by the right-wing racist”.
For his part, Houck and Gallagher went to another tweet as NBC’s Ben Collins said Rock was acting out of “pure animal instinct.” Houck slammed that take by noting how it would be seen as racist if it were uttered by someone with Fox News about a black person and “you would not hear the end of it” from the liberal media.
Houck added that, in deciding whether to comment on the slap, “Rock was in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation” as “if he didn’t comment, people would say there’s something wrong with him, he’s a coward, but if he did sound off, you would get you know, things like this.”
He also pointed out that he seemed to trigger CBS Mornings when he insisted he wouldn’t “go crying to Gayle King or Oprah which obviously offended Gayle’s co-workers at CBS.”
Gallagher wrapped by asking both to take on a clip from Rock’s special in which he lambasted corporate liberalism by citing signs in Lululemon saying racism wouldn’t be tolerated in the high-dollar workout clothes company.
Rantz noted Rock also “went after victim culture” to go along with said “virtue signaling, which are things that the left embraces wholeheartedly and so, they felt like they were being personally attacked.”
He wrapped by reminding viewers that “Chris Rock is not a conservative,” but instead “a liberal guy who’s saying you are going too far and when you start to lose folks on the left...they feel on the far left, that they’re starting to lose this culture war”.
Houck concurred that liberals realize they’re no longer winning the culture war in a runaway and so anyone diagnosing that will be attacked.
Houck also observed Rock took “the Bill Maher approach to things” by targeting liberals on wokeness and then conservatives on January 6. But in terms of political correctness, Houck said “it’s something that we all should be able to laugh at” as “one of the more ridiculous things we see in our culture.”
As for Rock, he ended by predicting this special showed that, “[w]hile he’s showing that he still is trying to work through some things regarding the fallout from the Will Smith trauma...Chris Rock is not going away anytime soon.”
To see the relevant transcript from March 7, click “expand.”
FNC’s Fox News @ Night with Trace Gallagher
March 7, 2023
12:19 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
TRACE GALLAGHER: Well, Chris Rock addressed the infamous Oscar slap controversy for the first time and yet liberals are now outraged. Have you heard this? They are outraged over his new comedy special on Netflix. The media panel will try to explain exactly why.
12:27 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Rock and a Hard Place; Comedian Makes Waves, Outrages Liberals in New Special]
GALLAGHER: Almost a year after receiving the infamous Oscar slap, comedian Chris Rock is getting slammed again after daring to offend liberal snowflakes in his new Netflix stand up special. Here is the Senior Correspondent Eric Shawn.
ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: A Rock and a Hard Place; Liberal Backlash for Chris Rock’s Netflix Special]
CHRIS ROCK: Don’t fall into the woke trap at all now.
ERIC SHAWN: The laughter is turned into anger from some. Chris Rock head with the liberal backlash from his Netflix special. Critics slamming him for taking on wokeness, abortion, race, and going too far about that infamous slap. Podcaster Touré tweeted, “Chris Rock said, featured an attack on P.C. culture said everyone is too quick to be a victim, said wokeness is B.S., said abortion is murder. It’s a pretty right-wing outlook on the world.”
ROCK: The thing I have a problem with is the selective outrage. You know what I’m talking about! One person does some, they get canceled. Somebody else does the exact same thing, nothing.
SHAWN: Others, like Jamie Kilstein, stand-up comedian and host of the podcast “Advice Not Taken,” says comedy is supposed to be controversial.
JAMIE KILSTEIN: So much comedy comes from can we take hard traumatic things and can we laugh at it?
SHAWN: He, like other comedians, are concerned that cancel culture could censor comedy. Jerry Seinfeld said performing a college’s has become to P.C., and stand-up comedian Judy Gold even as a show and book pushing back against cancel culture called, “Yes, I can Say That.”
ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Just Kidding; Comedians Worry Cancel Culture May Lead to Censorship]
KILSTEIN: To me, the biggest metric of I’m doing my job is when I can get conservatives to laugh at something that makes fun of them and I can get liberals to laugh at something that makes fun of them.
SHAWN: Comics want to be funny. But as Judy Gold warrants, “When they come for the comedians, we are all in trouble.” Trace.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Rock and a Hard Place; Comedian Makes Waves, Outrages Liberals in New Special]
GALLAGHER: Eric, thank you. Let’s bring in the media panel: KTTH — KTTH Seattle talk radio host Jason Rantz and NewsBusters’s Managing Editor, Curtis Houck. Gentlemen, thank you both. Jason, to you first. I mean, he’s infuriated liberals, as Eric was just saying there. This is Carnegie Melon professor, her name is Uju Anya, she writes the following: “Netflix keeps screwing over subscribers. They cancel hit shows people actually want to watch and give Chris Rock millions of dollars to prove Will Smith was right to slap him.” Why are the liberals so infuriated by this? Is it because they think he’s conservative?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “Selective Outrage”; Chris Rock’s New Comedy Special Draws Controversy]
JASON RANTZ: Well, it’s because they’re always upset anytime someone says something that strays even just a little bit from — from their preferred worldview, particularly if you happen to be from a minority community or a community that has been disenfranchised by the right-wing racist, they just don’t like that and so, any single time, you don’t read the script that they provide for you to take on a whole host of issues, they will feign this kind of outrage. To be clear, no one’s actually mad at the content. They’re mad at the man who said it, because as a black guy, he’s not supposed to say it.
GALLAGHER: Yeah and it’s interesting Curtis because there was a reporter at NBC, his name is Ben Collins. I’m not going to read his tweet because we was too long, but he was just aghast that, that Chris Rock would do this. And I’m thinking why is a reporter at NBC weighing in on Chris Rock’s performance?
CURTIS HOUCK: Yeah, it’s weird Trace. The key phrase in the Ben Collins tweet was “pure animal instinct.” Man, if somebody — a white reporter on Fox News said that about someone from another network or black comedian, oh my gosh, you would not hear the end of it. Chris Rock was in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. If he, if he didn’t comment, people would say there’s something wrong with him, he’s a coward. But if he did sound off, you would get you know, things like this. People just saying that he’s still working through things. He went after the media as well saying he’s not going to go crying to Gayle King or Oprah which obviously offended Gayle’s co-workers at CBS.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Chris Rock Comedy; Some Viewers Angered by Netflix Special]
GALLAGHER: I want to play just a little more. There’s 20 seconds of this, Jason, and I’ll get your take on it. But this is more of Chris Rock, and then we’ll move on. This is Lululemon. Go.
ROCK: I walk by, and in the window of every Lululemon, there’s a sign that says we don’t support racism, sexism, discrimination, or hate. And I’m like, who gives a [EXPLETIVE]? You’re just selling yoga pants. I don’t need your yoga pants politics.
GALLAGHER: Yoga pants politics. He went out to everybody, Jason. I mean, the royal family, right? He went after them.
GALLAGHER: And Will Smith, and you name it, and it was it was really nobody was off the table last night.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Tackling Topics; Chris Rock Takes on Wokeness in Comedy Stand-Up Show]
RANTZ: Well, he went after victim culture. He went after virtue signaling, which are things that the left embraces wholeheartedly. And so, they felt like they were being personally attacked. But I do think that this is really, this is quite important for us in pop culture. We have a lot of comedians who are stepping up as a report suggested saying, yes, you’re going too far. These aren’t conservatives. Chris Rock is not a conservative. This is a liberal guy who’s saying you are going too far and when you start to lose folks on the left, the more moderate or the more liberal but not quite progressives, they do think — I think they feel on the far left, that they’re starting to lose this culture wa and that’s how they’re reacting and so, of course, they’re going to feign this outrage, because they want to bully people into silence. I don’t think it’s going to work with Chris Rock.
GALLAGHER: Right, it goes back to kind of Dave Chappelle, right? You take Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, and I think he makes a good point there, Curtis, because they do feel like wow, we might be losing this culture war, because, because people are making fun of it. I mean, the biggest thing that you worry about when you’re fighting a culture war is not, you know, it’s not whether people are offended, it’s whether they think it’s joke. Final thoughts.
HOUCK: Right — right, you start to have people peel off. This is kind of — he’s taking the Bill Maher approach to things. He talks about January 6; he talked about abortion as well. I mean, corporate liberalism, I think it’s something that we all should be able to laugh at. I mean, it’s one of the more ridiculous things we see in our culture today. And the fact that you know, he’s willing to offend everybody. While he’s showing that he still is trying to work through some things regarding the fallout from the Will Smith trauma, just shows that Chris Rock is not going away anytime soon.
GALLAGHER: No, he’s not. Curtis Houck, Jason Rantz, gentlemen, thank you.
RANTZ: Thanks, Trace.
HOUCK: Thanks, Trace.