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November 21 2016

Give My Regards to Broadway--A Show of Insults for Theatre Goer Pence

Charlotte Allen

It's bad enough to have to spend around $700 per ticket to take in a Broadway show these days. It's even worse when the rest of the audience boos you roundly when you walk into the theater, and the cast afterwards decides to give you a stern lecture instead of entertaining the way they're supposed to.

But the worst of all is when the mainstream press turns you--and your boss who comes to your defense--into the villains of the incident. And I thought liberals were supposed to sympathize with the victims of  bullying, not the bulliers themselves.

Yup, the Washington Post's Sunday coverage of last Friday's public humiliation of vice president-elect Mike Pence just because he made the mistake of attending a performance of the Broadway musical Hamilton was nothing short of astounding. An astounding display of op-ed ranting substituting for actual news reporting--and of the extent to which America's press is so far into the liberal tank that it risks drowning. We already knew the latter, of course, but it's nice to have a laboratory demonstration.

Just for starters, the Post ran not one but two stories about the already slightly stale Pence incident, one of them of them on its front page. And, just in case Post readers might miss something, the Post quoted the onstage dressing-down that Pence received from Hamilton actor Victor Dixon not once but twice--also on the front page.

Here is how Post "reporter" Philip Rucker led off Story #1:

Mike Pence was elected vice president by a coalition of mostly white voters nostalgic for what they thought of as the good old days in America and galvanized by promises to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

Isn't the story supposed to be about the Hamilton incident, not Rucker's random ideas about white people and how they voted?

Rucker then quotes Dixon's yada-yada speech to Pence about how "alarmed and anxious" Hamilton's well-compensated actors about the damage that Pence and president-elect Donald Trump will do to "our planet" and "our children" by not being "diverse" enough or whatever. But then Rucker can't wait to return to his true topic:

The remarkable moment crystallized the cleavage wrought by a toxic presidential campaign, in which millions of aggrieved white Americans propelled Donald Trump and Pence to the White House and left millions of others — blacks and Latinos, gays and lesbians, Muslims and Jews — fearful of what might become of their country.

On Saturday mega-Twitterer Trump tweeted a defense of his running mate, prompting still more editorializing by Rucker:

He could have chosen to offer assurances that he would be a president for all Americans — that he would respect everybody regardless of race or gender or creed.

But Trump being Trump, the president-elect punched back.

“The Theater must always be a safe and special place,” Trump tweeted. “The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”

There was a certain irony to Trump’s demand, considering that as a candidate he rarely if ever apologized for the blizzard of insults he sprayed across the country.

This is supposed to be news reporting?

But there's more, still more of Rucker's thoughts:

Trump’s handling of the Pence incident is in keeping with how he confronted past cultural controversies and could presage how he will act in the White House. Although he is a billionaire who lives in a three-story apartment on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, he long has felt excluded and shunned by the New York and Washington elite. Trump is sensitive to perceived snubs — and has mastered the art of snapping back at criticism from coastal liberals as a means of ingratiating himself with his middle-America base.

And in case you forgot:

Although Trump won a clear majority in the electoral college, he garnered just 47 percent of the popular vote — more than 1 million votes short of Clinton, with millions of votes still to be counted in primarily liberal states.

“I don’t think Trump understands that beneath the surface of his electoral college victory, there’s a lot of people who simply are not willing to accept the rhetoric of his campaign as the language of government,” veteran Democratic strategist Tad Devine said.

Buried on page 9 of the Sunday Post was the real story, reported by Post writers Ana Swanson and Amy B. Wang: that Dixon's lecture to Pence on Friday was actually a staged envent just like Hamilton itself:

They knew ahead of time that Vice President-elect Mike Pence would be in the theater that night. So the cast of the Broadway musical "Hamilton" reportedly gathered at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York half an hour before the curtain rose Friday evening.

According to an account in Broadway.com, the cast dialed up Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show's writer and creator, and Jeffrey Seller, the producer, and together they crafted a message encouraging the incoming administration to uphold America's values on behalf of people of different backgrounds, beliefs and orientations.

That's the mainstream press these days: Comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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