So here's the scenario: Remember being a kid, and your brother is getting under your skin? You can't agree on anything, he won't listen to you... he seems like the worst person ever. And then your other brother comes in, and he is way worse than either one of you. So you bond together to fight with Higher Purpose, to banish the greater evil (paraphrasing, but you get it). And so it is with the Samantha Bee and Glenn Beck alliance; Sure, you can be at odds. But when someone comes along who simply seems like the worst, maybe joining forces isn't the worst idea in the world. Especially while decked out in matching Christmas sweaters.
That appeared to be the premise behind Samantha Bee (a noted feminist comedienne and outspoken critic of Trump) interviewing hyper-conservative commentator Beck on a Monday night episode of Full Frontal on TBS. The diametrically opposed pair got all warm and fuzzy during the interview to talk about "uniting against Trumpism," and Bee admitted that the fight against President-elect Trump had made she and Beck "strange bedfellows":
I think that our future is going to require a broad coalition of nonpartisan decency. It’s not just individual people against Donald Trump. It’s all of us against Trumpism. So I actually think it’s important to reach into places where we wouldn’t normally reach.
Beck, as a reminder, has previously made news as an ultra-conservative who:
- called President Obama a racist
- frequently compared the Democratic Party to Nazis
- blamed Obama for the Paris attacks
- backed Ted Cruz during the 2016 presidential election
Recently he has been going through The Change. Call it the Spirit of Christmas, or a redemption tour, or fear that his collapsing media empire The Blaze would be impossible to resuscitate if he didn't do some serious re-branding. Call it whatever you want, but Beck has been apologizing all over everyone who will listen lately for his role in dividing the country.
Most notably, perhaps, Beck wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in defense of the "Black Lives Matter" movement and has come out in opposition of Trump, saying that he is "under-educated" and accusing Trump's future White House chief strategist Steve Bannon of having "clear ties to white supremacists." It's an about-face that he addressed in his interview with Bee:
As a guy who has done damage, I don’t want to do any more damage. I know what I did. I helped divide—I’m willing to take that. My message to you is: Please don’t make the mistakes I made. And I think all of us are doing it. We’re doing it on Facebook, we’re doing it on Twitter. We tear each other apart and we don’t see the human on the other side.
For her part, Bee pointed out that her audience would hate the fact that she was attempting to "normalize a lunatic" like Beck, and Beck admitted his audience would want to "stab her relentlessly in the eye." Neither of them are wrong. The response to the interview on social media has been mostly negative, with Bee fans accusing her of doing them a great disservice and Beck supporters crying foul.
Sure, the whole interview could very well have been some hokey publicity stunt on Beck's part to save his failing media company. Or maybe Beck's small heart grew three sizes that day.
Maybe the interview, perhaps, meant a little bit more.