Trump-style rudeness apparently OK when aimed at the right. Plus: Nutty virus theory credible now

By Gary Abernathy

Apparently, profane, violent remarks OK aimed at the right

The double standard applied politically by many of our leading news media outlets is always worth noting, although it’s such an indisputable fact that sometimes it’s like revealing that water is wet.

Still, this example is so blatant that it deserves attention. Rand Paul, the Republican U.S. senator from Kentucky, recently received a suspicious package containing white powder at his home. Paul blamed pop singer Richard Marx for inspiring such actions, based on a tweet Marx had issued recently about the neighbor who infamously assaulted Paul in 2017.

The attack resulted in serious injuries, and the neighbor served jail time. But in response to Paul recently saying he would not receive the covid vaccine, here’s what Marx tweeted: “I’ll say it again: If I ever meet Rand Paul’s neighbor I’m going to hug him and buy him as many drinks as he can consume.”

Of course, if you surf the Internet for stories on this incident, news media outlets are falling over each other to deliver the maximum amount of ridicule directed at Paul while offering a wink and slap on the back for Marx. For instance, the New York Daily News called Marx’ comment “a tongue-in-cheek tweet.”

How generous. In fact, Marx has become something of a liberal political darling on Twitter. Why? According to one critic, it’s because he’s so “hilariously profane.”

That’s right. While Donald Trump was pummeled almost daily for his occasional profanity and encouraging violence, which critics claimed inspired violent behavior from his followers (and it undoubtedly contributed to just that on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol), when profane language or making light of a savage beating comes from someone on the left it’s hilarious, particularly when it’s aimed at the right.

I can hear it now: “Richard Marx is not the president. There’s a big difference!” That’s a cop-out. There should not be a big difference when it comes to our political discourse and what we choose to celebrate and encourage, and what we condemn.

Check out a profile of Marx in April 2020 by Christopher Borrelli, features reporter and columnist at the Chicago Tribune:

You know who suffers no one online? Richard Marx. The man is incredibly profane on Twitter, hilariously so. “I’d (expletive) destroy a maple cupcake right now,” he once wrote. And should you cross him, he will end you. He delights in not being the middle-of-the road hit maker you’re expecting. One ex-fan wrote: “You’ve got issues, dude. I’ll unfollow for both our sakes.” To which Marx replied, characteristically: “Don’t let the (expletive) door hit you in your cowardly racist ass.” … By phone last week, speaking from his Malibu home, Marx explained: “I think the people offended by the (expletive) language I use online — look, I’m a grown man and I’ll say whatever (expletive) words I want. (Expletive) them. I think I have gained more fans (online) than lost.”

The author admiringly concludes, “You wish you did lockdown as well as Richard Marx.”

Message: Richard Marx is profane, fun and cool. He “suffers no one online.” “Should you cross him, he will end you.” “You wish you did lockdown as well as Richard Marx.”

In its coverage of the Rand Paul incident, too many in the media are parroting, subtly and not so subtly, the notion that Richard Marx is the guy we should all aspire to be and, by contrast, Rand Paul is the uptight Republican nerd getting deservedly pummeled once again. 

The narrative against Trump supporters and most conservatives in general is that they need to be more sensitive and caring, and that Trump was terrible in part because he exhibited the polar opposite of those attributes. That argument disintegrates when those advocating it choose to celebrate rude and crude online behavior just because it’s targeted at conservatives.

Suddenly, the rightwing conspiracy theory is credible

After many of our most renowned health officials downplayed the possibility, and innumerable media pundits ripped former president Donald Trump and others as tin-foil-hat nuts at best and racists at worst for suggesting it, almost everyone is now rethinking the notion that the coronavirus escaped from a Chinese lab.

The New York Times explains it – although its lede claiming that the Biden administration has “renewed its appeals” to probe the origin is pretty funny considering the administration shut down a State Department investigation exploring those origins  -- and the Washington Post offers a pretty comprehensive timeline on how the theory went from “rightwing conspiracy” to credible supposition.

That’s it for this week, see you Tuesday

That’s it for this week (yep – extra long five-day weekend coming up for yours truly) – so see you back here Tuesday for more news, commentary and the occasional foray into sports and pop culture. Have a great long weekend, and a blessed and reflective Memorial Day.

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