Norm MacDonald, #MeToo, and the Fatal Flaw in the New Morality

 

Twitter is a cesspool. As if we needed more evidence, legendary comedian and acclaimed author Norm MacDonald was targeted for saying words to a reporter that a microscopic minority of humorless scolds didn’t care for. That’s all the pretext needed to subject a person, famous or not, to Twitter’s two-hour hate.

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed MacDonald on Tuesday to preview his upcoming Netflix show. The affable Canadian politely spoke his mind. For better or worse, his mind works differently than the rest of ours, which is one of the reasons he’s so funny.

Here are the meager examples of MacDonald’s wrongthink:

I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit. It used to be, “One hundred women can’t be lying.” And then it became, “One woman can’t lie.” And that became, “I believe all women.” And then you’re like, “What?” Like, that Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there.

Obviously men and women can lie to ruin the lives of those around them; we’re all flawed humans after all. But in a trial by media, due process isn’t provided. Hardwick might be the most famous example of a possibly innocent celeb caught in the anti-harassment dragnet, accused of being too controlling by an ex-girlfriend. Hardwick might be guilty, he might be innocent, he might be a mix of both. No proof was offered by either side, but his career was tossed overboard regardless. Better one innocent man go to the gallows than a guilty man go free.

MacDonald then talks about Roseanne Barr, who gave him his first job in comedy, and Louis C.K., who wrote the foreword to his brilliant book.

Louis [C.K.] and Roseanne [Barr] are the two people I know. And Roseanne was so broken up [after her show’s reboot was canceled] that I got Louis to call her, even though Roseanne was very hard on Louis before that. But she was just so broken and just crying constantly. There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day. Of course, people will go, “What about the victims?” But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.

Nothing offensive there either, though the detractors claimed offense. Roseanne got in trouble for a racist tweet, which is essentially victimless. (If idiotic tweets are victimizing, everyone on that ridiculous site is victimized every time they open the app.)

Louis C.K. was the more egregious offender, since he, er, sought testicular release in the presence of unwilling women. Such acts are illegal and appalling, however, his very real victims most likely didn’t have their careers destroyed by it. Louis should have been prosecuted for these actual crimes, but his very public shaming at least gave him some, er, comeuppance.

In both cases, MacDonald was sticking up for long-time friends who have fallen on hard times. The smart play for the self-interested celebrity is to turn on people when they get bad press. MacDonald values loyalty; quite an old-fashioned notion.

Hours after the interview was released, Norm’s long-time friend Jimmy Fallon quickly chose self-interest. MacDonald was scheduled to appear on “The Tonight Show,” but Fallon ran to his dressing room to call it off. Here’s what Norm said happened:

Jimmy came back in. “Can I talk to you buddy?” And he said, he was very, very broken up about it, he didn’t want this, he said, “I don’t know what to do.” I said, “You think I shouldn’t do the show.” “People are crying.” I said, “People are crying.” “Yeah,” he said, “senior producers are crying.” I said, “Good Lord, bring them in and let me talk to them. I didn’t even know I had the capacity to make people cry. So I felt so bad from that comment. Jimmy said, “Come back whatever you want but I think it will hurt the show tonight.” I said, “Jimmy, I don’t want to hurt your show. That’s the last thing I want to do is hurt your show.”

“People are crying.” Yeah, ok.

Norm quickly apologized on Twitter, which only encouraged the professionally offended. The online mob, however, ignored the most interesting part of the interview, which helped prove MacDonald’s main point.

The interviewer asked how we should treat people when they admit to screwing up. Here’s MacDonald’s answer:

The model used to be: admit wrongdoing, show complete contrition and then we give you a second chance. Now it’s admit wrongdoing and you’re finished. And so the only way to survive is to deny, deny, deny. That’s not healthy — that there is no forgiveness. I do think that at some point it will end with a completely innocent person of prominence sticking a gun in his head and ending it. That’s my guess.

By mentioning forgiveness, MacDonald reveals the biggest flaw in our new woke morality. The Church of Social Justice has more rules than a monastery during Lent and the list grows daily. But unlike traditional morality, there is no path to redemption.

The ancient Hebrews confessed the community’s sin, placed it onto a scapegoat, and restored the flawed people. Early Christians confessed to their priest or bishop, perhaps did some acts of penance, and were redeemed in the eyes of the church. For especially egregious and public sins, the process could be quite involved. But the model held across time and faith: confess to wrongdoing, repent, and be forgiven.

The new secular church enforces the first and second steps with a vengeance but offers no mechanism for the third and most important step. Louis and Roseanne both confessed and repented. And then … nothing. Perhaps both could have done more. Donating millions to a well-regarded charity. Crawl on their knees to the Hollywood sign and sacrifice an Emmy.

Even if they did, forgiveness, redemption, and restoration were not possible. Instead, they were cast out into weeping and gnashing of teeth with no way to make things right.

This latest faux outrage will be soon forgotten as the Twitter mob lurches after another celebrity’s career tomorrow. As for me, I’ll watch “Norm MacDonald Has a Show” on Netflix and continue to chill. Life’s too short for outrage.

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Published in Culture, Entertainment, Religion & Philosophy
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There are 53 comments.

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  1. Member

    Had.

    • #1
    • September 12, 2018 at 4:49 pm
    • 4 likes
  2. Member

    People are crying?!?!?

    Upset? Sure. Angry? Why not. But crying over what he said. That’s just embarrassing .

    • #2
    • September 12, 2018 at 5:02 pm
    • 18 likes
  3. Coolidge

    I really find it hard to care except for the certainty that they won’t stop with celebrities.

    • #3
    • September 12, 2018 at 5:07 pm
    • 7 likes
  4. Thatcher

    I’ve read many things from comedians (mostly leftist, but across the board) about how people have lost their sense of humor, especially on college campuses. But nowadays?

    Would Bob Nelson’s famous “Shoulda-Ma-Pads” skit be banned? Probably . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_7tIBk_DfQ

    It could be comedians who tell the uptight, ready-to-explode-at-the-slightest-insult modern leftists to lighten up!

    Yet, so many just quit and walk away from comedy. If comedy dies, we all do . . .

    • #4
    • September 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm
    • 5 likes
  5. Inactive

    There’s always a time and a place for penance:

    • #5
    • September 12, 2018 at 5:29 pm
    • 3 likes
  6. Coolidge

    I can imagine the look on Norm’s face when he said “People are crying?”

    If they were really crying it wasn’t because they were actually upset but to show outrage

    this generation of comedy writers are mostly about “woke diversity” in the writers room and jokes based on cultural references. Anti-establishment is jokes going after Trump. 

    (I have a few in my fb feed…including the team that’s going to write the write the #MeToo episode of Murphy Brown which I’m sure will be a rip roaring chucklefest)

    • #6
    • September 12, 2018 at 6:06 pm
    • 5 likes
  7. Coolidge

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    The ancient Hebrews confessed the community’s sin, placed it onto a scapegoat, and restored the flawed people. Early Christians confessed to their priest or bishop, perhaps did some acts of penance, and were redeemed in the eyes of the church. For especially egregious and public sins, the process could be quite involved. But the model held across time and faith: confess to wrongdoing, repent, and be forgiven.

    The Church of Social Justice enforces the first and second steps with a vengeance but offers no mechanism for the third and most important step

    I had been thinking along these lines as well for a while. Social Justice is a religion but it lacks the one thing that is required of a religion for it to stay alive: forgiveness. Without that, soon there will be no one left. At least I’m hoping so, because they can’t go away soon enough.

    • #7
    • September 12, 2018 at 6:09 pm
    • 9 likes
  8. Coolidge

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    People are crying?!?!?

    Upset? Sure. Angry? Why not. But crying over what he said. That’s just embarrassing .

    Norm has made me cry too. But only with laughter. Dude is hilarious and should probably send them flowers for all the publicity – I can’t be the only one with a new show to watch!

    • #8
    • September 12, 2018 at 6:41 pm
    • 9 likes
  9. Thatcher

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: “People are crying.” Yeah, ok.

    Exactly, this is complete crap. What kind of emotional children does Fallon hire as producers???

    • #9
    • September 12, 2018 at 6:48 pm
    • 15 likes
  10. Thatcher

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):
    I can imagine the look on Norm’s face when he said “People are crying?”

    I can imagine him saying “good lord!” lol That is totally what he would have said. hahaha

    • #10
    • September 12, 2018 at 6:49 pm
    • 8 likes
  11. Member

    Christianity has survived two thousand years only because it offers forgiveness. What would have happened if Jesus had said to his followers, “You steal that money, it’s off to hell with you.” Every Christmas I contemplate what the world would look like if Jesus had never been born. It’s pretty scary, a world without second chances. Where would the incentive come from to be good? To be better than we were yesterday? 

    • #11
    • September 12, 2018 at 7:12 pm
    • 12 likes
  12. Member

    This just goes to show the arrogance of the “leaders” of the Secular Church. They imagine they’re so morally and intellectually superior that they can devise a new morally, on the fly, that is superior to those old-fashioned religions. They haven’t a clue.

    • #12
    • September 12, 2018 at 7:16 pm
    • 7 likes
  13. Member

    I am going to dissent, however. “Forgiveness, redemption, and restoration” are possible. All that’s required is that you convert to Progressivism, scrape and grovel, and most importantly, lead the shrieking mob attacking the next heretic.

    • #13
    • September 12, 2018 at 7:20 pm
    • 4 likes
  14. Coolidge

    Wow. Anything in there that he said that isn’t, you know… True?

    I run hot and cold on the man’s comedy, but I’ve seen several interviews and anecdotes now that convince me that he’s gotta be one of the most humane people in show business.

    Oh, and I actually adore the voice he does for the animated show Skylanders Academy.

    • #14
    • September 12, 2018 at 8:06 pm
    • 7 likes
  15. Coolidge
    TBA

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    People are crying?!?!?

    Upset? Sure. Angry? Why not. But crying over what he said. That’s just embarrassing .

    Some dudes are just kinda hysterical. Not women of course – no way could a woman be hysterical. 

    • #15
    • September 12, 2018 at 8:43 pm
    • 6 likes
  16. Coolidge
    TBA

    Terry Mott (View Comment):

    I am going to dissent, however. “Forgiveness, redemption, and restoration” are possible. All that’s required is that you convert to Progressivism, scrape and grovel, and most importantly, lead the shrieking mob attacking the next heretic.

    Nah. You gotta be a member in good standing for that to work. Converts aren’t really allowed. And heretics get their films burned. 

    • #16
    • September 12, 2018 at 8:45 pm
    • Like
  17. Coolidge
    TBA

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    The ancient Hebrews confessed the community’s sin, placed it onto a scapegoat, and restored the flawed people. Early Christians confessed to their priest or bishop, perhaps did some acts of penance, and were redeemed in the eyes of the church. For especially egregious and public sins, the process could be quite involved. But the model held across time and faith: confess to wrongdoing, repent, and be forgiven.

    The Church of Social Justice enforces the first and second steps with a vengeance but offers no mechanism for the third and most important step

    I had been thinking along these lines as well for a while. Social Justice is a religion but it lacks the one thing that is required of a religion for it to stay alive: forgiveness. Without that, soon there will be no one left. At least I’m hoping so, because they can’t go away soon enough.

    All hate and no love. 

    • #17
    • September 12, 2018 at 8:46 pm
    • Like
  18. Lincoln

    By mentioning forgiveness, MacDonald reveals the biggest flaw in our new woke morality. The Church of Social Justice has more rules than a monastery during Lent and the list grows daily. But unlike traditional morality, there is no path to redemption.

    Social media uses victimhood to exert power, and each new person taken down translates into more power for the accuser. “I took Norm MacDonald down, and I can take you down too!” is the ultimate message of the angry mob and its individual components here, and in the world of pop culture and politics, it’s going to keep happening as long as those in charge keep bowing to the heckler’s veto, just because it’s coming at their digitally via Twitter.

    (Fallon no doubt was on guard because he was the target of the mob when he failed to act like a jerk to Trump when he was on The Tonight Show during the 2016 campaign, and decided for his own self-preservation, he needed to act like a jerk to MacDonald here. But bowing to the mob on Twitter is self-defeating in the long-term for pop culture people, because the angry Twitter trolls aren’t their viewers — ESPN’s been backpeddling since the start of 2018 from the model former president John Skipper put in, because he was tanking their ratings by crafting a network designed to appeal to angry progressives on Twitter, based on some bizarre notion that angry progressives on Twitter represented ESPN’s future core audience.)

    • #18
    • September 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm
    • 4 likes
  19. Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    People are crying?!?!?

    Upset? Sure. Angry? Why not. But crying over what he said. That’s just embarrassing .

    I’ve been in bad relationships like this. If a girl cries, she has power over you and you are wrong because of her feelings. (To be fair to ladies, millenial men are similar) It’s weaponizing feelings and it is promoting feeling above arguments. Both are very bad things.

    • #19
    • September 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm
    • 8 likes
  20. Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: “People are crying.” Yeah, ok.

    Exactly, this is complete crap. What kind of emotional children does Fallon hire as producers???

    Lefty white Californians. You really should not be surprised at their level of emotional maturity.

    • #20
    • September 12, 2018 at 9:03 pm
    • 4 likes
  21. Contributor

    Never, ever, apologize to SJWs.

    • #21
    • September 12, 2018 at 9:27 pm
    • 9 likes
  22. Coolidge

    Oh please, you know, if Norm didn’t want to be tossed to the wolves, he could have interjected this comment: “I support anything the DNC and the progressives support, and I pledge my life and career to their cause, and really truly don’t want to be seen as a hater, because I do like women, African Americans, Asian Americans, hispanic Americans and Geronimo.” And then made one or two short remarks. Then he should have added, “I detest Pres Trump and hope he is shoved out of office soon, if that is what the Social Justice warriors think is just.”

    And then he could have sandwiched another joke or two into his litany of remarks. Of course, it is possible the loyalty pledge might have ruined his attempt at humor. But after all, what is important in this era of crisis is that we really step up to the plate and demonstrate our concern for all the causes to which the Left needs us to be loyal.

    I mean, who needs comedy when there are so many social justice causes to further?

    • #22
    • September 12, 2018 at 9:35 pm
    • 3 likes
  23. Member

    Louis C.K. was the more egregious offender, since he, er, sought testicular release in the presence of unwilling women. Such acts are illegal and appalling, however, his very real victims most likely didn’t have their careers destroyed by it. Louis should have been prosecuted for these actual crimes, but his very public shaming at least gave him some, er, comeuppance.

    Illegal? Crimes? IIRC, CK obtained consent from the women first. They revoked their consent retroactively because they apparently didn’t know they could say “no” to a famous perv until it became a hashtag. Unless there’s something else I don’t know about, he is one of the most unfairly maligned victims in this whole thing.

    • #23
    • September 12, 2018 at 10:11 pm
    • 8 likes
  24. Member

    I love norm. Not just because of this stuff… he was my favorite on SNL back in high school and has remained a favorite ever since. Ridiculously funny.

    • #24
    • September 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm
    • 10 likes
  25. Coolidge

    I really truly hope the self righteous and preening #MeToo and the uptight SJW movement get a bit more self righteous. This might finally do it: John Belushi will step out of his grave and absolutely go to town on the entire Hollywood cabal of “entertainers.”

    • #25
    • September 12, 2018 at 10:29 pm
    • 1 like
  26. Thatcher

    Terry Mott (View Comment):

    I am going to dissent, however. “Forgiveness, redemption, and restoration” are possible. All that’s required is that you convert to Progressivism, scrape and grovel, and most importantly, lead the shrieking mob attacking the next heretic.

    Nope, once you have committed the crime, you are persona non grata forever. How are Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. doing, eh?

    • #26
    • September 12, 2018 at 10:33 pm
    • 1 like
  27. Member

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Terry Mott (View Comment):

    I am going to dissent, however. “Forgiveness, redemption, and restoration” are possible. All that’s required is that you convert to Progressivism, scrape and grovel, and most importantly, lead the shrieking mob attacking the next heretic.

    Nope, once you have committed the crime, you are persona non grata forever. How are Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. doing, eh?

    Not enough time has passed to know for certain. Give it a year or two, and they might be back without much being said about what happened. Maybe.

    • #27
    • September 12, 2018 at 10:43 pm
    • 2 likes
  28. Member

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):

    I love norm. Not just because of this stuff… he was my favorite on SNL back in high school and has remained a favorite ever since. Ridiculously funny.

    I agree! One of my favorites, not just from Saturday Night Live, but from all of television.

     

    Does anybody remember that some 20 years ago Norm was the guy who sometimes led off the SNL newscast by saying,”This is Norm MacDonald with the Fake News!” ?

    • #28
    • September 12, 2018 at 10:50 pm
    • 7 likes
  29. Thatcher

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: “People are crying.”

    (Note: This is Jon Gabriel quoting Norm MacDonald, who is quoting Jimmy Fallon, who, based on the context, was probably quoting someone else.)

    If anyone told me that, I’d be elated. I want Alexandria the Wonder Socialist to be blubbering in her latte and Big Chief Running Bull Warren to be dampening her wampum after reading what I say about them. I want the Sealion of the Senate’s grave to be filled with his own tears when his shade realizes how repulsive I consider him. I want leftist bully Jimmy Kimmel to really cry when I point out what a lazy unfunny hack he is.

    I thought the whole point of comedy was to “afflict the comfortable.” Is there anyone more smug and self-satisfied the elites of our culture, anyone more needing to have their balloons burst? No wonder “comedy is dying;” everything the left jokes about is just boring repetition of what a hundred other people have said. All the real comedy targets are on the left, but you can’t joke about them.

    And don’t apologize. It never works and just makes you look like a weenie.

    • #29
    • September 12, 2018 at 11:01 pm
    • 5 likes
  30. Member

    Norm should go on Conan O’Brien’s show as this is where he normally has some of his funniest moments anyway.

    Conan: So how are you doing Norm?

    Norm: Oh well, you see, the most unbelievable thing happened to me recently, Conan.

    Conan: What’s that?

    Norm: I was fired from The Tonight Show.

    Norm: Conan, I don’t know if you can understand how all of this feels — to be fired from The Tonight Show and all.

    Conan: Uh, I think I have a pretty good idea, Norm.

    Norm: Oh, that’s right YOU were on the The Tonight Show too.

    Conan: I was sort of the host, Norm.

    Norm: Well, I was fired from a show that I didn’t even know had hired me. How do think I feel?

    Conan: How do you feel Norm?

    Norm: I just don’t know how I am going to communicate with my friend Jimmy Fallon anymore. I always thought Jimmy Fallon was the bes… one of the top two late night hosts out there.

    Conan: Nice save.

    Norm: I was wondering if you could have Jimmy Fallon on your show.

    Conan: You want me to have Jimmy Fallon on MY show?

    Norm: I thought if you had Jimmy on your show the same night that I was on that I might still be able to talk to Jimmy.

    Conan: That’s not one of my biggest concerns at the moment.

    Norm: I’m sure he’d have you on his show too, assuming you weren’t fired AGAIN from The Tonight Show.

    Conan: All right, Norm.

    Norm: If you don’t mind Conan I’d like to send a message to Jimmy Fallon, since I am no longer able to communicate with him.

    Conan: Go ahead. (exasperated)

    Norm: Orange Platypus New Brunswick.

    Conan: Orange Platypus New Brunswick?

    Norm: You see, all of my communication with Jimmy now has to be done in code.

    Conan: Will he know what it means?

    Norm: I barely know what it means.

    Conan: Are we done with this?

    Norm: Conan, I’ve been fired from NBC shows before, but this is the first time I’ve been fired from a show that … didn’t even hire me.

    Conan: That’s a tough one.

    Norm: Apparently I was also fired from a bunch of other NBC shows including St. ElsewhereHill Street Blues, and Banacek.

    Conan: Banacek, Norm?

    Norm: I was surprised too.

    • #30
    • September 13, 2018 at 2:22 am
    • 24 likes
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