Culture

Samantha Bee Doesn’t Think America Has a ‘Smug Liberal Problem’

Left-wing comedian Samantha Bee shot down the idea that America has a "smug liberal" problem during an interview airing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Bee was fresh off hosting the "Not The White House Correspondents Dinner" on Saturday, where she did a series of anti-White House routines, as she does weekly on her half-hour TBS program "Full Frontal."

CNN host Jake Tapper brought up a September piece by conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat called "Clinton's Samatha Bee Problem." He wrote the Democratic Party's problem can be personified in Bee: "the rapid colonization of new cultural territory by an ascendant social liberalism."

Douthat criticized Bee and other left-leaning late-night comedians' smirking, hectoring brand of comedy as "an echo chamber from which the imagination struggles to escape:"

The culture industry has always tilted leftward, but the swing toward social liberalism among younger Americans and the simultaneous surge of activist energy on the left have created a new dynamic, in which areas once considered relatively apolitical now have (or are being pushed to have) an overtly left-wing party line.

On late-night television, it was once understood that David Letterman was beloved by coastal liberals and Jay Leno more of a Middle American taste. But neither man was prone to delivering hectoring monologues in the style of the "Daily Show" alums who now dominate late night. Fallon's apolitical shtick increasingly makes him an outlier among his peers, many of whom are less comics than propagandists–liberal "explanatory journalists" with laugh lines.

Tapper asked Bee how she felt being called the "face of the problem." Bee joked "it's me, it's not racism, it's just me."

"It's one person's opinion," she said. "One wonderful chap who I'd love to have on the show."

Tapper pressed on though, asking if Douthat had a larger point about "smug liberals."

"I'm not talking about you, but is there a smug liberal problem?" Tapper asked.

"I just can't take responsibility for the way the election turned out. I don't, I can't. Is there a smug liberal problem?" she asked. "I don't think there is. I do the show for me and for people like me, and I don't really care how the rest of the world sees it, quite frankly."

"That's great. We make a show for ourselves. We put it out in the world. We birth it, and then the world receives it however they want to receive it. What can I do?" she added.