ROLL COAL: Critics Pile on Bette Midler After Singer Mocks West Virginians as 'Poor, Illiterate, and Strung Out'

Geriatric actress calls Joe Manchin and family 'a criminal enterprise'

Bette Midler (Getty Images)
December 21, 2021

Critics piled on Bette Midler on Monday after the geriatric actress and singer called West Virginians "poor, illiterate, and strung out."

The Beaches star, who has a history of making threatening and defamatory comments to political opponents, made the remarks after Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) torpedoed President Joe Biden's signature legislative package, the Build Back Better Act. Critics said Midler's comments reveal how insulated the actress is from "hardworking Americans"—and what left-leaning celebrities "actually think" about those who live outside of New York City and Los Angeles.

"The good thing about dumb liberal celebrities is that they don't know how to mask common liberal sentiments under that thin veneer of condescending intellectual compassion," journalist Glenn Greenwald said. "So you get brute candor like this showing how they actually think."

New York, where Midler lives, has one of the lowest literacy rates in the nation. More than 22 percent of adults in the state are illiterate. About 13 percent of West Virginia's adult population, by contrast, is illiterate.

Midler later apologized but doubled down on her criticisms of Manchin, saying the influential West Virginia senator and "his whole family are a criminal enterprise."