On Tuesday afternoon, CNN host Michael Smerconish called it all a “no brainer . . . Move on to the next case” in reference to a news story: ABC has canceled “Roseanne” after the show’s name star, Roseanne Barr, tweeted this: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” The “vj” is Valerie Jarrett, who served as an adviser to President Barack Obama and is African American.
The Hill has chosen this formulation: “Roseanne Barr targets former Obama adviser in racially charged tweet.” The story starts this way: “‘Roseanne’ star Roseanne Barr attacked former Obama White House adviser Valerie [Jarrett] on Tuesday in a tweet alleging connections to the Muslim Brotherhood that many have called racist.”
Italics added to highlight phrasing that should be properly edited as follows: “alleging connections to the Muslim Brotherhood that many have called racist because it is.”
Another headline from The Hill: “Scarborough calls for ABC to stop airing ‘Roseanne’ over racial tweet.” Racial? This is a “racial” tweet:
There’s more hedging out there, too. The Hollywood Reporter: “Roseanne Barr on Tuesday attacked former President Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett in a since deleted tweet alleging connections to the Muslim Brotherhood that is being called racist by many.” Breitbart: “Roseanne Barr Quits Twitter, Apologizes for Racially Charged Valerie Jarrett Tweet.” Newsweek: “Wanda Sykes Quits ‘Roseanne’ After Barr’s Racially Charged Twitter Rant.” The Wrap: “ABC has canceled ‘Roseanne’ after Roseanne Barr’s racially charged tweet about Valerie Jarrett Tuesday morning, with Disney CEO Robert Iger tweeting that the decision was ‘the only thing to do here,’ and ‘the right thing.’ ”
As commentator after commentator has noted, the ABC reboot of “Roseanne” clocked in at three times the ratings expectations of ABC entertainment executives; it proved to be among the top shows on television. Meaning, ABC brass would never have bagged the program if Barr’s comments had been merely “racially charged.”