In the latest example of our nation's oppression of petulant manchildren, behold the response to alleged comedian Artie Lange's Twitter spree this week regarding "First Take" host Cari Champion – or, as he calls her, the "fuckin hot" "chick on ESPN." In a series of posts, he described "jerking off" to the fantasy that "I'm T. Jefferson & she's my slave. She beats the shit out of me & runs free. Then I cum & she's free!" It continues in this vein over multiple tweets, with Lange, who has in the past struggled with addiction, describing his masturbatory delight in imagining scenes of sexual humiliation involving Champion.
Shockingly, Lange's little piece of performance art was not met with universal approval. ESPN swiftly issued a statement saying, "His comments were reprehensible and no one should be subjected to such hateful language. They objectify and demean one of our valued employees under the thin guise of 'comedy' and are offensive to all of us. We will not dignify them with any other comment." Lange was also abruptly dumped from a scheduled appearance on Comedy Central's "midnight," though the network did not elaborate on the motivation. Following the ESPN and Comedy Central statements, Lange then announced that "I'm about to tweet a few things I can't believe have to be explained in a rational world. I observed that @CariChampion was a gorgeous lady. This observation came while I was watching one of my favorite tv shows ESPNs First Take. I also noticed she was black. I then thought it would be funny to tweet JOKES about that observation. A decision which might be the end of modern comedy. I tweeted jokes that in the past I would've said in privately in my home among friends. I know black women who could join me and handle it." He then backhandedly explained that "Let me say to @CariChampion if this hurt u in any way I'm sorry" but "I would rather load trucks for a living then ever apologize to one of these awful PC groups ruining the country."
Lange's shrugging, Hey what's the big deal here? outlook has become a common refrain of late. It's been there in the often-clueless response to the viral video of a woman being relentlessly catcalled on the streets of New York -- and the commenters who say she should have been flattered at the attention. It's been there in the Russian tennis chief's non-apology over a "joke which was taken out of context" after he made disparaging remarks about Venus and Serena Williams' looks on Russian television. It's been there in Jian Ghomeshi's dogged insistence that "I've done nothing wrong" -- a statement that directly conflicts with the accounts of several women who've come forward with tales of physical and sexual abuse. It's been there in the online remarks from fans of pickup artist Julien Blanc, the ones who've rallied to his defense after hotels starting dumping his scheduled seminars. It's there every time some death threat apologist utters the phrase "ethics in gaming journalism."
Lange, meanwhile, continues to rail against the real enemies of liberty, declaring on Twitter, "To the PC army. Congrats! U won again! Gluten free cake!" and, "I don't hate women. And to u PC groups that did this I wanna be clear. Go FUCK yourselves!" See, it's all about freedom of speech here, haters. It's about being able to tell a lady she's pretty. Or to say on television that she's ugly. It's about being able to exercise your right to share your violent, explicit fantasies with a woman who did not ask for your attentions, a right that the p.c. police would wrest away from noble souls like Artie Lange. If you don't like it, then you don't have to listen to it. You definitely also shouldn't be walking around in the world. Your disgust, discomfort or even genuine fear aren't real, ladies. Thank God for Artie Lange, for straightening that out for us.