Despite Thrilling End, Super Bowl Becomes Bitchfest for Rightbloggers
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady chats with Donald Trump in 2005.
Photo by Donna Connor / WireImage
Did you enjoy that Super Bowl? Rightbloggers sure did but, despite the wow OT finish, football didn’t seem to have much to do with it. They mainly enjoyed bitching about the liberal TV commercials, the liberal Hamilton cast and Lady Gaga, the liberal Black Lives Matter — basically the same stuff that drives them nuts on the regular, but with hot wings and wide-screen TV making their embitterment more festive.
As longtime readers may know, though conservatives wage culture war mainly against artists, they also occasionally turn their weird attention to professional football. There was, for example, Rush Limbaugh’s protest against the NFL in 2009 because they wouldn’t let him take an ownership interest in the Rams; many of the brethren actually called then for a boycott of the NFL, a strategy to which they returned when Beyonce performed what they considered too Black-Panthery a halftime show at last year’s Super Bowl and when 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepenick made his silent protest at ballgames.
The brethren were no less obsessed on Super Sunday. “If it’s not going to kill you, don’t watch the Super Bowl tomorrow,” pleaded Bookworm Room, who were mad that some Democrats were boycotting Breitbart — that is, “doing what they managed to do successfully in the South with Jim Crow for almost 100 years — they’re creating a boycott against entire communities of people based on typical Democrat bigotry and prejudice. The only difference is that, this time, it’s the Republicans who are the new blacks.” I expect many Republicans will not take that compliment with good grace.
Since The Leader, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady are buds, conservatives like America's most punchable Nazi Richard Spencer tended to go long on the Patriots. “If You Believe In America, You Want Tom Brady To Win The Super Bowl,” declared Rich Cromwell at The Federalist: “Three-time MVP and four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is also married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen. They have two children. Brady has another son with actress Bridget Moynahan. And in case those two things didn’t clue you in, the man has a way with his balls.” When it comes to rightwing comedy, after P.J. O’Rourke it’s a sharp drop.
The Weekly Standard announced that “The Patriots Are The Team Of Destiny In Trump's America” and explained their reasoning in a Michael Graham/Bill Kristol podcast which I’m not being paid enough to listen to. OK, I listened a little: Graham said Boston “has to be the team that wins the first Super Bowl in the Trump era… they’re the stinkin’ Patriots, how much more in your face MAGA can you get… and their fans love winning but they even more love watching other teams lose.” Kristol agreed the Pats “have some Trumpite elements… some anti-PC, troublemaking, very cocky.” Plus, added Graham, like Trump the Patriots are “always on offense.”
This is why nerds shouldn’t talk about football. They’re on surer ground, though, with TV commercials, and as they do every year rightbloggers parsed this year’s Super Bowl ads — which, at an average cost of $5 million per 30-second spot, are as capitalist as you can get — for signs of treason.
“Just How Leftist Are This Year's Super Bowl Ads? Check These Out,” bitched James Barrett at The Daily Wire. Not only had the NFL “invited outspoken leftist Lady Gaga to lecture viewers about ‘equality’ and ‘inclusion’ — which we all know really means telling Middle America to stop being sexist/racist/xenophobic/Islamophobic and all around ignorant,” said Barrett — and not only had they invited for a pre-game number the cast of Hamilton “that humiliated Vice President Mike Pence” — they were running ads with anti-American messages, such as that women should have better opportunities in the workplace.
That refers to the Audi ad in which a father mused in voice-over about his little girl’s future chances during a soapbox derby (“What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her her grandpa is worth more than her grandma?”), ending with an equal-pay-for-equal-work message. You probably think this was meant to sell Audis — “makes a strong nod toward the crucial millennial demographic as well as female buyers,” as Forbes said. But Barrett knew it was really about “all the usual feminist myths about the pay gap and how much America hates women.”
Barrett’s views were shared by sexist YouTube trolls who denounced the ad as “anti-male propaganda.” Jack Baruth of The Truth About Cars did a more eccentric symbolic analysis: because the dad is “handsome without being overly masculine,” which is what The Establishment likes, and the girl’s male competitors are fat, and “fat means poor,” the ad is about “how the upper-middle class sees their inferiors.” This excited a commenter at Instapundit: “Audi just draped a gigantic boy-hating ‘girls rule boys drool’ banner over every Audi dealership… Hey Audi: take your rotten Merkel-mobiles back to your land of ass-in-the-air submission to Islam.”
To remind you: This is a car commercial we’re talking about.
To return to Barrett, he also disapproved of an 84 Lumber ad about a Mexican family sneaking over the border to find a new life. “Glaringly missing from the mini-film is any reference to the network of human smugglers,” said Barrett, which would have been an interesting approach for a building supply company ad.
They also fact-checked the Budweiser ad about founder Adolphus Busch’s difficulties as a new immigrant. At The Weekly Standard Charlotte Allen said, “it seems from the historical record that Busch's chief foes weren't xenophobic nativists… His actual enemies were prohibitionists.” Then Slate did an interview with a historian who said Busch didn’t really do everything he did in that ad, and conservatives flipped: “So it’s basically all BS,” cried Chicks on the Right. “That Budweiser Super Bowl ad everyone is talking about is a LIE!” screamed Twitchy, quoting Ramesh Ponnuru and Ben Domenech. Now that we know we've been betrayed by Madison Avenue, we can all feel good about keeping out refugees!
There were further offenses: “Coca Cola Commercial Plays ‘America the Beautiful’ In Many Foreign Languages” cried Cristina Laila of Gateway Pundit and no, she didn’t find that heartwarming: “Of course Americans can’t even watch the Super Bowl without the diversity trainers entering their homes,” she sputtered. What do foreigners have to do with America? Laila was also mad that they booked an ad for — I swear to God — Turkish Airlines. “This is all a part of the Islamization of the West,” she gasped.
You could find a lot of similar arguments against the Super Bowl ads at Infostormer, the pro-Trump, anti-“Jewish tyranny” site — yes, they're Nazis, but these days what’s the difference between them and other rightbloggers? “The only thing this campaign will do is alienate White blue collar workers which represent the core of their customer base,” observed Infostormer. “Many of these same folks undoubtedly voted for Donald Trump in the last election.” Quick, someone tell these guys Jonah Goldberg and The Daily Caller say liberals are the real Nazis!
The brethren were also beady-eyed at the prospect of Lady Gaga as halftime entertainment. Truthfeed referred to her as “Anti-Trump ‘Spirit Cooking’ singer Lady Gaga” — yeah, they apparently think she has something to do with the mythical Pizzagate — and explained that “this is why liberals keep losing. They’re completely out of touch with the issues and challenges facing regular Americans,” which is why they go for chart-topping pop singers. At Infowars, Alex Jones announced, “LADY GAGA TO CONDUCT SATANIC RITUAL AT SUPER BOWL LI; Globalists will push dark agenda during halftime show.”
“BLACK LIVES MATTER TO ATTEMPT DISRUPTION OF SUPER BOWL ATTENDEES’ ARRIVAL,” hollered Breitbart.com.
Came gametime, and conservatives enjoyed whatever beers and snack foods they weren’t boycotting and made with the football banter, e.g. “Super Bowl ads: where Corporate America now pays millions of dollars for 30 seconds of virtue signaling.” They watched The Leader’s pre-game interview and treated his “so-called judge” remark like an unfortunate phrasing error (“not the way anyone expects a president of the United States to talk and, at the margins, probably makes it less likely that other judges will overturn Robart’s [shoddy] order” — Rich Lowry) rather than as a direct assault on judicial independence.
Pre-kickoff, the Schuyler Sisters from Hamilton added “and sisterhood” to “America the Beautiful,” at which the brethren snarled and thrashed (“They apparently couldn’t restrain themselves from taking a pitch for ‘diversity’” “Does EVERYTHING have to be PC bullsh*t?” etc. Plus they weren’t even wearing bikinis!). The televised image of Mike Pence was allegedly booed at NRG Stadium; fortunately Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft was there to clarify that the crowd “ROARS for Vice President Pence!” And Lady Gaga did, expectedly, a spectacular show, sufficiently free of overt political comment (except for the usual gay vibe) to entrance conservative bass player Mike Huckabee and Trumpjugend Tomi Lahren, who compared Gaga favorably to “last year's divisive #SuperBowl halftime performance” when they had a black person. Now the brethren can return to their usual, lower-profile resentments and rages until February 26, when Oscar night brings out their inner drama queen once again.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.