Are We Wrong About Matt Walsh?

satire defIs it possible we’ve gotten the wrong idea about Matt Walsh? I know I’ve been pretty hard on him, calling him a douchecanoe, a sick and delusional man and America’s shittiest Christian (and that’s just in the just the last few months). Okay, so the last one is new, but you know what I mean. Of course, there does appear to be lots of evidence concerning his douchery, lots and lots of evidence. Take his latest two pieces on The Blaze, for instance. They’re about a video that’s going viral in anti-abortion circles that supposedly shows a Planned Parenthood official talking about selling fetal body parts. That sounds bad, doesn’t it? Well, don’t get your shorts in a knot; it’s bullshit.

How do I know that? Well, for one thing, the group that “produced” it, the Center for Medical Progress, is basically a front group for Live Action. And, that organization has quite a bit of history with PP. Headed by anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, Live Action has made several attempts to smear Planned Parenthood in the hopes of “bringing down” the nation’s largest provider of health services for women. Unfortunately for Ms. Rose, all those attempts have failed. It would probably help if Live Action would keep its claims within the realm of believability.

On its own, this is one of the wilder stories to come out of the fevered minds of Rose and her cronies (a list that includes James O’Keefe). But, it gets even wilder when Matt Walsh steps up to the plate with a classic “hot take” on the subject. He opens with the “fact” that liberals love nothing more than killing babies. In fact, we love it even more than “gay marriage or genital mutilation” (aka sexual reassignment surgery). He even compares people who are pro-choice to ancient pagan cultures who practiced child sacrifice, stating “The liberal has a cult-like, religious devotion to sacrament of infanticide.” It was then I realized that maybe I had Matt Walsh all wrong: what if he’s not the douchecanoe I thought. What if he’s actually America’s greatest living satirist?

Right about now, you’re probably wondering how I could even think such a thing? Well, that’s going to take a little explanation, so bear with me for a minute or two. First, I’ve got to go out on a limb and say that even Glenn Beck wouldn’t knowingly publish the ravings of an insane person (and, yes, I realize that’s a pretty weak limb), so more than likely, Matt Walsh isn’t mentally ill. Now, as there is no possible way a sane person could honestly believe the level of batshit crazy Walsh regularly publishes, that leaves us with only two options: 1) Matt Walsh is a cynical bastard who is intentionally writing inflammatory rhetoric that winds up conservatives just to get attention, or 2) Matt Walsh is comedian the likes of which the world has never seen, combining a Colbert-like mastery of satire with a flair for the outrageous that would make Andy Kaufman jealous.  Now, I’m probably the most cynical person I know, but after reading his piece on abortion, even I can’t believe someone would so disrespect his audience as to attempt to manipulate them with such utter bullshit. And that, beloved, leaves us with the second option.

Still don’t agree? Check out this statement on the mainstream media ignoring Live Action’s video: “I say “response,” but naturally the response from much of the media was nothing but a blaring, deafening silence. Aside from Fox News, most of the cable and network channels dusted off their patented blackout strategy, last employed during the Kermit Gosnell trial, and ignored the scandal completely.” Well, of course they’re ignoring it; it comes from a known Republican propaganda outfit that’s been screaming “GOTCHA!!!” at PP for years. And, with little to no evidence to back up their claims, I might add. No news organization in their right mind would run a story with sources that sketchy. Walsh knows this and includes the fact that Fox did talk about it to highlight their obvious bias.

It’s not just this article where I can see Walsh’s genius for satire; it’s evident in everything he writes. In an article about Caitlyn Jenner, he compared being transgender to cultural appropriation. And, then, he pretends to minimize the practice by claiming it’s nothing more than “listening to Nikki Minaj” and wearing “flat brimmed hats”, thereby calling attention it. Or, after posing as the ultimate anti-feminist for most of his blogging career, using feminism as a reason not to watch “Fifty Shades of Grey“. And, in what may be my favorite Matt Walsh moment ever, his description of Donald Trump’s statements about immigration as “accurate”. What a hoot! Anyone with a brain understands that the Donald wouldn’t know an accurate statement if it walked up and bit him on the ass.

Is Walsh’s satire way over the top? Of course, it is. But, when you have presidential candidates claiming that “getting saved” will solve racism or Christian pastors saying that we should be packing heat in church, you have to go way over the top to write an effective parody. Mostly, just to keep people from thinking you’re being sincere. I’m telling you, it’s hard out here for smart ass.

You know, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Larry Wilmore, Amy Schumer, etc have shown that satire is the hot ticket in comedy these days. If Comedy Central is smart, they’ll offer Walsh a show so he can continue to skewer conservatives in his own inimitable way. I’ll bet it would be a massive hit.