America was united for a moment
I didn’t expect to write about Peter Davidson again so soon (or ever again) but here we are.
You may have seen the video on your news feeds today. After the SNL star made a bad joke about a veteran and Republican candidate last week, he was back this week to apologize and get roasted.
“Pete Davidson Apologizes to Lt. Com. Dan Crenshaw” already has nearly 4 million views on YouTube, and it’s been hailed on both the left and the right as a show of much-needed unity.
It wasn’t the conciliatory post-election moment that anyone expected. I think that’s why it was so welcomed — it felt real and authentic.
Last week in my media literacy class, we talked about how the mere act of where we get our media (CNN vs Fox, NYTimes vs Breitbart, etc) is a source of conflict. We judge “them” before we even hear them out. Media outlets are identities, and identities create us vs. them.
The fact that we are divided in this country won’t come as a shock to you. But the numbers are shocking: A third of Wisconsin residents have stopped speaking to someone as a result of politics. When I took an informal poll about this stat in class, about half of the 30 students in the classroom raised their hands, too.
Each week I have my students find a good use of media and a bad use of media. But for this week’s assignment, I have them find a bad use of media from an outlet they normally agree with, and a good use of media from an outlet they normally disagree with. It’s funny that so many students will praise Fox News’ business coverage (but not their politics). But at least it’s something we can agree on.
Maybe we do still have something in common.
So maybe this is the viral video we need after the midterms and before Thanksgiving.
Tomorrow, something will happen to enrage us all again. But for the meantime, let’s all laugh at Pete Davidson, thank a Veteran, and be united for a moment.