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Jan 12 2014

Why is S.E. Cupp always on TV?

Actually, I could turn on the TV right now and find a dozen pseudo-authorities who don’t deserve to be in the spotlight. S.E. Cupp is just particularly annoying to me because she presents herself as an atheist (a self-loathing one, though) and intellectual, yet as Amanda Marcotte says, she may be the dumbest pundit working.

I think we have a winner in the Dumbest Pundit Alive Olympics. At least until Ross Douthat starts thinking about vaginas again.

David Brooks, Thomas Friedman, Glenn Beck, anyone associated with Politico, Richard Cohen, Peggy Noonan, Erick Erickson…jeez, we can’t possibly crown just one. It’s like a whole dumb hack circus out there. I can’t even turn on the TV on Sunday morning ’cause I can’t afford to replace it after I throw my tea mug through it.

And not just Sunday morning. One of the things I can’t stand about Bill Maher is that he uses his show to give these clowns a forum.

36 comments

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  1. 1
    tuibguy

    Considering that she came up through the Glenn Beck ranks, as “one of the good atheists,” I am sure that she gets a lot of airtime because she provides balance of some sort.

    Television has no entry level for intelligence. Talk show media are just the filler that keep your attention between commercials.

  2. 2
    left0ver1under

    As seen elsewhere:

    Too churlish, one Cupp.

  3. 3
    Akira MacKenzie

    S. E. Cupp: the only “atheist” I can think of who cheerleads for the Christian Reich.

  4. 4
    Ing

    @Akira

    Karl Rove?
    The Kato Goons?

  5. 5
    comfychair

    Stupid is the new smart. Why do you hate smart people?? /s

  6. 6
    scourge99

    Lets not forget Mz. Cupp’s commentary about the Duck Dynasty character: http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/20/opinion/cupp-duck-dynasty/index.html

    Cupps seems to think gay bashing is okay. That we shouldn’t “malign an otherwise kind and giving family for expressing personal views shared by many”.

    Presumably, Ms Cupp’s response would be quite different if Phil called Africans an inferior race or that Jews deserved what they got at the hands of the Nazis. I doubt she would stand against A&E’s disciplinary action for that and call it “personal views that shouldn’t be maligned because they are shared by many”.

    What a strange world Ms Cupp lives in where gay bashing is somehow socially acceptable but racism or antisemitism isn’t. I think that speaks volumes to the large amount of hate and inequality the gay community still endures. A problem she seems oblivious to or actively works against.

  7. 7
    ck

    I get the feeling that S.E. Cupp may not be stupid as much as she is cynically exploiting the prejudices of the far right for personal gain. She may also be stupid and/or deeply conservative, but her story is so ridiculous that I find it difficult to believe that any one person could hold that many self-contradictory ideas without imploding.

    Yet another reason I think she’s playing a role rather than expressing sincerely held beliefs: the glasses she wears appear to have clear non-corrective lenses in them (I don’t see any distortion of her eyes and face as she turns her head).

  8. 8
    samihawkins

    I get the feeling that S.E. Cupp may not be stupid as much as she is cynically exploiting the prejudices of the far right for personal gain.

    This. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has just as much contempt for religion as PZ does, but she knows her current schtick is far more profitable. If she were a young attractive hipster spouting the usual liberal positions she would never have been on TV because those are so common already. Playing the character of an attractive young hipster spouting conservative opinions makes her unique and contrary and all those other things the MSNBC producers are looking for.

    I’ve also long suspected the glasses are unnecessary, just another part of the hipster image she’s crafted. I also strongly suspect that she’ll eventually have a gig on FOX either as a ‘liberal’ opposition who nods along in agreement to whatever the conservative host is saying, or she’ll declare herself to be a conservative and get her own show where she talks endlessly about how she grew up and left liberalism behind. When it comes time to retire at 30-40ish all she’ll have to do is declare herself a Christian and get some hack ghostwriter to churn out ‘autobiographies’ about how she saw the light, denounced Atheism, and accepted Jesus as her lord and savior.

  9. 9
    B. Spencer

    Yeah, the self-loathing atheist shtick is just the freaking WORST. She’s hugely annoying.

  10. 10
    rmsc

    The way she gasps for a breath between sentences makes me climb the walls. There certainly has to be a better self-loathing atheist out there.

  11. 11
    B. Spencer

    Sippy is supposed to be hip? Wow.

  12. 12
    haitied

    Really, How much freedom do you think these people have to go off the script. If people like her have opinions of their own I’m sure they’re rarely voiced. That’s what happens if you work for groups like Fox, If you don’t play by the rules and read your script or at least hit the bullet points, you don’t have a job.

  13. 13
    Ing

    Presumably, Ms Cupp’s response would be quite different if Phil called Africans an inferior race or that Jews deserved what they got at the hands of the Nazis.

    No it wouldn’t

  14. 14
    Onamission5

    Lessee– white, upper middle class conservative who unabashedly panders to the very worst of the US right wing authoritarian ego…

    My question is why isn’t she on tv more often?

  15. 15
    Rey Fox

    Lessee– white, upper middle class conservative who unabashedly panders to the very worst of the US right wing authoritarian ego…

    Who is an attractive brunette who wears glasses…see, Fox doesn’t just have a stable of blonde Stepford robots, nuh uh!

  16. 16
    nutella

    There’s always been a lot of money to be made by ant-feminist women, especially if the anti-feminist is young and reasonably stylish. Apparently there’s money to be made by anti-atheist atheists, too.

  17. 17
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re OP:

    [...]she presents herself as an atheist (a self-loathing one, though) and intellectual, yet as Amanda Marcotte says, she may be the dumbest pundit working. [emphasis added --stevem]

    My theorie is that they put her on as a “bad example”. To represent the very thing their other shows are against, to make their other !d!ots shine as brilliant pundits, compared to this olympicly dumb pundit. They put her there to represent how dumb [they think] all atheists and intellectuals are, they will then just point at her and say, “look, she aint so smart, she’s like all intellectuals, dumb as a brick, but tells us she is smarter than us.” Not judging her actual intellect, regardless, I agree that she is probably just “playing a role”. But that is my opinion of everything and everyone on Faux Noise. Our nickname for Fox is actual truth, Fox is totally Faux.

  18. 18
    Tom Foss

    @samihawkins #8:

    Presumably, Ms Cupp’s response would be quite different if Phil called Africans an inferior race

    He did say that black people were happier and better off under Jim Crow, so, she probably wouldn’t have said anything different.

  19. 19
    AlanMac

    Unfortunately, she’s probably not wrong about Governor Christie . Toronto’s ultra-right wing crack smoking mayor has just put his papers in for re-election and he’ll probably win. His supporters are crowing how he kept his campaign promises (he didn’t , but mainly because he was fighting a problem that , as it turned out, didn’t exist) and whining about how he is the victim of the “liberal-left” media.

  20. 20
    neuralobserver

    I find it difficult to see the names of David Brooks ( who I don’t find particularly compelling) and Thomas Friedman alongside clear actor/opportunist/scumbags like Glenn Beck or other right-wingnuts or apologists.
    And I, for one, have to give Bill Maher credit for having a relatively wide range of panelists on his show regularly; from the likes of Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Moore, et. al., to S.E. Cupp, Andrew Breitbart (pre-mortem), Andrew Sullivan, Darryl Isssa, et. al.
    At least he doesn’t isolate those of opposing opinions and worldviews by keeping them off his show, regardless of what he (or we) think of those people and views (and I find virtually all those from the right and their views disagreeable.) I think he deserves credit for blasting conservative, right-wing bullshit, as they sit there and presumably stew to his ‘New Rules’ op-eds.

  21. 21
    nich

    @8:

    Presumably, Ms Cupp’s response would be quite different if Phil called Africans an inferior race

    Nah, because he also got away with his disgusting contention that it was all Song of the South below the Mason-Dixon pre Civil Rights Act and the equally disgusting contention that a woman is pretty much no use if she’s gone through more than a dozen or so menstrual cycles before you marry her.

    He’s pretty much an out and out piece of shit, his shittiness only outweighed by the number of shitty people tripping over their own shit to defend his shittiness. Because 1st Amendment or some shit.

  22. 22
    congenital cynic

    Agree with reply #20. Bill Maher is more than fair about time given to right wing nuts.

    But to answer your question. S.E. Cupp is on TV because of a complex admixture. She’s an oddball as a “sort of” atheist. She’s nearly perfectly in line with all non-religious right wing nutty opinions (every time she speaks one wants to scream or vomit), she’s polite and not at all hostile, and while commenters in this thread are avoiding this, it’s because she’s on TV, a visual medium, and she is, to use the vernacular, HOT. Daft, I agree, but remember that men buy beer based on large breasted women in beer commercials. If it didn’t work, beer companies wouldn’t use it. And she’s being used to sell something. And she’s a physically attractive woman. I think she’s an idiot, but I confess to finding her very attractive. But I don’t buy beer based on commercials, and I wouldn’t buy her politics based on her good looks.

    I understand that most people on this blog are so politically correct that one is practically forbidden from speaking the truth about how this all works. But if S. E. Cupp looked like this , nobody would listen to a word she said. It’s not her brains, her understanding of politics, or her clever wit that get her on the air. It’s her face and her body. She’s hot. And she spouts the stupid that the right wing wants to hear. And you have to admit, she’s much easier to take than someone as hostile, wretched, and extreme as Ann Coulter, or someone as inarticulate and just plain dumb as Sarah Palin.

  23. 23
    Ing

    . If it didn’t work, beer companies wouldn’t use it. And she’s being used to sell something. And she’s a physically attractive woman. I think she’s an idiot, but I confess to finding her very attractive. But I don’t buy beer based on commercials, and I wouldn’t buy her politics based on her good looks.

    So if it didn’t work they wouldn’t do it …but it doesn’t work?

    I understand that most people on this blog are so politically correct

    here’s a PC quote for you “Go give cunnilingus to a running chainsaw, you fucking asshole”

  24. 24
    christophernicholas

    Replying to samihawkins@#8, who said:”I wouldn’t be surprised if she has just as much contempt for religion as PZ does, but she knows her current schtick is far more profitable.”

    I think it’s pretty clear that she holds atheism, not religion, in contempt.

  25. 25
    Rey Fox

    Two whole paragraphs of condescending brogressive pap to answer a clearly rhetorical question. Well done, congenital. You sure schooled all of us PC robots.

  26. 26
    samihawkins

    #22

    We’re not talking about her body because of this PC conspiracy you’ve imagined, we’re not talking about it because it has nothing to do with the topic at hand. We’re not naïve. We all know that the news networks don’t get a group of ‘experts’ who are all attractive enough to make a living as models hiring on brains alone. That’s why it’s a non-issue. Women on the news, and television in general, are held to such a high standard of beauty that theirs nothing unique whatsoever about one of them being ‘hot’. Pointing out that quality adds approximately jack shit to our discussion of how she’s able to get on TV when theirs a long line of equally ‘hot’ women just waiting to take her place.

  27. 27
    christophernicholas

    No actual atheist would believe such prejudicial things about atheism, or have such a rosy and preferential view of faith. Cupp acts as if her atheism is some kind of cognitive defect she wishes she could overcome, instead of a rational and appropriate way to look at the world. I suspect she is not an atheist at all. I think she is a fraud.

  28. 28
    chigau (違う)

    Does anyone outside of the USofA know who S.E. Crupp is?

  29. 29
    PDX_Greg

    Impulse to destroy TV understood, but what did the tea mug do?

  30. 30
    Pierce R. Butler

    Ingdigo Jump @ # 23 – Pls check the blog rulez: invoking violence like that will get you some chewing-on by the monitors – at minimum…

  31. 31
    Snoof

    chigau @ 28

    Does anyone outside of the USofA know who S.E. Crupp is?

    I’m in Australia and I’d never heard of her until PZ posted about her a few years back.

  32. 32
    Roestigraben

    But…but she’s wearing glasses! Don’t smart people do that?

  33. 33
    saganite

    I’ve heard of her and saw clips via the Daily Show and the like and I find it hard to believe she’s honest, too. She’s probably a massive opportunist who realized how much money she could get out of the religous fundies surrounding and watching Fox News if she put on this play of an atheist who WISHED OH-SO-MUCH she could have faith (some of those clips are incredibly cringeworthy). She’s simply portraying what the fundies wish atheists were like; basically agreeing on everything they think politically, morally, economically and even admiring them for their religious extremism, viewing their lack of belief as a flaw rather than something to be embraced. She might easily be very smart, but ethically I find this show she puts on highly disturbing. It speaks to a massive lack of principles and character.

  34. 34
    markkernes

    I wrote this (NSFW) article about her about 18 months ago: http://business.avn.com/articles/legal/S-E-Cupp-Dick-in-Mouth-Image-Brings-Left-Right-Together-476330.html

  35. 35
    ck

    To save anyone else from having to read that, it’s just a “political correctness gone mad” screed about Hustler’s Photoshop of S.E. Cupp that placed a penis into her mouth under the guise of supposedly making a political statement. Yes, it’s offensive, and extremely sexist, and it has nothing to do with prudishness.

  36. 36
    David Marjanović

    Does anyone outside of the USofA know who S.E. Crupp is?

    Never heard or read of her outside of Pharyngula. I have no idea what she looks like.

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