Media critic Parker Molloy discusses right-wing panic over pregnant-Joker comic on MSNBC

Molloy: “It was a big week for fake outrage”

Video file

Citation From the January 15, 2022, edition of MSNBC's The Mehdi Hasan Show

MEHDI HASAN (HOST): Parker, thanks for coming on the show this evening. Which culture war story is the dumbest of the week? The woke feminist M&M's, the non existent gas stove bands, or this made-up story about a trans pregnant Joker? It's hard for me to keep up. There are so many of them. They keep coming, they keep coming. 

PARKER MOLLOY (MEDIA CRITIC): Yeah. It was a big week for fake outrage. Just last week, as you said, there was the Joker outrage, the M&M's outrage. My favorite, I think, though, it's how they spent in the back half of the week pretending that Biden was going to send Barks McWoofins, Copernicus Jackson, Handsome Ron from the USCPSC over to steal everyone's stoves, but the Joker one is pretty out there. 

HASAN: Yeah. You mentioned in your article that you reached out to the Fox host in that segment for comment after you corrected their lies, the lies that they pushed in that segment. Dare I ask, have you heard from Fox? Has there been a correction? 

MOLLOY: I have not heard back from Fox, unfortunately. The story is nonsensical. They don't care if it's true. In the case of the Joker, as you were saying, the premise was good. It was a magic spell. There was a mud creature who turned into a small Joker clone and runs away. It was a classic throwback to the silver age comics books of the 50's, 60's, and 70's where it was over the top, fantastical, a little silly. And they did that, but Fox was a little upset by the whole thing. 

HASAN: To paraphrase that old episode of Seinfeld, the Joker isn’t trans in this comic, quote, not that there is anything wrong with that. Even if there was a new transgender character in the Batman comics, why is that such a big deal? Is it just the right admitting that they want a total erasure of trans people, even from works of fiction, even comic books? 

MOLLOY: Yeah, that was what put it on my radar. Just the fact that you had this… in the video one of the hosts is on the verge of tears, basically, being like oh, you can't escape this stuff. What stuff? Fox talks about trans issues more than any other channel, really. They can't escape this stuff because they are seeing it everywhere, even where it's not. Ultimately, it is meaningless. It's not like trans people saw that and were like, finally some representation as the Joker. You know? 

HASAN: As a villain. What representation that would have been, if it had been a trans character, which it wasn't. One last question. 

MOLLOY: Go ahead. 

HASAN: Sorry. I was going to say, it's not just the dishonesty that gets me, it's the hypocrisy. The right, as you and I know, loves to accuse Democrats and liberals of being triggered easily, or being snowflakes, but how much more snowflakey can you get than freaking out over the genders of fictional comic book characters or M&M's? 

MOLLOY: Yeah, It doesn't get any more fragile than that. More fragile than the candy shells of the m&ms, I suppose. 

Hasan: Well said. Parker Malloy, we will have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your reporting. Appreciate it.