Week In Review: The Lion King
A beloved lion named Cecil was lured out of his sanctuary in Zimbabwe, killed by an American hunter. The world mourned, and wingnuts roared that the lion’s death drew attention away from their scam to bring down Planned Parenthood.
Walter Palmer, an American dentist from Minnesota, paid $54,000 for the chance to hunt a lion. Cecil was shot and wounded with an arrow from Palmer’s crossbow, and tracked for nearly two days before being shot, killed, skinned, and beheaded. Cecil’s carcass was left to rot. His six cubs will most likely be killed by the next lion who takes over the pride, to encourage the females to mate with him.
Meanwhile, Palmer — who claimed he didn’t know the hunt was illegal, and sent a letter of apology to his patients — found himself the most hated man on the internet this week. Zimbabwe’s environmental minister is calling for Palmer’s extradition. The US government has opened an investigation.
- Celebrities poured outrage upon Palmer. “You don’t want to hear some of the things I want to do to that man,” 93-year-old actress Betty White told The Associated Press.
- Actress Mia Farrow caused further controversy when she tweeted Palmer’s business address to her 656,000 followers.
- Late night host Jimmy Kimmel choke back tears during an emotional rant against Palmer.
- Hundreds of protesters showed up at Palmer’s office.
- A WhiteHouse.gov petition calling for Palmer’s extradition gathered over 100,000 signatures.
But the most outrageous outrage came from right-wingers who were beside themselves that an African lion’s death drew attention away from their efforts to bring down Planned Parenthood with deceptively edited, and possibly illegal, videos.
The right-wing tweetosphere, including some presidential hopefuls, got their choir robes in a twist.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) July 28, 2015
Look at all this outrage over a dead lion, but where is all the outrage over the planned parenthood dead babies.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 29, 2015
#CecilTheLion is just an animal. What about selling baby body parts and butchering 57 million children? Seems a bit bigger story.
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) July 29, 2015
As a thought experiment, leftists, try to imagine this is a lion pic.twitter.com/d0kJX7esuQ
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 29, 2015
Hey, did you hear Planned Parenthood was caught harvesting organ? Oh my gosh, no! Cecil the lion got killed. Who cares about babies?!
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 28, 2015
Is Planned Parenthood chopping up the dead lion's body for parts? How much are they charging for a paw?
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) July 29, 2015
Tip for reporters trying to figure out why people are shocked by the PP videos. Just pretend PP staff are talking about baby lions. Get it?
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) July 28, 2015
That wasn’t all.
- Rush Limbaugh asked, “how in the world can you get teary-eyed and misty-eyed and sad, and at the same time participate in burying what’s happening at Planned Parenthood?”
- Sean Hannity complained about celebrities who “get weepy over a dead lion,” but not “people crushing baby parts.”
- In a Facebook post, Glenn Beck found it “sick” that “Jimmy Kimmel cries over the story?!? This is what he connects with? This is what the West finds important?”
- Right-wing rocker Ted Nuget went full-on truther. In a Facebook post, Nugent said people are “stupid” to be upset about Cecil’s death, because “the whole story is a lie.” Nugget called Kimmel a “lying punk,” for good measure.
- Talk radio host Dana Loesch complained that there is “as much outrage over the Planned Parenthood” videos as over the death of Cecil the lion.
- Fox News host Andrew Napolitano complained, “I wish there was the same outrage,” over the right’s trumped up Planned Parenthood scandal.
- Fox News host Todd Starnes caught an earful from Cheryl Casone when he said the country had lost its “moral compass,” because there’s more outrage over a lion’s death than dishonestly edited videos about Planned Parenthood.
Too bad for the right-wingers that nearly two-thirds of Americans still want to fund Planned Parenthood, even after the right’s failed video “sting” operation. Maybe they should stop this line of questioning before someone points out that the hunting club that suspended Palmer has given money to lots of Republicans.
Perhaps a better question is: Why aren’t people as outraged over Sandra Bland’s death as Cecil the Lion? Or Sam Dubose? Or Raynette Turner? Or Kindra Chapman? Or Joyce Curnell? Or Ralinka Jones? Or Freddie Gray?
Here’s the rest of the best of the worst in wingnuttery this week:
- As the end of his second term draws near, President Obama is seriously trolling right wingers. During his recent trip to Africa, the president joked, “I actually think I’m a pretty good President. I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.”
- Predictably, radio host Michael Savage fretted that President Obama might seek a third term by “nullifying the election.”
- Lou Dobbs asked if the president was “serious” about a third term?
- Fox news host Bill O’Reilly freaked out over #BlackLivesMatter, claiming the movement wants to “tear down the country,” and compared the movement to the Gestapo.
- The Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women apologized for posting an image of a black man being lynched on their Facebook page. The image included an African-American man hanging from a tree, with the text, “The KKK was formed by the Democrats to keep control over black Americans. The Democrats of today just traded ropes for welfare.”
- Speaking of freak-outs, the Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay adult leaders this week, leading WorldNetDaily columnist Linda Harvey to warn that Boy Scouts will now “throw vulnerable young men into the arms of bondage.”
- Colorado Republican state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt said it would be “better” for the Boy Scouts of America to drown its gay scoutmasters in the “depths of the sea.”
- In a speech to young conservatives, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R, Texas) called for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg for ruling in favor of marriage equality. Gohmert also insisted that a study trapping gays and lesbians on an island would prove that they can’t have, “what nature says is the preferred marriage.”
- In an interview with Newsmax TV, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said that ending the military ban on transgender service members would “affect morale” because “men are men and women are women.”
- Oops. Wall Street donors closed their wallets on Rep. Scott Garrett (R, New Jersey), after Garrett made anti-gay remarks at a private meeting of Republican lawmakers.
- Pat Robertson told “700 Club” viewers that gays could become straight, if they “start acting like men.”
- Fox News host Andrea Tantaros advised women to “engage in a little horizontal hula,” and “make him a sandwich,” to hold on to their men.