The corporate web media inhabit a different ecological niche than the staid old print and television formats. Their editorial lines are different, and often more progressive. And more tabloid. The comments of Jerry Seinfeld attacking PC culture provided a solid week of backlash fodder for the internet.
It was an odd reaction. Nothing about Seinfeld’s comments seemed particularly objectionable. I have no doubt that, as Lindy West acknowledged, “It’s absolutely true that some individuals use political correctness to disguise what is, in reality, a regressive devotion to propriety. There are people who simply have no sense of humour.”
I would go further than West and argue that this is a common problem in progressive circles, and it must be a nuisance for comedians. It strikes me as obvious that a culture in evolution, attempting to civilize itself, can very easily exhibit considerable messiness on the way to equality. An egalitarian culture can afford to let its hair down. In the midst of struggle, though, the enlightened prigs come out. However, we can be on the path of the righteous cause while still opposing puritan social manipulators. Moralists who cynically take advantage of the values of the left to crudely inveigh in high dudgeon against trivial infractions make the movement unattractive.