Valerie Jarrett on Roseanne: This should be a "teaching moment"

She’s not wrong. One thing it teaches is that you don’t need to be friends with a kook just because they want to be friends with you. David French:

Trump World shouldn’t have embraced her new show. Remember when President Trump called Roseanne to congratulate her on her ratings? I know that Republicans are starved for Republican-friendly television, but can we ever reach a time when the stakes are low enough to draw lines based on character? I know people voted for the low-character president because of the Flight 93 election and all that. I know folks turned out for Roy Moore because of judges. But where’s the sitcom emergency necessitating the love for Roseanne?

He didn’t just call to congratulate her, he used her as a MAGA Nation applause line at a rally in Cleveland after the season premiere of her show got mega-ratings. Dan Scavino and Trump Jr were pretty excited about it too. You’d like to say that they should have known better, given her many years of high-profile crankery. But then, let’s remember who we’re talking about.

Jonathan Last sees a parallel between the rise of Trump and the brief renaissance of Roseanne:

You start out thinking, Hey, this is kind of sketchy. But then you see the overnight numbers and you forget all about crotch-grabbing and conspiracy theories. But that stuff never really goes away. So eventually, Roseanne is calling Valerie Jarrett a Muslim Dr. Zaius and then conservatives find themselves defending her brave free speech or whatever. (And by the by, the Valerie Jarrett comment was only the second-worst thing she said today.)

In that way, Roseanne was a lot like Trumpism. You start out thinking, I know he’s said some weird stuff and has a shady past, but illegal immigration is a real problem! And the next thing you know, you’re defending a president who plays footsy with white supremacists and accuses a former president of—literal—treason.

To steal a line from my buddy Steve Czaban, signing on with Trumpism, or Roseanne, is a little like joining a motorcycle gang. You might be joining because you like riding your hog on Sunday afternoons and you enjoy getting a beer with like-minded enthusiasts. But even though you’ll to have some great rides with the gang, they’re still a gang. And motorcycle gangs are going to be motorcycle gangs.

As fate would have it, POTUS will be in front of a mic and an adoring crowd tonight in Tennessee, at a rally for Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn. Without a doubt, one or more aides have begged him at some point today not to address the Roseanne implosion, but Trump’s going to do what Trump’s going to do. His friend Sean Hannity — who invited Roseanne to guest-host his show less than two months ago — slammed her on the radio this afternoon, calling her joke about Valerie Jarrett “outrageous” and saying she was right to apologize for it. This was a teaching moment for him, clearly, and suggests that POTUS himself will mercifully avoid the topic this evening (Trump slamming Roseanne himself to defend one of Barack Obama’s best friends is unimaginable), but you never know. Stay tuned.