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How this spoof TV reporters rant went viral on alt-right media

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Image: Jonathan Pie/screengrab

A post-U.S. election satirical video by “Jonathan Pie” (a.k.a. British comedian Tom Walker), which went viral on social media over the past week, has been widely covered by right-wing outlets as proof that their view of what liberals think about them is correct.

Outlets like Breitbart, Chicks on the Right, Herald Sun,Right Wing News and conservative blog Legal Insurrection have all shared the video, which blames Donald Trump’s victory on the failure of the left.

Tom Walker’s character is a left-wing fictional television reporter who has become an internet sensation for his “off-air”, mouth-fouled tirades against the hypocrisy of British politics and media.

This time Jonathan Pie takes on the American left, accused of stifling political debate and labelling anyone who disagrees with them as sexist and racist.

Not everyone that voted for Trump is a sexist or a racist, he rails. How many times does the vote not have to go our way before we realise that our argument isnt won by hurling labels and insults?

“The left is responsible for this result because the left have now decided that any other opinion, any other way of looking at the world is unacceptable,” he goes on.

“We dont debate anymore because the left won the cultural wars. So if youre on the right, youre a freak. Youre evil. Youre racist. Youre stupid. You are a basket of deplorables. How do you think people are going to vote if you talk to them like that? When has anyone ever been persuaded by being insulted or labeled?”

“I think the points it raises are valid, irrespective of who is sharing it.”

The conservative blog Legal Insurrection said the video “is worth watching. Twice,” and said Pie “has some choice words for the precious progressive snowflakes who are perpetually offended and begging for safe spaces in which to hide from divergent opinions.”

The comment refers to a line by Pie in which he says: “And if my mansplaining is triggering you, you can either f*ck off to your safe space or you can engage and debate me and tell me what Im getting wrong.”

However, Tom Walker didn’t seem concerned that his character’s rants were praised by American ultra-conservative media.

“It’s inevitable,” he told Mashable via email. “Pie is pointing out things that he believes are wrong with the left. Of course the right are going to jump on that. It doesn’t mean that those issues shouldnt be addressed.”

“Its the nature of the modern world that I cant control how people use the film.I think the points it raises are valid, irrespective of who is sharing it.”

The video got more than 2 million views on YouTube and has received a mixed response from more left-wing news sources. The Huffington Post said he might have a point, while others pointed out he is speaking from the perspective of a straight, white male.

On Twitter, Pie was criticised by London-based vlogger Ellen Rose who said that while she agrees with many of the points he’s making, “I see a straight white dude who has never ever dealt with certain things that other groups have” and who is “angrily telling everyone on the left to do something many of them constantly try to do, and constantly get punished for.”

Here’s her long and articulated comment:

To which Pie responded by asking her to not label him:

The vlogger didn’t hide her disappointment:

But the satirist refuted these accusations and said the “white dude” argument agains the clip “distracts from the debate.”

“The piece was co-authored by Andrew Doyle: agaywhite dudedoes that make him more qualified than me to discuss these matters?” Walker told Mashable.

“In any case, to disagree with the film’s argument in terms of the character’s gender, sexuality and the colour of his skin is frankly totally missing the point of a piece that is clearly about the dangers of labelling people over debating them.”

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