On Tuesday, an armed man stormed the stage with a fake handgun and a real knife and attacked comedian Dave Chappelle as he performed at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as part of a Netflix comedy festival.
Chappelle was unhurt and, reports said, continued right on with his set. Chris Rock, no stranger to on-stage attacks and another performer at the festival, even joined Chappelle at the mic to ask, “Was that Will Smith?”
All’s well that ends well, but one is naturally given to ask what possesses a man to run up on stage and attack a performer. The left has demonized Chappelle for his jokes about transgenderism and they have posited that words can equal violence; could this individual have taken that to heart and thought violence should be met with violence?
Or, for those who don’t like a comedian’s jokes, the aforementioned Mr. Smith provided an ugly example of how to deal with it at the Oscars. Many in the comedy community worried the star had modeled behavior other hooligans would follow. Did he share in some of the blame?
No, the ladies of “The View” seem to have found the real culprit: Donald J. Trump.
(This isn’t the first time the cast of “The View” has blamed Trump for things he’s not even remotely responsible for — and they’re hardly the only ones. We’ll keep on chronicling the continuing Trump Derangement Syndrome phenomenon when it pops up in the mainstream media. You can help us by subscribing.)
On Wednesday, the panel of “The View” had a big thinky-think about what was really behind the attack on Chappelle.
“What do you think is happening? It’s happening on airplanes. It’s happening on street corners,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said.
“People are just running up. I mean, the Hollywood Bowl. He just ran up on there.”
Joy Behar then contributed her list of “things that can contribute to what’s going on,” only one of which plausibly contributed to the attack on Tuesday.
“The pandemic, the opioid crisis, the fact that Trump was out there saying things like, ‘just knock the hell out of them, I promise you I’ll pay for the legal fees’ when he had a heckler,” Behar said.
“I mean, there are many factors involved here. And then Will Smith was, like, the pièce de résistance as it were.”
Neither COVID-19 nor heroin tend to produce a reaction that causes you to run up on stage and attack a comedian.
And then there’s Trump’s silly remark about paying the legal fees of someone who hit a protester — something that happened in 2016. Then, six years later, Will Smith smacking Chris Rock at the Oscars provided “the pièce de résistance.”
The only two things that have apparently occurred to make matters worse in the interim are COVID and fentanyl. Nothing about words (or silence) being violence, nothing about Chappelle facing down the woke mob because he dared question transgender ideology.
The Behar flow-chart of Chappelle-attack responsibility goes thusly: Trump -> opiates -> COVID-19 -> Will Smith. Right.
Co-host Lindsey Granger somehow had an issue with this logic: “This is not a political thing, come on” she said. “You want to wrap it into politics, but this is really about security.”
“Why? It didn’t happen before,” Behar insisted.
Again: In Behar-land, these kinds of attacks didn’t happen before Donald Trump ran for president. By this logic, then, every act of violence sowed by political division could potentially be Trump’s fault.
Antifa violence in Portland, Oregon? Trump. “Fiery but mostly peaceful” protests throughout the summer of 2020? Trump. Will Smith going up on stage and slapping Chris Rock? Trump, duh.
But Granger, alas, wasn’t swayed by this air-tight logic: “What Will Smith did wasn’t particularly right-leaning, running up on the stage and smacking Chris Rock,” she said.
Co-host Sunny Hostin then jumped in on Behar’s behalf: “I do think Trump unleashed some incivility, at least, in our country,” she said.
Chappelle’s alleged attacker, Isaiah Lee, was born on June 24, 1998, according to prison records obtained by the U.K. Daily Mail’s Jen Smith, making him barely old enough to vote in the 2016 election:
Isaiah Lee, 23, has been booked on assault with a deadly weapon charges for trying to attack Dave Chappelle at the Hollywood bowl last night.
Bail set at $30,000. His motive remains unclear pic.twitter.com/QeAYP7yz9F
— Jen Smith (@Jen_e_Smith) May 4, 2022
Is it more likely that Trump’s “incivility” influenced his attacker or that his influences, such as they may be, came from other sources? I’d wager the potential Chappelle’s attacker was egged on by the MAGA crowd is roughly the same as the likelihood Jussie Smollett was attacked on a Chicago sidewalk because he had infringed upon “MAGA country.”
To the extent that there’s any explicable link between Chappelle’s attack and any dominant cultural phenomena, it’s with the woke mob who have howled for the comedian’s cancelation, the leftists who have normalized shutting down speech they don’t agree with by violent action and the famous actor who charged the stage at the Oscars when a comedian told a joke he didn’t like. That’s it.
That said, it could just be that a crazy guy who lives under a rock and has never heard about the controversy surrounding Chappelle’s comedy or the incident at the Academy Awards. While I find that unlikely, I can’t rule that out. I can, however, rule out that remarks Donald Trump made during a campaign six years ago provided the kindling for this incident.
Alas, the notoriously light-on-crime Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office — led by ultra-woke District Attorney George Gascón — has announced they won’t be pressing felony charges against Lee, who will face only misdemeanors for the incident. No word yet on whether Trump will be hit with any charges, but I tend to doubt it.