The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: The Play’s the Thing

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park on Tuesday, where the Public Theater is staging Julius Caesar for Shakespeare in the Park.

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservative media took a few stabs at the controversy over the Public Theater’s production of Julius Caesar for this year’s Shakespeare in the Park featuring a Trumpian Caesar. On Sunday, Delta Airlines announced that it would pull its sponsorship of the Public Theater, and Bank of America announced it would no longer support the production.

Commentary’s Abe Greenwald compared the Public’s Caesar to last year’s Shakespeare in the Park production, which also took aim at Trump. “[T]his summer’s Shakespeare in the Park is a kind of B-side to last summer’s disastrous ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ which set that play inside a vulgar beauty contest put on by none other than then-candidate Donald Trump,” he wrote. “Both Public Theater productions come straight out of the liberal bubble, where everyone assumes that the shared ideals of a few will inevitably be foisted on the world at large. The inhabitants of the bubble, therefore, also assume that weaponizing Shakespeare in service of political fads is just what one does with the work of the greatest writer in the English language.”

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On Fox & Friends, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino warned that the production could encourage the mentally ill to assassinate Trump.

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“I mean, do you have any idea how irresponsible this is?” he asked. “But of course they don’t, because they don’t deal with it on the front lines. They’re the artist class and they think this is art. It’s not art, it’s disgusting.”

At the American Conservative, Noah Millman defended depicting assassinations in principle:

I am absolutely fine with it. Indeed, I saw a production of Julius Caesar five years ago that depicted the assassination of a pretty transparent Obama stand-in by figures who clearly recalled Republican congressional leaders, and I mostly thought the play did an excellent job of revealing the intellectual roots of some of the more over-the-top Tea Party fury, which most assuredly included depictions of the murder of President Obama.

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In other news:

The Resurgent and Heat Street ran posts on the rising left, which the Resurgent’s Clayton Felts wrote is tearing the Democratic Party apart. “Coverage of President Trump and Republicans fighting and the future of the conservative movement are the shiny objects that draw media scrutiny as much as moths to a flame,” he wrote. “When this happens, what is missed is an even bigger story on how much those across the aisle are in a pugnacious battle between conservative Blue-Dog Democrats and those on the fringe far left.”

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Heat Street’s Harry Phibbs wrote that the British Labour party’s success among the youth, on full display with last week’s U.K. election, could be attributed to liberal dominance of the nation’s universities:

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[F]or Marxists, the education system is a mission to indoctrinate—the choice of reading lists, the content of lectures, the marks for essays. All will be increasingly skewed.

History will be taught in a highly partial manner—with inconvenient episodes not mentioned. For instance, rather than a balanced account of the British Empire, it is portrayed in an entirely negative light.

English Literature is increasingly politicized, with Shakespeare’s plays studied in the context of the subjugation of women.

This bias even happens in independent schools. I am told of an economics tutor at Eton who was emphatic in persuading the boys of the merits of collectivism.

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At RedState, Jay Caruso took aim at the belief lingering among some spectators that Trump is a master strategist in disguise, citing the defense of Trump’s conduct with James Comey offered by Paul Ryan—that Trump simply hadn’t familiarized himself with communications protocols. “Donald Trump is the one who said the job of being President is easy, but that ‘losers’ were in control,” he wrote. “That people are excusing his behavior five months into his presidency is embarrassing. If Trump had even the slightest curiosity on how to conduct himself as president, he’d have brought in people to teach him these protocols.”

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At National Review, David French commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting with a question: “Why does the ISIS caliphate still exist?”

[T]he United States and its allies can thoroughly rout ISIS and reset the balance of power in the Middle East with a mere fraction of their actual and potential military and economic strength. ISIS is a paper tiger on the battlefield. Its cities would fall rapidly in the face of a true American-led military offensive. But the grim truth of the war against terror is that nothing—absolutely nothing—comes without cost. Decisive American force means American lives lost and bodies shattered on the battlefield. Slow-motion war means more civilian lives lost and bodies shattered in nightclubs, during holiday parties, and while walking on campus to class. Here’s the difference: The Americans who put on the uniform signed up knowing the potential cost. When did our civilians volunteer to die?

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