Certain legions of the internet have accused Jim Beam spokesperson Mila Kunis of performing an “abortion stunt” by routinely donating to Planned Parenthood, an activity she publicly announced on the Conan show recently.
She is performing no such thing.
Rather, by donating to PP, Kunis is performing a civic (and arguably very Christian) duty, insofar as she is supporting an organization that provides vital health services to over 2 million people annually and provides primary care to many low-income and/or underserved populations. The fact that she is doing so in Vice President Mike Pence’s name — while meaningful — is an ultimately harmless joke inspired by a man who famously said of working mothers: “Sure, you can have it all, but your daycare kids get the short end of the emotional stick.” (Not to mention a good sound bite for a scripted late-night television show.)
Yet some Jim Beam drinkers have opted for a public, messy split with the brand over their association with the starlet. And hey, it’s a day of the week, so there needs to be some sub-sect of Twitter up in arms over a perceived slight. This time they’re self-identifying via #boycottbeam in what by all accounts is a considered, principled position based on scientifically accurate information and the Constitutional right to deny whomsoever the f*cketh they want access to basic healthcare services.
After viewing the clip, Twitter user @fiordesi posited: “@JimBeam supports murdering babies via their spokesperson Mila Kunis.” Besides being an objectively asinine thing to say, it’s worth noting that's ... not what she said, or they do, or anything that is remotely rooted in reality? And it goes on like this for quite some time.
That’s why it’s tempting to dismiss these yelping fiends outright. Who ever wanted to hold a megaphone up to a bunch of farting cows? But it is the internet, and it’s not going away, and kids learn from it. This hashtag is still active as of press time. And why?
At a certain point, you’re being willfully obtuse.
“I don’t want my tax dollars paying for abortions, because X.” Let’s imagine for a moment that the X isn't relevant, which it absolutely is, but whatever. Simply: Your tax dollars do not pay for abortions. It’s not a machine where you put in funding at one end and abortion coupons just fly out the other end of a possessed, left-wing printer.
The Hyde Amendment, which passed in 1976 and whose restrictive policies are actually upheld by the ACA, already makes it illegal for Federal dollars to be used for abortion services. Ergo, what you’re obstructing is access to PP’s main offerings: low-cost and free healthcare in the form of birth control and sexual and general wellness checks, services which focus on preventative and pre-pregnancy care.
The worst pretense of all in this discussion is to position it as a matter of respect for the Trump cabinet. If it were about words and respect, the actual, acting Commander in Chief might not get away with saying by his own estimation, people would still support him even if he shot a man in the middle of Fifth Avenue. These were actual words that came out of the mouth of the leader of a country so plagued with senseless gun violence it has spurred the most heartbreaking, poignant meme of 2017.
The selective outrage is kind of incredible.
Here’s a fun trick: spend any amount of time reading through the #boycottbeam hashtag and the profiles of those using it in earnest, and I swear you’ll hear a big f*cking whoopee cushion being sat on in the sky.
Main image by David Buchan/Getty Images