What Went Wrong With… The Word “Whataboutism”?

A conversation or debate ended with the word Whataboutism

From The Vaults Of

I’d never heard of the word “whataboutism” before John Oliver mentioned it as he spoke at length about Donald Trump on his show Everything That Trump Did Wrong Last Week, sorry, Last Week Tonight. If you take the programme’s definition, “whatabout-ism” is a way in which some people “change the subject” and therefore shut-down discussion. The way Oliver promotes the word is basically; Person A (most likely a Hilary Clinton supporter) asks something about a particular topic and Person B (Trump or one of his supporters) distracts by replying “but what about…?”. According to Johnny-boy, this is a “Soviet propaganda tool” and because he used the orange-faced president as his example (and the red Ruskies as the originator) everyone on the blue-faced, fake-left blindly agreed. Thanks to this specky git, “what about…?” is now seen by lots of people as a perfunctory response or even a pointless question. But is it?

The powers that be (including the media) seem to popularise dismissive terms and in my opinion, “whataboutism” is no different to “hater”, “conspiracy theorist”, “anti-vaxxer”, and even “woke“. Hell, Rolling Stone even did an article about that episode of John Oliver’s show, so surely it must have had some sort of objective?

Ironically, it’s not the whataboutists that quash debate, most of the time it’s the whatabout-accusers. In my opinion, the intention of this word is to stop conversation dead in its tracks before people begin to see the idiocy of a particular situation. Along with these other aforementioned terms, “whataboutism” is now used on social media whenever someone asks anything, no matter how genuine. If for example, you question David Baddiel about his antisemitism documentary Jews Don’t Count, highlighting the fact that this so-called anti-racist comedian used to black-up and wear a pineapple on his head in order to mock black footballer Jason Lee (as well as making numerous “jokes” about gypsies as I recall) you’ll be confronted with this dismissive term, especially if you open your sentence with the now demonised phrase “what about…”.

Ask a celebrity (or a politician – which is the same thing these days) “what about when he/she/they/you said/did something differently…” and you’ll now face a brick wall of contemptuousness from their moronic fandom. If you’re questioning people’s heroes, they won’t even acknowledge the legitimacy of your question or their false-god’s fickleness. They’ll instead type “whataboutism” into Twitter and retreat, like everything’s magically resolved.

The English language has numerous words to describe people whose opinion conflicts with their previously-held viewpoint. But not any more apparently. These people can no longer be accused of double-standards, what they say or do is no longer a contradiction, it’s not even hypocrisy or insincerity. God forbid someone points out someone’s inconsistent opinions or actions these days. That troublemaker must instantly be shut down with a derisive, nonsense, catch-all word like “hater” and now “whataboutism”. That limey, self-satisfied, over-excited, rat-looking twat can shove every letter of this dodgy word up his arse in fridge magnet form. John Oliver can then crap out the letters “I M  A  T W A T” as confirmation of his persona and also go about inventing a new scoffing term out of the left-over, shite-covered letters.

What About That Shit?

From The Vaults Of

This is a previously unpublished article from 2017/18. I added the David Baddiel reference and the words “anti-vaxxer” and “woke” to make it more relevant.

1 reply »

  1. Funny how some people blame everything that’s bad in the world right now on the Soviet Union, which ceased to exist decades ago.

    And it’s funny how people who endlessly complain about cancel culture and ‘woke’ issues are louder and more annoying.

    They scream and froth at the mouth about cancel culture and woke issues whilst setting fire to mountains of books. A torch in one hand and a noose for LGBT folk in the other. (See Ron DeSantis.)

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