Bette Midler Rants About Manchin, Offends Entire State

Actress apologizes after calling residents of West Virginia 'poor, illiterate and strung out' in a tweet
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2021 10:25 AM CST
Bette Midler Rants About Manchin, Offends Entire State
In this April 5, 2019, file photo, Bette Midler attends Variety's Power of Women New York, in New York City.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Very few people are happy with Joe Manchin these days, at least not in Democratic circles, and Bette Midler counts herself among them. But the 76-year-old actress and singer's recent online rant against the West Virginia senator is raising eyebrows, with many saying her slam against the state itself crossed the line. The Hill reports that Midler's anti-Manchin tweet came Monday morning, the day after the Democratic senator announced he wouldn't be getting behind President Biden's Build Back Better legislation on social programs and climate change.

At first Midler kept the insults more or less directed at Manchin himself, writing that what the senator, "who represents a population smaller than Brooklyn, has done to the rest of America, who wants to move forward, not backward, like his state, is horrible." She added: "He sold us out." What came next, however, was an elaboration on her "backward" jab, with her posting, "He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out."

Locals immediately pushed back, even the ones also angry with Manchin. "Bette, that's not fair," one commenter noted. "West Virginia is full of good people who work hard and take care of each other. Dealing in stereotypes doesn't help." Someone else responded to that remark, noting, "Thanks. Currently sitting in a part of WV on my lunch break from my JOB. Oh, and I'm not strung out! Can't believe she posted that." The Hill notes that Midler nearly wandered into the same territory last year when a rant against Sen. Mitch McConnell started in on Kentucky.

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At any rate, Midler seems to have realized she went overboard in her latest "outburst," as she put it in a later apology to the "good people" of West Virginia. "I'm just seeing red," she tweeted, turning the attention back to Manchin. "#JoeManchin and his whole family are a criminal enterprise. Is he really the best WV has to offer its own citizens? Surely there's someone there who has the state's interests at heart, not his own!" (More Bette Midler stories.)

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