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Bill Maher reaping what Media Matters has sown

Bill Maher reaping what Media Matters has sown

We live in a world where groups like Media Matters and Think Progress monitor and record every word uttered by any conservative of prominence in the media, hoping to find something “insensitive” with which to mount a campaign to silence the speaker through intimidation of advertisers.

So what goes around come around, and Bill Maher is feeling the heat.  And Maher doesn’t like it:

Let’s have an amnesty — from the left and the right — on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront. Let’s make this Sunday the National Day of No Outrage. One day a year when you will not find some tiny thing someone did or said and pretend you can barely continue functioning until they apologize.

If that doesn’t work, what about this: If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.

The answer to whenever another human being annoys you is not “make them go away forever.” We need to learn to coexist, and it’s actually pretty easy to do. For example, I find Rush Limbaugh obnoxious, but I’ve been able to coexist comfortably with him for 20 years by using this simple method: I never listen to his program. The only time I hear him is when I’m at a stoplight next to a pickup truck.

Maher is right.  But an amnesty is not possible so long as groups like Media Matters and Think Progress exist, because what Maher decries is their very reason for existence.


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Of course, if he couldn’t be offensive, there goes Maher’s entire schtick and how he earns his laughs and his living.

    Joan Of Argghh in reply to janitor. | March 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Only the over-matched demand a parlay.

    LukeHandCool in reply to janitor. | March 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Yep. It’s not humor in an uplifting sense, or in a clever-turn-of-phrase way. It’s just snark for the perpetually juvenile.

    While he wasn’t one of my favorite comedians, I waited on Jonathan Winters once, and he would good-naturedly banter with the guests at the neighboring tables.

    Years later I read where he said he didn’t like today’s comedy because it confused being vulgar with being funny. That any time a comedian has to rely on profanity it means they are lazy or just not really funny. True that!

    But, unlike today’s comedians and Hollywood types, he led a real life. He volunteered as a marine for WWII, just as so many of those guys did.

    I talk to this one old geezer on the phone at work every two or three months. We always have a fun conversation. The last time I talked to him, he said he had just seen a Don Rickles performance and Rickles had teased him during the show. I told him how I loved that generatio of comedians because they were patriots … not like so many of today’s jokesters. He agreed wholeheartedly. He said a long time ago he had been a maitre d’ in a swank Beverly Hills restaurant which Rickles would frequent. Same thing as Jonathan Winters. He said Rickles would do his schtick with the other guests, but it was never mean-spirited. Rickles almost always rightly points out that we should be able to laugh at ourselves and each other, but always remember we’re all human, and all in this together. Rickles also served during the war. I think these guys know how precious life is, and how special America is. It’s so sad we’re losing them.

“Let’s have an amnesty — from the left and the right — on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront.”

Well, he’s right and he’s wrong, Prof.

You and Maher both approach this from the standpoint of it being “playacted hurt”. It isn’t always that.

Sometimes, it is totally appropriate revulsion to really outrageous stuff. It is right we should respond to that with condemnation.

And I also reject the moral equivalency attempted by Maher relative to Rush. That is BS.

Juba Doobai! | March 22, 2012 at 9:39 am

Coward! He’s already crying hold and he hasn’t withstood a fraction of what has been dished out to Palin, Limbaugh, and a long line of Conservatives for years. Wimp! I’d call him a pussy but that would be an offense to cats. That’s the Commies for your money. They love to dish it out. They group, they swarm, and they malign. Focus on one of them, cull them from the herd, and they fold like wet underwear.

Sorry but I call BS on Maher’s lastest screed. He’s not happy with the heat he’s taking for his YEARS of offensive crude output. Until the Right started calling him on it and putting his low class/no class routines on display he had no problem with being a huge hypocrite. Tough – he earned it so he can live with it.

Notice his starting point “Let’s have an amnesty ……on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront.” Apparently the idea that people might actually be offended escapes him because he functions at the same level as a 15 year old boy who thinks playing with himself and looking down girls’ tops is cool.

I hope people continue to mock & ridicule him for his lack of decency and standards. No doubt those who like that sort of humor will still watch him but they can do so knowing that others may think their standards are as low as Maher’s.

    Left Coast Red in reply to katiejane. | March 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

    And the heat comes primarily from HBO, which is experiencing cancellitus regarding Maher/Limbaugh. Keep it up, folks!

I’m a Southerner, If I took personally all the insults hurled at us, I’d spend my whole life being offended. People who are easily offended by other peoples words are very weak and need to do some maturing.

This tells me one important thing that ALL republicans should note: Fighting back works.

    scfanjl in reply to tazz. | March 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

    AMEN! This is such an important thing to take away from this whole ordeal with Media Matters/Rush.

    It is the only thing that works on the playground with bullies and it never changes.

    Hope Change in reply to tazz. | March 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Hi tazz, Yes, it does.

    go. Newt.

“Maher is right. But an amnesty is not possible …”

Agreed. Media Matters and their contentious comrades at the oddly named Think Progress have expressed their mission statement as eradicating or silencing opposing voices.

Why? It’s what fascists do. IMHO.

If that doesn’t work, what about this: If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.

Can anybody see the WWF agreeing to this ? .. how about anybody in the vast plethora of Left-leaning victim exploiting organizations (i.e. NAACP, Black Panthers, Black September, ALF-CIO, SEIU, NOW, GLAD, Rainbow whatever, etc) ?

Thought not.

“The only time I hear him is when I’m at a stoplight next to a pickup truck.”

Even when asking people to lay off, he tries to offend Rush’s listeners with a cheap, stereo-type based, shot. This idiot can’t help himself. (No, I’m not outraged. Just observing)

“If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.”

Conservatives live our whole lives this way. We get hammered from all sides, every day. It’s just part of the cultural background. The thing that makes the current situation different is that the left has raised the volume and the stakes. They thought they could use the outrage to score extra points in an election year and Maher, who’s very much one of the aggressors in the war against Conservatives, is complaining that it isn’t as one-sided as he expected.

Suck it up Bill. Like we’ve been doing for decades.

“…monitor and record every word uttered by any conservative of prominence in the media, hoping to find something “insensitive” …”

I’d be less offended, if they confined themselves that. If a conservative says something wholly reasonable, they’ll just substitute something else for it, and rail against what they wish the conservative had said.

I consider that no-fair-cheating. People who engage in that kind of behavior deserve to be called on it.

I find plenty to disagree with, at least when it comes to social conservatives, but I know that lying about what they said impedes the compromise process that is necessary for the governance of this country. People who lie about other people’s positions do harm to our country, by forcing the conversation away from a rational discussion.

    jimbo3 in reply to Valerie. | March 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

    You realize, of course, that the GOP (Atwater) who started this whole thing about lying about the other side’s positions? Atwater was a master of using distorted emotional issues as wedge issues in GOP campaigns, without giving a clear, full picture of all the facts.

      Ragspierre in reply to jimbo3. | March 22, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Just how full of SH!T CAN you be. Your sense of history must be that of a goose!

      Left Coast Red in reply to jimbo3. | March 23, 2012 at 12:16 am

      You’re actually spot on, Jimbo. Mishonesty in politics in 1988 clearly led directly to Maher calling Sarah Palin a c$#t.

      Diggs in reply to jimbo3. | March 23, 2012 at 1:42 am

      Atwater was in elementary school when the Democrats ran a campaign against Goldwater that depicted a small girl picking flowers, then getting killed in a nuclear explosion. The ad insinuated that if Goldwater was elected, he’d start a nuclear war. The irony being that the only world leader to ever use a nuclear weapon against an enemy then and now was a staunch Democrat. It is still considered one of the dirtiest, most underhanded political ads every run. Of course it will pale in comparison to what Obama’s campaign will run this summer and fall, but it’s a complete Obama-sized lie to say this stuff started with Atwater.

I disagree with the line “Bill Maher is right”. And this is not a conservative knee-jerk response that simply gainsays anything someone like Maher says.

It comes across, Professor, like you totally fell for the head feint. Maher means none of what he says. His career is predicated on two things: 1. Generating the very outrage and hurt feelings he now says no one should have. And 2. Positioning himself as the enlightened progressive, superior in intellect and political correctness to the rest of us.

The sunlight has exposed both of these as shams. Remember when George Will shone the light on him during that Sunday talk show (re: Brazil and oil)? He withered and returned to his dank corner. Now, we’re bringing the light again and he hisses and says to go away.

F— that. Keep the light shinging. #war

Maher’s plea for tolerance is about as credible as an islamist’s call for hudna.

Although Maher is entirely sincere. He sincerely hopes you will fall for his mendacious ploy.

I don’t listen to Rachel Maddow because I disagree with most of the things she says. I don’t watch Bill Maher. I’m perfectly fine with them having shows and saying what they want. The Far Left, however, isn’t so “liberal” minded.

i find maher’s plea to be genuine, but unpersuasive as the amnesty he talks about is one sided.

basically, he wants our side to go back to being called whatever nastiness he and the rest of his ilk can think of with the loudest voice possible and we to just take it.

no more. the pearl clutchers of the rush incident have opened the pandoras box, and we will not be silent.

myohmymanatee | March 22, 2012 at 10:44 am

Does Bill Maher have prejudice with people in a pick up truck? Does he smell the fumes from his limousine, hmm?

Henry Hawkins | March 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

I’d agree with what Maher says here if it were anyone else but Maher. Maher had no problem with assorted people and organizations suffering the backlash from fake outrage and astroturfing as long as he wasn’t the target of it. Now that he’s feeling that pressure, it’s all of a sudden wrong, needs to stop.

Maher’s call to end fake outrage is meaningless without a mia culpa and apology for all the times he’s done it himself.

Between Maher’s nasty mouth and Tom Hanks ‘Game Change’ blackfacing, the Helping Barack Obama channel must be hemorrhaging subscribers.

HBO must know by now that subscribers are not the same thing as advertisers.

Aside from the predictable (and juvenile) “pick up truck” comment, Maher reveals another staple of liberal “thought” today — having a strong opinion about something you’ve admittedly never listened to. Maher “knows” Rush is obnoxious because his intellectual curiosity goes no deeper than soundbites or what his like-minded pals tell him. This syndrome is also highly recognizable in anti-Fox News screeds and when directed at books written by conservatives. By contrast, most conservatives I know find the likes of, say, Paul Krugman “obnoxious” because they actually read him (and pay the price). They’re aware of NPR’s intellectual inconsistencies because they listen, etc, etc.

    Cassandra Lite in reply to Tad Early. | March 23, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Exactly. “Rush is obnoxious so I never listen to him, and that’s why I never listen to him, because I don’t want to hear how obnoxious he is. Rush is the most obnoxious person I never listen to. You couldn’t pay me to listen to his show, because every time I think about listening, I think how obnoxious he was the last time I didn’t listen to him, and that does it. He’s just too obnoxious to listen to. Ever.”

    I think Maher’s obnoxious. But I know that from watching him.

Mr. Maher is not asking for widespread tolerance.

He’s covertly pushing for unilateral disarmament.

He knows that his own side will not home a call for civility. Remember the demands for ‘civility’ after Congresswoman Giffords was shot by a psychotic? Oh no, that’s right, her assailant was obviously a right-winger Christofascist Rush-listener. Until it was demonstrated that he wasn’t.

The call here is rather like what is going on in Gaza: Hamas advocates ‘restraint’ while Islamic Jihad launches Qassam rockets at Israel. Next month it will be Fatah advocating restraint while Hamas launches rockets. And so on. After all, one can’t expect Mr. Maher to be responsible for every left-winger out there, even as the Left tars all the folks in the right with a side, wide brush.

This is not about restraint or mutual respect. Mr. Maher would simply like the conservatives to shut up. That’s what this is all about.

Well, in a way, I think he’s right. There is this tendancy to claim outrage for the sake of claiming outrage. Claiming to be offended is just a way to get attention and “victim” status, to allow for something that is completely subjective (and unverifiable) to control others actual and objective behavior. It’s a game of the left.

Now, refuting it is ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED. Defending Limbaugh by pointing out the exact same behavior on the left that generated no such outrage shows them to be full of crap. That light must shine.

But pretending to be outrage by, say, DeNiro’s tongue in cheek remark about not being ready for a white first lady? To try and shut him up, instead of just taking it as a not-funny joke? Be careful that you don’t become what you dislike…

DeNiro was a lesson to the left of what can happen when the privilege afforded to ‘right thinking’ people is lost, and their words and deeds are treated as if done by one of the unprotected undesirables.

Exposing the double standard is in no way becoming what I dislike.

I say we yell louder.

    Hope Change in reply to DizzyMissL. | March 23, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Hi DizzyMissL – I love your spirit.

    Please let’s also keep our eye on the election. We can materially, substantially, exponentially improve our position by supporting Newt in the primary.

    Because if Newt is the nominee, Newt will win this fall.

    The crucial phase of IMO the most important election of our lifetime is happening now. Right now. This week, next week…

    This kind of attack, a swarming Leftist, Alinsky, Cloward-Piven, politics of personal destruction” controversy will be a gazillion times easier to deal with after we’ve made improvements in the economy and government that remind us all that FREEDOM WORKS & FREE MARKETS WORK.

Uncle Samuel | March 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Maher (leftist) amnesty = Palestinian cease-fire.

If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.

…or cancel or HBO subscription.

    Squibob in reply to RightKlik. | March 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Why stop at HBO? Yo paraphraseL out for penny, out for the pound. If you can cancel your program with Time Warner (HBO’s parent company).

      creeper in reply to Squibob. | March 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

      I wish we subscribed to either of them, just so I could cancel. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to afford the premium channels for three years.

ShakesheadOften | March 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm

The worst is hearing liberals give a rousing “right on!” to Maher’s article. The same liberals who, a few weeks ago, were calling for Rush’s head for calling someone a slut. Irony? Anyone? Anyone?

Shorter version of Maher:

HBO and Time Warner are loosing customers because of their and my double standards on misogyny, but I can’t really admit that. But I still need my job with them. So can we just forget any of this happened?

Kinda like John Stewart’s clown nose on, clown nose off excuse, but a little more desperate. After all, the Comedy Channel is not one of Time Warner’s premium channels.

Mr Maher, my daddy and granddaddy taught me one simple rule:”Never start a fight, but always finish one.”

SDN, that’s a lot like the advice I’ve always given my son: “Never hit first and never back down.”