Bill Maher is a jerk:
Here's his latest on Limbaugh
"I don’t think Rush Limbaugh should be stifled. I don’t agree with him, but he has every right to his opinion no matter how (expletive) that opinion is. And I think it’s a terrible trend that when anybody in this country says anything that you don’t like, you try to get rid of him. You know what, you don’t like Rush Limbaugh, then don’t listen to him.Limbaugh did not give an apology.
"He’s been on 25 years, you know what this guy’s all about. He gave an apology. That’s it. It should be over. It bothers me the way that liberals cannot let this go."
He was defiant and did not apologize for the many disparaging and false remarks about Sandra Fluke. If Maher doesn't grasp that, he's an idiot. If he does know the so-called apology was bogus, then he's a liar.
Maher is a coward with no integrity. Setting the Limbaugh issue aside, on his last two shows he ran videos made by Alexandra Pelosi, and both were crap. The first one presented a wildly unrepresentative portrait of Mississippians - rednecks, no teeth, living in squalor - as a way of making that southern state and Republicans look foolish. The second video was of New York "Welfare Queens" (Pelosi's terminology - inherited from Ronald Reagan), and it was also unrepresentative. It was mostly black guys outside a welfare office saying that they want their food stamps or government check. Those people were off-putting, to be sure, but that's not how you argue for or against a policy. You can damn any policy by finding offensive people within the system. And while those in New York appeared to be abusing the program from what they said on camera, the reality might be strikingly different. They might have been talking macho for appearances sake. I don’t see how it was any different from the James O’Keefe videos.
After the Pelosi New York Video was aired, Maher was strutting about how great and objective he is by showing offensive portraits of rednecks and blacks on relief. Was it journalism? Pelosi herself said she was showing "stereotypes", making it come off as nothing more than an opportunity for comfortable people (Maher and his HBO audience) to look way down their noses at those less fortunate. That's ugly. Then he made sure to tell his audience that he and Alexandra were "not racists". Thanks, Bill. I guess self-proclaimed non-racism means it's got to be true.
As to Pelosi's technique. Maybe next time she should go to the county mental health center and interview crazypeople to see if they can make a compelling case for them getting treatment and support. They can't do it? Oh, too bad. But they are losers, don't you know.
As to the cowardice. Those two videos that Maher had on his show - videos where people of limited ability fail to make their case and therefore invalidate whatever program or positions they are associated with - that's what Maher did in his movie Religulous
I'm an atheist, but when I see Maher "debating" the existence of god with a passel of simple-minded people, that's not demonstrating integrity. It's an opportunity to ridicule those he doesn't agree with. Maher gets cheap wins but avoids the hard work of challenging top-flight theologians.
Then there's his whole vaccination-skepticism which makes you wonder how his mind works.
Maher is smug, snide, and not very smart. He's the kind of "progressive" we don't want on our side.
Oh, and he's not particularly funny.UPDATE:
Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic has similar thoughts about the Pelosi videos
. Lots of good comments, like this one:
Ugh. The cringe-worthy backslapping Maher indulges in at the end there is sickening. It's so brave of a multi-millionaire heir to mock poor people who vote for her mother's party. This is why Democrats have been losing the votes of working people since 1966, because they pander to wealthy idiots who want to deny "welfare queens" their tax money and heap disdain on anyone accepting public assistance. How is someone who genuinely needs food stamps, that's millions and millions of people today, supposed to feel when Alexandra Pelosi uses these limited stereotypes to characterize $70 billion worth of public aid recipients?UPDATE2:
Tory Andrew Sullivan posts the New York welfare office video
It’s all true, innit?
Anyone who thinks Jenny McCarthy is an expert on vaccines is not to be taken seriously. On anything. You're right - he's not very smart at all. He wants to be seen as an iconoclast, but a true iconoclast doesn't just attack an existing order with scorn and derision. He or she presents an alternative with vision and clarity. Maher just doesn't have the intelligence to do that.
Why does he write one single word when he can simply decide not to listen something offensive to him, his most prized piece of wisdom? This is because Maher is not really making any serious claims. Those are all an excuse for him to recall as many offensive things as he can, good practice for his show, where his hyperbole overwhelms his reasoning all the time.