Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bill Maher: Rotten American

I've always disliked Bill Maher. In fact, just listening to this mean spirited, comedian makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Like Keith Olbermann, Maher lets his nastiness spill over into his shallow political commentary.

Essentially Maher is the left's Ann Coulter, except unlike Coulter, Maher rarely has any real political insight, and is not nearly as funny.

He packs his show with liberals and they all gang up on the one consevative guest, who is booed by Maher's audience, who are probably only there because they couldn't get tickets to The View.

Well he finally crossed the line with this exchange.

Bill Maher Sorry the Assassination Attempt on Dick Cheney Failed

Posted by Noel Sheppard on March 3, 2007 - 10:22.

In 2002, ABC made the decision to not renew Bill Maher's contract after he made some disgraceful comments on his program "Politically Incorrect" concerning America's military response to 9/11. After what transpired on "Real Time" Friday, the heads of HBO should be equally outraged, if not more.

As the discussion moved to the attempted assassination of Vice President Cheney last week, Maher asked his panel why it was necessary for the Huffington Post to remove comments by readers concerning their disappointment that the attempt failed. As the conversation ensued, Maher said one of the most disgraceful and irresponsible things uttered on a major television program since Bush was elected.

In a nutshell, the host said the world would be a safer place if the assassination attempt succeeded. And, he even had the nerve to reiterate it. Here’s the deplorable sequence of events for those that have the stomach for it.

Maher: What about the people who got onto the Huffington Post – and these weren’t even the bloggers, these were just the comments section – who said they, they expressed regret that the attack on Dick Cheney failed.

Joe Scarborough: Right

Maher: Now…

John Ridley: More than regret.

Maher: Well, what did they say?

Ridley: They said “We wish he would die.” I mean, it was (?) hate language.

Barney Frank: They said the bomb was wasted. (laughter and applause)

Maher: That’s a funny joke. But, seriously, if this isn’t China, shouldn’t you be able to say that? Why did Arianna Huffington, my girlfriend, I love her, but why did she take that off right away?

After some discussion about why Huffington should or shouldn’t have taken these comments down, the following occurred:

Ridley: It’s one thing to say you hate Dick Cheney, which applies to his politics. It’s another thing to say, “I’m sorry he didn’t die in an explosion." And I think, you know…

Maher: But you should be able to say it. And by the way...

Frank: Excuse me, Bill, but can I ask you a question? Do you decide what the topics are for this show?

Maher: Yeah, I decide the topics, they don’t go there.

Frank: But you exercise control over the show the way that she does over her blog.

Maher: But I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn’t be dying needlessly tomorrow. (applause)

Scarborough: If someone on this panel said that they wished that Dick Cheney had been blown up, and you didn’t say…

Frank: I think he did.

Scarborough: Okay. Did you say…

Maher: No, no. I quoted that.

Frank: You don’t believe that?

Maher: I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.

Wake up, HBO: one of your hosts said the world would be a safer place if the Vice President of the United States of America had been assassinated.

Yank this guy off the air right now HBO or I'm going to start watching Big Love on DVD instead.

Oh and by the way, if you agree with him, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Of course you are allowed to say vile things, but others are also allowed to attack you for saying it, and attack HBO or the Huffington Post for giving you a forum to say it.

Bill Maher, you're a rotten American.

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Abouna said...

Bill Maher, like the vast majority of the leftist liberal nut cases, seems to have some very seated psychological problems. These type of people must have come from some real dysfunctional families.

The best thing they can do for society would be to crawl off to some deserted island where they can engage in their mutual admiration society and nurse each others neuroses and leave the rest of us alone.

Shannonymous said...

Maher IS really mean spirited, you're right. He is so bitter and angry and all he does is bitch; he never does anything to really try and costructively change anything. I bet he's so bitter that he doesn't even vote.

I also bet he hasn't gotten laid in years! ;)

David said...

I agree that anyone expressing a desire to have their duly elected leaders assassinated is certainly walking very close to the line between free speech and treason. However, I don't think Bill Maher is a disgrace, nor do I think he should be "yanked off the air" for his comments. No organization, media or otherwise, should be in the business of playing U.S. Attorney. If something Bill Maher does is treasonous, let the U.S. government handle it, otherwise leave him alone.

This won't happen, of course, b/c it is simply not treasonous to express your opinion that the U.S. Government is wrongfully endangering the lives of its soldiers. It is treason to actually plan to assassinate your elected officials in cahoots with foreign powers, sell secrets or, maybe, to trade arms for hostages without express congressional authority. But what Bill Maher said is not treason.

Of course, what he said may not sit well with you b/c you disagree, but it is a valid opinion. I also agree with you that it is regrettable and shameful in the way it was expressed. After reading the transcript I have lost some respect for him (to the extent I ever really had it...I think his "soapbox" has gone to his head lately, and the best thing about his show are the people he puts on, frankly).

But, if you're going to call for his head, you should be more careful in the way you do it. If you want to be treated fairly, you should do the same with those you criticize. Attack the message, not the way the message was delivered. The message is not to assassinate the Vice President. That is an inflammatory talking point and you know it.

More specifically, Bill did not, in the transcript you published, ever say he wished Dick Cheney would be assassinated. YOU may believe he clearly insinuated it, but that's YOUR interpretation of the facts. To state otherwise, as you do, is unfair. The FACTS are that he never expressed that.

A different, but no less legitimate interpretation, might be that he used the assassination story as a jumping off point to express his dissatisfaction with the current Adminstration and his belief (rightly or wrongly) that 1.) Cheney was the major force behind the Iraq War, 2.) The Iraq War was and is completely unnecessary and a waste of American lives and 3.) A different Vice-President would have influenced the Administration to either a.) Have never engaged in the War or b.) Abandon the war effort after it became clear that we were doing more harm than good.

Again, you may disagree with these beliefs, but they are legitimate beliefs to hold and all pulling them off the air does is chill the exercise of free speech, which is, perhaps, the most important freedom we have in this Country. The most important aspect of our Freedom of Speech is the protection we afford to minority views. Mr. Maher's opinion is such an opinion and actually deserves greater, not lesser, protection because it is an unpopular view.

I think that the marketplace of ideas we have is our most precious resource. Any attempt to crack-down on that marketplace or play "free speech" cop is not only dangerous, it is likely to backfire in ways you or I could not expect.

Boiled down to its essence, the views you express here are no different than that of the self-rightous war mongers you often bend over backwards to protect. This view being, "If you don't support the Iraq War, you are supporting the terrorists."

While this may be an effective political tool, it's no more disgusting and offensive than Bill Maher's comments. To assume that a problem has only one solution and that solution is yours...and further to try to keep anyone else from hearing any ideas to the contrary, is not only short-sighted, it's closer to fascism than any American would ever want to be.

ADDENDUM: Here are just a few of the comments made by Coulter and Limbaugh. I do not doubt I could find a lot more if I had time to look. So...I'm sorry, WHOSE freedom of speech should be taken away again?

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." [and after asked to explain this quote] "Of course I regret it. I should have added 'after everyone had left the building except the editors and the reporters."

"They're [Democrats] always accusing us of repressing their speech. I say let's do it. Let's repress them. Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment."

"If you don't hate Clinton and the people who labored to keep him in office, you don't love your country."

"When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

[Regarding President Clinton] "In this recurring nightmare of a presidency, we have a national debate about whether he "did it," even though all sentient people know he did. Otherwise there would be debates only about whether to impeach or assassinate. ”

--Ann Coulter

"I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - living fossils - so we will never forget what these people stood for."

"Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past - I’m not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble - recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin’s penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an ‘enemy of the people.’ The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, ‘clan liability.’ In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished ‘to the ninth degree’: that is, everyone in the offender’s own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed."

-Rush Limbaugh

Falling Panda said...

"self-rightous war mongers" Man, you're further out in left-field than I thought.

Here's what "freedom of speech" means. It means that the government can't cart anyone off to jail for saying something they don't like.

In the private sector, if you say something dumb, like Mahaer frequently does, you're fair -game.