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Andrew Breitbart, from grave, puts Bill Maher on defense

In his interview with Bill Maher posted this morning, ABC News’ senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper offering a bit of commentary in posing his first question to the former funny man:

So with all the criticism of Rush Limbaugh for his comments about the Georgetown Law student, conservatives claim that there’s a double standard, with President Obama, Democrats and the media far more tolerant of offensive language when wielded by liberal or progressive media figures against conservative women. Is that a fair comparison? You have certainly used offensive words to describe some politicians you don’t like.

A leading journalist (and a good one) in the legacy media addresses an issue long reserved to right-of-center editorial pages and conservative blogs.  Bill Maher, perhaps for the first time, has been been forced to defend his mean-spirited anti-Republican rhetoric — for more than just one news cycle.  Instead of acknowledging that he may have overstepped the line or apologized (as Rush did) for an error of judgment, he whines that he’s just a comedian, trying to score a few laughs

Hugh Hewitt finds that Maher’s conclusion where the HBO host claims he had defended Rush’s “right to stay on the air” reeks of “self-importance” and “smashes Maher’s ‘comedian’ defense if it had any substance for anyone to begin with.  Simple comedians don’t take to the ramparts to defend anything.  They tell jokes.

In playing defense, however, Maher reveals the hypocrisy of his position.  Taking note of Maher’s response when “Tapper presses him on the similarities between what he said and what Limbaugh said“, Allahpundit gets at the essence of the matter.  Maher, that conservative blogger reports,

. . . distinguishes them by saying, “[H]e went after a civilian about very specific behavior, that was a lie, speaking for a party that has systematically gone after women’s rights all year, on the public airwaves” (my italics). That’s the crux of this, as I’ve noted before — that if you back the left’s social agenda, especially on abortion, you’re pro-woman no matter where your rhetoric carries you.

In this case, Hugh quips, “Maher has himself become the joke”, thanks, I would add, in large part, to the ideals of Andrew Breitbart, bringing to light the nasty rhetoric of the American left.


UPDATE: Writing about the interview, Jacob Sullum takes apart Maher’s attempt to distinguish his slurs from Limbaugh’s:

Fluke made herself a public figure by campaigning for “reproductive justice” at Georgetown and testifying about the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate before members of Congress. That does not mean it’s OK to call her a slut, but neither does Palin’s status as a public figure mean it’s OK to call her a c[***].

And also addresses the failure of the former funnyman to consider the possibility that he may have erred:

Maher seems sincerely oblivious to the fact that “different tastes and different opinions” tend to color people’s views about when sexist epithets are acceptable and when they are so “disgusting” that they are beyond the pale.

Via Instapundit.



  1. You left out the part where Bill Maher (pompous ass) defends calling Sarah Palin a see-you-next-Tuesday.

    “The bit I did about Palin using the word cunt, one of the biggest laughs in my act, I did it all over the country, not one person ever registered disapproval”

    Maher goes on to say that it’s okay to call women “c–ts” if they are in the public arena.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2012 @ 10:24 pm - March 15, 2012

  2. Well, to paraphrase Roger Rabbit, Bill was saying he was only doing it because it was funny.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 15, 2012 @ 10:26 pm - March 15, 2012

  3. The World According to (Pompous Ass) Bill Maher.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2012 @ 11:20 pm - March 15, 2012

  4. I am truly enjoying seeing Maher at the losing end of this hoax. Meanwhile Rush is flying high, many new listeners and no lack of sponsors.

    Comment by Leah — March 16, 2012 @ 12:43 am - March 16, 2012

  5. Interestingly:

    Two Cheers for Double Standards

    If we think about the Rush Limbaugh dust-up from the non-liberal–that is, non-formal–perspective, the similarity between what he did and what Schultz and Maher did disappears. Schultz and Maher are the good guys; they are on the side of truth and justice. Limbaugh is the bad guy; he is on the side of every nefarious force that threatens our democracy. Why should he get an even break?

    There is no answer to that question once you step outside of the liberal calculus in which all persons, no matter what their moral status as you see it, are weighed in an equal balance. Rather than relaxing or soft-pedaling your convictions about what is right and wrong, stay with them, and treat people you see as morally different differently. Condemn Limbaugh and say that Schultz and Maher may have gone a bit too far but that they’re basically O.K. If you do that you will not be displaying a double standard; you will be affirming a single standard, and moreover it will be a moral one because you will be going with what you think is good rather than what you think is fair. “Fair” is a weak virtue; it is not even a virtue at all because it insists on a withdrawal from moral judgment.

    “Morally different”, eh?

    “‘Fair’ is a weak virtue.” Isn’t “fairness” what liberalism is based on? Can we throw “equality” on there too?

    Comment by TGC — March 16, 2012 @ 12:54 am - March 16, 2012

  6. Rush’s apology was far more sincere than the left’s faux-outrage.

    Comment by V the K — March 16, 2012 @ 5:50 am - March 16, 2012

  7. Vince,

    Are you reading this? It is a pretty good introduction to the subject of moral relativism. Perhaps you might begin to understand the concept if you can also begin to see how Maher is playing the “free speech for me, but not for thee” card.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 16, 2012 @ 10:05 am - March 16, 2012

  8. Sorry if this was already linked – Palin on Breitbart:

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 16, 2012 @ 12:00 pm - March 16, 2012

  9. ILC, look to the very post, under “RELATED“. 🙂

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 16, 2012 @ 12:03 pm - March 16, 2012

  10. Which had not gone up yet… by 15 minutes 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 16, 2012 @ 3:44 pm - March 16, 2012

  11. Helio,
    I’m still waiting for you to catch up on your own moral relativism.

    People can criticize Bill Maher all they want. I haven’t watched his show in years.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — March 16, 2012 @ 4:59 pm - March 16, 2012

  12. Vince,

    Deliver your evidence of my moral relativism and I will gladly, fully address it. However, you clearly have no concept of what constitutes moral relativism, so I do not expect any response or anything of substance. But, I would be delighted to be surprised.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 16, 2012 @ 6:13 pm - March 16, 2012

  13. People can criticize Bill Maher all they want. I haven’t watched his show in years.

    What? Did Obama’s economy make you unable to afford your cable bill?

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — March 18, 2012 @ 12:22 am - March 18, 2012

  14. I have another beef with the Reps and their pundits who didn’t speak up and defend Gov Palin while they tried to destroy her, where were they??? Oh, that’s right, the people who were running McCain’s campaign that started this assault in the first place to deflect the blame of their absolutely horrible campaign and she was their escape goat. There were only a few pundits and Newt who I heard a peep from and it was the TParty that fought back the accusations of MURDER for God’s sake. There’s blame all around for this disgusting climate, I don’t know about you but I demand better for our country and our future, so did Gov Palin. That’s why she has the support she does and always will.

    Comment by jann — March 18, 2012 @ 4:06 pm - March 18, 2012

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