Bill Maher: There's No Double Standard, Because I'm Funny, and Rush Isn't

In a brief interview with ABC's Jake Tapper, Bill Maher explains why calling Sarah Palin a "cunt" or a "twat," as he has, is in no way equivalent to calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" or a "prostitute," as Rush Limbaugh did:

I'm a comedian – not just a guy who says he is, like Rush, but someone who – well, you saw me do stand-up last year in D.C. There’s a big difference between just saying you’re a comedian and going out and getting thousands of people to laugh hard for 90 minutes....

I let the audience be the guide. The bit I did about Palin using the word c—, one of the biggest laughs in my act, I did it all over the country, not one person ever registered disapproval, and believe me, audiences are not afraid to let you know.  Because it was a routine where that word came in at just the right moment....

[Limbaugh] 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. I used a rude word about a public figure who gives as good as she gets, who's called people "terrorist" and “unAmerican.”

In other words:

1. I'm funny; Limbaugh isn't.

2. My audience likes it when I call Palin a cunt.

3. She can take it, but Fluke can't.

As someone who finds neither Maher nor Limbaugh particularly amusing, I would like to suggest that people are much more likely to laugh at political humor when they are sympathetic to the comedian's views. Furthermore, I suspect that people who go to Bill Maher's shows tend to agree with him, while people who listen to Rush Limbaugh's show tend to agree with him. (I am reminded of a reader who rebuked me for describing what Limbaugh said as a "stupid joke." After all, how could it be a joke if it wasn't funny?) As for the third point, 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 cunt.

Maher also suggests that what Limbaugh said about Fluke amounted to slander, saying, "libel laws were written to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting called whores by Oxycontin addicts." Still, he defends Limbaugh's general right to say offensive things:

Through it all, I have defended Rush’s right to stay on the air! Not what he said, that was disgusting – but the right to not disappear because people who don’t even listen to you don’t like what  you said. That really bothers me. I never hear Rush Limbaugh unless a guy in the next truck at a stop light has it on; it would be arrogant for me to say "he has to disappear" and deprive the people who do listen to him of what they like. We all have different tastes and different opinions, that's America.

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.

More on double standards and misogynistic insults from Nick Gillespie here and here.

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  • sarcasmic||

    Rush 2112!

  • rhofulster||

    "I would like to suggest that people are much more likely to laugh at political humor when they are sympathetic to the comedian's views."

    Whoopi Goldberg? Robin Williams?

  • ||

    3. She can take it, but Fluke can't.

    Is he implying that Fluke is weak?

  • Killazontherun||

    Weepy Pat Schroeder eyes is the first thing that I noticed in her picture.

  • ||

    Really? The first thing I noticed was her man-jaw.

  • Jerry||

    Is he implying that Fluke is weak?

    Prejudice, how does it work.

  • jools||

    #3. It's not that she can't take it. But people who aren't celebrities before, who haven't already established a reputation in the public eye, could in theory suffer damage to their reputations if the labels stick. As it turned out, she came out looking pretty good, at least not too many people took the slut comment seriously. But in theory...

  • ||

    once again the playing field has to be lowered to fit the left's agenda.
    ooops. npi

  • Fluke||

    Free birth control! Free gender realignment surgery! Equity demands it!

    Don't I look good?

  • The left is fucking retarded.||

  • ||

    But, again, not as bad as the right, which is fucking retarded but with delusions of grandeur...

  • ||

    No, the left is fucking retarded.

  • steveknows||

    Don't you mean 'delusions of sanity'?

  • ||

    "libel laws were written to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting called whores by Oxycontin addicts."

    Well, aside from the fact that libel applies to written statements, and what Limbaugh did was speak (making it slander, not libel), that statement strikes me as slander, itself.

    He seems to be saying that Rush Limbaugh is an Oxycontin addict right now, today. Note the lack of any modifier, such as "former" or "recovering".

    I'm betting that statement would pass the test for slander of a public figure. It could well be malicious, for one thing, but regardless, it was said with reckless disregard for the truth.

    But, his whole rant is about how standards and accountability are for other people, so doubtless this never crossed his mind.

  • Number 2||

    Former/recovering addicts are considered "persons with disabilities" who are protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Maher's comment is therefore a disgusting, repulsive abilist smear that declares war against millions of disabiled Americans who every day fight against the horror of addiction.

    He should be banned from the air! Boycott his advertisers!

  • ||

    Maher, the hate criminal!

  • ||

    I did it all over the country, not one person ever registered disapproval

    Fucking self-selection- how does it work?

  • Fluffy||

    I couldn't understand going after Maher when Maher was saying to leave Limbaugh alone.

    This is kind of stupid, though:

    libel laws were written to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting called whores by Oxycontin addicts

    No, they weren't.

    Libel laws were invented to protect people against malicious falsehoods.

    Unless Fluke is a virgin, it's entire subjective whether she's a slut or a whore.

    That means she shouldn't be able to claim she was libeled and prevail.

  • Tort Law 101||

    Right! Truth is a defense to slander and libel!

  • yonemoto||

    not in the first circuit, it ain't

  • ||

    She would also have to show real harm. What harm could she show? He made her feel bad? If she could show she didn't get a job because of it or her b/f left her, she would have a case. But mere words that do not result in measurable harm are not actionable.

  • ||

    She wasn't harmed at all. In fact her career in Aggrievement has been advanced considerably. She should be sending Rush thank you notes and Oxycontin-laced fruit baskets.

  • Suki||

    +1; great minds; all that

  • ||

    Please fuck off forever, JohnSukiBot. You are tiresome beyond belief. If you kill yourself, I will give you $100. Posthumously, of course. But: $100!

  • Suki||

    No.

  • Suki||

    He launched her activism/victim career. She owes him royalties.

  • Number 2||

    And, she would have to show she was harmed because people who heard her being called a slut and whore believed it.

  • Reasonable Man||

    Well, I believed it. But I would've believed it based on her own words, regardless of what Limball said.

  • o3||

    her own words?

    so what about the ~98% of women who use contraceptives during their lives?

  • Sudden||

    If you're testifying before Congress claiming you need someone else to pay for your elective prescriptions, you're a whore in the strictest sense of the word.

  • fact checker||

    Fluke wasn't testifying before Congress.

  • Brn||

    Though not for lack of trying

  • ||

    Then you didn't hear her words, dimbulb. She wasn't talking about even using birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, but to prevent CYSTS and other HORMONALLY INFLUENCED MEDICAL PROBLEMS. She was speaking to DISPELL the MYTH that all the pills are for is to prevent pregnancy.

    But you're to REASONABLE to actually pay attention to what someone says before you judge them on words she DID NOT EVEN UTTER. What a right-wing twit!

    Or twat. Your choice.

  • over the shark||

    her b/f left her

    Heteronormist!

  • ||

    "She would also have to show real harm." No, she wouldn't. Allegations of sexual misconduct constitute per se defamation and do not require a showing of actual economic damages. In contrast, pro quod defamation does require a showing of actual damages.

    To make a larger point, it's an absolute mystery what the original post and the comments in this thread are doing on a putatively libertarian site, unless one believes "libertarian" has come to mean "reflexively right-wing, but without the southern accent." The distinction between rude jokes made about politicians and those made about private citizens is really critical here. The equivalence of Maher and Limbaugh does not rest on any actual principle of defense of liberty; it's just a way of saying "I dislike men of the left and anyone who criticizes men of the right." But again, without the southern accent.

  • Coeus||

    I guess you must have missed the part where she picked the college specifically to fight their policies. That would make her a "social justice activist" very much a public figure.

  • Killazontherun||

    That's it twist that logic, Pat, twist it up good! Anything to avoid seeing yourself for the hypocrite you are; at least until a few more rounds of verbal gymnastics. You sound like you could use the exercise.

  • Killazontherun||

    No, she wouldn't. Allegations of sexual misconduct constitute per se defamation and do not require a showing of actual economic damages. In contrast, pro quod defamation does require a showing of actual damages.

    And, no, that is hyperactive chicken scratching. He didn't make allegations, he expressed an opinion of moral conduct. It could be based upon her admittance to an active sex life outside of marriage, or the fact her ankles are exposed in public, it doesn't really matter. It is an opinion, and not an allegation of a specific nature, and that is protected speech.

    And what the hell does some twat who doesn't believe in free speech get off lecturing libertarians on the validity of our libertarianism? Fuck you. I hope the glacier you use as a dildo melts from AGW.

  • ||

    SHE WAS NOT THERE TO TALK ABOUT SEX. She was there to talk about the use of the pills TO PREVENT CYSTS AND OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS.

    Dim, dim, dim...

  • Coeus||

    No she wasn't. There is no restriction for using hormones for other medical uses than contraception. That point has been purposely miscontrued by the media to further their bullshit "war on women" rhetoric.

  • Number 2||

    Oh dear Pat:

    A "private citizen" who thrusts herself into a national public debate over a controversial issue IS a "public figure" under the law. She has made herself a public figure by injecting herself into the public debate. Read New York Times v. Sullivan.

    This is basic First Amendment law. I assume Ms. Fluke, as a student at one of twenty or thirty "top 10 law schools" in America, was aware of this when she chose to insert herself into a partisan political photo opportunity created by congressional Democrats for partisan political purposes.

    And because she is a "public figure" on this issue, Limbaugh can be liable for slander or libel only if he knew that she was not a "slut" and called her one anyway. Good luck proving that.

  • ||

    from what Rush said today, Ms. F is on vacation with said b/f in Europe...

  • ||

    Anal means never having to be called a slut!

  • Jeffersonian||

    But asscunt fits.

  • Suki||

    There’s a big difference between just saying you’re a comedian and going out and getting thousands of people to laugh hard for 90 minutes...

    Any info on the size of their audiences? I was under the impression that many more people listen to Limbaugh than Maher.

  • Suki||

    His statement is also proof that Maher is a clown.

  • ||

    An ass clown.

  • Nia||

    It's not about the size of the audience, it's about how you bill yourself. Limbaugh has never aligned himself with the comedy world. Maher sells out arenas to do what are clearly billed as comedy shows.

  • Jeff||

    Funny lookin', mebbe.

  • ||

    Maher and Limbaugh are both cunts, whores, and assholes. Their opinions are equally stupid.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yes, but libertarians tend to feel that way about pretty much everyone. Sometimes even themselves.

  • yonemoto||

    you forgot douchebag, dipshit.

  • Tman||

    The thing I find interesting about the Limbaugh/Maher deal is that Maher's audience is almost unanimously liberal, whereas -just like with Howard Stern- Limbaugh has a huge audience of liberals who listen to him just so they can call in and bitch about what he's saying. I don't see the same thing with Maher. Perhaps if Rush had a tv show it would be different, but it's inaccurate to say that Rush's audience is unanimously pro-Rush.

  • Suki||

    Rush - the diversity winner!

  • k2000k||

    I wouldn't go by the callers. I mean, how many of them might just be plants?

  • ||

    Well, they SOUND like people. One thing I like about plants is that, while they're not good company, really, they make the yard feel nicer and they shut the hell up.

  • ||

    The idea that Maher is a liberal lion in the same way that Rush is a powerfully influential conservative is just silly.

  • sunny black||

    woh, woh, woh...Bill Maher is a libertarian, remember? Because he says he is. Just like he says he's a comedian.

  • ||

    Class-action libel suit in the making?

  • Jim Treacher||

    Almost as silly as the idea that it's not misogyny if it's not on right-wing radio.

  • ||

    ^this^

  • ||

    What possible difference does it make? When this all started the outrage was the War On Woman. Now its not really a war on woman unless it was said by a right wing radio guy who's first name rhymes with "crush". Which tells me a lot of the outrage is manufactured to be a club against people who hold differing political opinions.

  • it's okay when we do it||

  • ||

    "libel laws were written to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting called whores by Oxycontin addicts."

    Really?

  • ||

    "I'm funny"

    First time Maher ever made me laugh.

  • Suki||

    He made me laugh when he revealed what Progressives mean by "Kenyan" when he was on Larry King. He may be the next Michael Richards.

  • Suki||

    Sorry, took a while to find, has Maher, LBJ, Richards, Michelle Obama, etc.

  • ||

    Why the need for a code word?

    Are there people who do not know Obama is black?

  • Suki||

    I am still not sure why they use code words, but they talk about them a lot.

  • Jeffersonian||

    We had some Kenyans at our church. I used to call them Kenyans. It never occurred to me to call them what Maher said.

  • D.D. Driver||

    He went so far as to compare himself to George Carlin.

    That is actually side-splitting hilarious.

  • Suki||

    On the PBS/Mark Twain/Kennedy Center tribute to Carlin, Maher was the unfunny part.

  • over the shark||

    I think Maher is funny when he isn't trying to make jokes using liberal cliches about Republicans and conservatives.

    But there is nothing quite so pathetic as a comedian who unsuccessfully tries to be taken seriously. Few pull it off. (Jamie Foxx is an example of one who did.)

  • Suki||

    Garafalo is another.

  • over the shark||

    Pauly Shore is jealous.

  • FIFY||

    I think Maher would be funny if he ever took a break from trying to make jokes using liberal cliches about Republicans and conservatives.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sarah Palin attacked Barack Obama at a time when it wasn't allowed. That's why her caricature gets to be called that.

  • ||

    Palin made fun of Obama before it was cool....

    Holy shit Palin is a hipster!!

    She even wares the glasses!!!

  • ||

    wears*

  • ||

    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 cunt.

    I would argue that it exactly OK to call Fluke a slut and Palin a cunt because of that. It's the public marketplace of ideas and that includes icky ideas like bad names. And as you point out Jacob, these are people who have voluntarily and purposefully thrust themselves in to the limelight, specifically for the purpose of espousing ideas. It's one thing to want civil discussion; it's another thing to expect it under all circumstances.

    If you don't have the stomach for that, then don't go into the public eye to begin with. There's hundreds of years of of well-known examples to guide your expectations. And tell your slobbering sycophants that they need to grow a spine and get the fuck over themselves.

  • ||

    I agree with you. But what is not okay is to sit silently while Palin is called a cunt and then try to act offended when Fluke is called a whore.

  • Suki||

    Sure it is, the same way they have a fit over Hitler whilst putting Mao and Stalin on their t-shirts.

  • Che C.||

    Hey now.

  • Tony||

    Why not? Among all the people involved here the only person not to call anyone a rude name is Fluke.

    Watch Jon Stewart's bit on this. My god nobody plays the victim like FOX News conservatives, while they mock anyone else playing the victim.

  • Solanum||

    “Mommy, don’t you want to eat Precious? That’s the only way to get immunity from the Pox. I can eat half of her, and you can eat half, and then we won’t get the Pox.” Janet opened her mouth and clamped her teeth around one of the cat’s hind legs, struggling to tear off a piece of its flesh.

  • Killazontherun||

    That a scene from the Oscar winning movie about fat ghetto momma and fatter ghetto daughter getting it on?

  • Suki||

    Tony says wearing his Che shirt because his Hitler shirt was in the wash.

  • poiut||

    [b]"Watch Jon Stewart's bit on this."[/b]

    This statement pretty much sums up Tony's thought process.

  • ||

    But what is not okay is to sit silently while Palin is called a cunt and then try to act offended when Fluke is called a whore.

    I use mendacity as a signalling tool that tells me to not take seriously anything that person says. Ever.

  • over the shark||

    liar

  • ||

    Actually it should be reversed.

    Nothing wrong with being a slut or a whore.

    Being a cunt is derogatory....

    Wait.

    A cunt is a vagina right?

    I like vaginas...whet the fuck is wrong with being a vagina?

  • ||

    I think it's like a vagina gone bad or evil.

  • ||

    JW is a slunt.

  • ||

    You leave my ethnic heritage out of this.

  • ||

    Are you even a real libertarian? What have the trolls decided about you?

  • ||

    I grew weary of their doubt, so I've enrolled in their very expensive certification program. They assure me that it will be worth every penny. It's guaranteed to go up in value!

  • Sudden||

    Monocle issued upon completion?

  • Jeffersonian||

    And issued land certified to have been stolen from White Idiot's pretend ancestors.

  • Killazontherun||

    People who reject the word 'cunt' are pussies. Just a word, like 'dick.'

  • we||

    yup

  • Matt Damon||

    You see there are dicks, assholes and pussies. And dicks fuck pussies and sometimes they fuck assholes.

  • ||

    [Limbaugh] 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. I used a rude word about a public figure who gives as good as she gets, who's called people "terrorist" and “unAmerican.”

    Fuck you, Maher. Fuck you with a rusty railroad spike you craven, worthless, dishonest tool.

  • ||

    Oh look, victim politics. How original and special of Bill.

  • ||

    You want victim politics -- watch Faux Noize. They are ALWAYS the victims. Poor, poor li'l Rupy, everyone is pickin' on him... and he knows it, because he listens in on their phone calls!

  • ||

    We're all civilians. Some of us choose to become public ones. Be a drama queen activist is just as much a public act as running for political office.

    Jokes about here--the slut's a joke, Limbaugh is a joke, and Maher is a joke. One thing I'll grant Limbaugh is that I think he knows that he's a joke.

  • Brn||

    Going after a "civilian" really is not the standard that Bill should want to live and die by. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3fvocIFe6s

  • Mike||

    By my lights, there are 2 differences. 1. Maher is a stand-up comedian who has a show on HBO, Limbaugh is a "political commentator"
    2. Limbaugh may have been joking, but there was a specific connection between calling Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" and her statements. She was a prostitute because she wanted money to pay for sex. Maher called Palin a "cunt" and "twat". No matter how many bad policy decisions or stupid statements Palin makes, nobody is going to think that she is literally a vagina. Maher just generally cursed her, Limbaugh made a specific allegation (joking as it may be).

  • ||

    "What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

  • Joe M||

    I love that quote, but I hate how often I find it apropos.

  • ||

    It's this kind of parsing that has made America such a confused place today.

    If you don't like this sort of discourse, condemn it all around, don't find excuses for it. If you don't care, then don't care all around.

    Maher is really no different than Limbaugh in what kind of content he delivers. He's just on the left versus being on the right.

  • over the shark||

    Maher is really no different than Limbaugh in what kind of content he delivers.

    Ahhh ... no. When has Maher ever made an original point about politics or a point that has percolated into serious public discussions? The closest he has ever come was his 'terrorists are brave; the US military has the real cowards' remark (That was Maher, wasn't it?).

  • Suki||

    His "Kenyan is code for Nigger" thing was good, it is just a matter of time before that one catches on.

  • over the shark||

    There are so many code words for the n word. I wish there was a comprehensive list published somewhere.

  • Jeffersonian||

    He's aa real Kenyan in the woodpile, prone to Kenyan-rigging everything so he can get Kenyan-rich.

    Nah, I don't see it getting legs.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • ||

    You guys are the ones claiming that there is a double standard. It's real crybaby stuff to then turn around and say it's not allowed for people to point out the differences between the two situations.

  • Killazontherun||

    That's a diaper full of poop you are trying to hand off on someone else, Drewbaby.

    It is not a question of double standards, it is a matter of big fat hypocritical opportunist trying to get away with there typical manipulative shit.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Uh - this doesn't make sense. The whole point is that there is no substantive difference between the two situations that justifies the differing treatments; hence the allegation of a double-standard.

  • ||

    uh what? Are you really complaining about people pointing out the double standard and then following that sentence with a justification for your double standard?

  • ||

    Mike, let me introduce you to something a wise old law partner told me back in my yute:

    "If you're explaining, you're losing."

    Seriously, when you have to work that hard to lay out a distinction, maybe its a distinction without a difference.

  • over the shark||

    You may be right about winning the battle for public opinion, but Mike is right, Maher's remark was just a slur while Rush's remarks were targeted in a way that highlighted an aspect of Fluke's "testimony" that is a relevant factor in the discussion of the issues.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Once again RC Dean speaks the truth.

  • we||

    Mike is right. Saying somebody is a "twat" or "dick" is the same as saying they are an "asshole." It could mean anything substantively; it's just more gender-specific.

    Slut and prostitute have specific, behavior-based meanings.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Bullshit. That's a bunch of rationalizing. If you actually heard the broadcast in which Rush made the statement, you would know he was not asserting as a statement of fact that Ms. Fluke was in fact a slut or a prostitute. He was engaging in hyperbole to pander to his audience. Maher was purposely being denigrating and offensive - to pander to his audience.

    In both cases, both men seem to have intended to say something mean-spirited about the target of their comments. Neither one meant the comment literally. Both were stupid and unecessary.

  • we||

    No. Rush was trying to stretch the point that Fluke was taking money (insurance benefits) for sex (using birth control) to equate to prostitution, and to suggest that the high price of the birth control indicated promiscuity (failing to understand that prescribed birth control does not work on a per-partner basis).

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oh, I see. So as long as a person has the correct motivation or intent for calling a woman a slut, bitch, twat, cunt or whore, it's ok. What really matters is not whether a person used those words to describe a woman; what matters is what his intent or motivation was when he said it.

    Maybe you could help us all out and simplify things by putting together a list of which motivations are acceptable and which are not.

  • MJ||

    There was a logic to what Limbaugh said though he stretched that logic past the point of breaking. What Maher said is just crude for the sake of being crude.

  • ||

    You didn't listen to Fluke, whose point was that birth control pills are used TO PREVENT HORMONE-RELATED DISEASES. Her point was not even about preventing pregnancy!

    Duh!

  • ||

    You don't get the point, twat. If >2% of all women who take oral contraceptives are taking them for a legit medical purpose other then pregnancy prevention, I will eat the syphilitic "you" out of a rhino.

  • ||

    Public airwaves are not to be used by just anybody.

  • shrike||

    Maher is much more of a libertarian than Limbaugh is but gets attacked here regularly for his political views. Interesting.

    Plus Maher was actually canned for telling the truth after 9/11. He is the most anti-PC human alive.

  • Tman||

    Maher is much more of a libertarian than Limbaugh

    Maher is not a libertarian by any stretch of the imagination. That's just ridiculous.

    Maher was actually canned for telling the truth after 9/11.

    By calling suicide bombers "brave" because they slaughtered 3000 innocent people? This is "the truth"?

    Man sometimes your mask just completely falls off Shriek. You should look in to duct tape of something.

  • ||

    Bill Maher: Troll-Approved Libertarian

    Always look for the troll label. Remember... only shrike, MNG, and Tony can decide who are the real libertarians.

  • T||

    We need them to rate each other for libertarianess. Then we could use that to decide who is mostest libertarian.

  • ||

    Zeb and John Thacker are the only two who have made the cut so far.

    Fluffy, Episiarch and I are all closeted GOPers, by the way. [hisses, flees from the cleansing light of "truth"]

  • ||

    Look, I'm a misanthrope, unlike the troll, dude. Get your shit straight.

  • pancakes||

    I hate misanthropes.

  • Nipplemancer||

    We are all kulaks

  • ||

    I'ma nihilist

  • RobSmalls||

    That must be exhausting.

  • WTF||

    Remember... only shrike, MNG, and Tony can decide who are the real libertarians.

    This is true - they know most of the people here are just right wing GOP Freepers.

  • ||

    MNG and Shrike trying to be the gate keepers of libertarianism is actually an improvement.

    It is part of the process. They like libertarians but are having a hard time letting go of some of their left wing ideology. So they try to meld the two into what they think a true libertarian is. This in time will fade as they abandon more of their left wing beliefs.

  • Killazontherun||

    Shrike ain't changing. Face it, we are stuck with him until his lord and master instructs him to drink the Kool-Aid.

  • shrike||

    MORE libertarian. I know LP purists whittle the definition down so that Ayn Rand would not qualify.

    And goddamn right suicide bombers are brave. The fact arch-conservatives like that are crazy as well does not diminish their bravery. Religion is like that and Maher is one of the few to say it out loud.

  • Tman||

    God you're so fucking stupid. Maher even ADMITTED he's not a libertarian when Breitbart called him out on it.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/n.....-socialist

    suicide bombers are brave.

    So it's brave to go blow up a school bus full of kids in your world?

    Jesus you have some horrifying morality standards.

  • shrike||

    You fucking dumbass. Twice I have said MORE libertarian.

    "MORE" - get it?

    Hell, the LP purity test is so tough Ayn Rand could not pass it. Even Ron Paul is no libertarian in my book.

  • Tman||

    shriek,

    You and Mingey and Tony consistently play this stupid game that you think you know who is MORE of a libertarian than others. Hell I bet you even consider yourself partially libertarian in some ways.

    As RC said above, if it takes that long to explain it, than maybe you're just full of shit.

    And no one on this board is in a position to perform libertarian purity tests. ESPECIALLY not your bleeding heart.

  • shrike||

    Oh, I'm not a libertarian. I know I can't pass the litmus test. Not even Ayn Rand could get into today's LP. Besides, you may have heard I'm something of a secularist liberal capitalist and blah blah blah blah blah blah christfag blah.

  • OBAMA/KONY 2012||

    If you're explaining yourself, you're losing. somebody already said that.

  • over the shark||

    So it's brave to go blow up a school bus full of kids in your world?

    Self-preservation is a powerful instinct and the most basic. Overcoming that does take considerable courage.

    Blowing up a bus without blowing up yourself usually takes a lot less courage. It might still take courage if doing so involves a real risk of retaliation to oneself or to someone one or something that one care's about.

  • ||

    It is brave to intentionally die to preform ones duty.

    In fact the US give out medals for soldiers who do this.

    If your duty is kill yourself in the act of blowing up kids then yes it is brave to blow up kids.

    The word "brave" does have a strict meaning and it is not always a good thing. Get over it.

  • Killazontherun||

    I agree. I had no problem with what Maher said, he could have clarified better, but still. Unfortunately for him at the time, the CEO of his biggest sponsor, American Express, did have a problem with it.

    This is why it didn't even occur to me that someone would think this matter of bringing him up as an example is an attempt to kill his career. How can you even conceive that? Saying something offensive to a large swathe of people shortly after 9-11 only resulted in a better contract, and barely a hiccup in his on air time. Surely a fair parity here is nothing but free publicity for him.

  • T||

    Is this where we point out that Ayn Rand hated libertarians? I always like bringing that up.

  • Suki||

    She only hated libertarians after she got pissed off at Rothbard. Just ask libertarian historian Brian Doherty.

  • over the shark||

    By calling suicide bombers "brave" because they slaughtered 3000 innocent people?

    Maher was right when he ridiculed the idea that suicide bombers are cowards, but missed the mark and was super-offensive when he suggested that the US military was cowardly. A more accurate statement would be, "Suicide bombers are deeply committed to their cause; the US military is rational to chose strategies and tactics that minimize the risk to their personnel."

  • Sudden||

    Such nuance doesn't create great publicity.

  • over the shark||

    It also doesn't convey the "I hate the military and Bush" messages.

  • ||

    Cowards fear for their own safety.

    Suicide bombers are not, by definition, cowards. Maher pointed that out.

    He was right.

  • ||

    SANE cowards fear for their safety. An important distinction.

  • Bill||

    Maher may be a civil libertarian and is definitely much better than Limbaugh but most people here hate Limbaugh.

    But he really takes a more progressive (not a compliment) view on most matters. I grew to dislike him because unlike someone like Judge Napolitano Maher made no effort to be fair or hear those out he disagreed with on his show. He would fawn over the brain dead leftists and have actual political discussions and then when the person from the other side started to talk he would make non-stop political quips and never let them finish a train of thought. Even if it was someone I hate like Santorum, he should at least be heard out if you are letting the other side speak, you need to let him. Or interrupt everyone with your lame-ass jokes, not just those you disagree with.

  • shrike||

    His show is an hour long with no commercials and he loves to have libertarians or conservatives on and they get plenty of speaking time.

    Maher is not afraid to mix it up. Limbaugh would not last 10 minutes with him.

  • k2000k||

    Yes he likes getting those who he disagrees with on his show so he can make swarmy snarky remarks to obtain applause from the audience. His decision to do so has nothing to do with being fair, it has everything to do with causing a conflict. His show would be boring if guests agreed with him all the time. It is the same reason why liberals (plants?) call Rush Limbaugh while on air.

  • Sevo||

    shrike|3.15.12 @ 12:21PM|#
    "Limbaugh would not last 10 minutes with him."

    And a TKO for Team Blue! Shriek goes CRAZY!!!!!

  • sunny black||

    he has libertarians on his show?? who?

  • ||

    Well, he had Gillespie on. A mistake he won't make again soon, I would imagine. Nick tore them up so easily that the big doof Mayor from Shitsburg, PA challenged him to a fight within 5 minutes.

  • OBAMA/KONY 2012||

    "Maher...civil libertarian..." ???

    And an Obama supporter -- ?!?

    Mutually exclusive.

  • Sevo||

    shrike|3.15.12 @ 12:04PM|#
    "Plus Maher was actually canned for telling the truth after 9/11."

    When your ignorant opinions become "truth", it'll show up in the night sky.

  • MJ||

    Maher is one of those people who confuses libertarian with libertine.

  • ||

    Calling politicians nasty names is as old as politics. I'm supposed to get worked up over that? Arguably--meaning it can be argued, but I won't bother--Fluke is in a different category.

    Also, I don't give a shit because Palin really is a cunt, which just about any Alaskan Republican will tell you. Whether Fluke is a slut, I neither know nor care.

    PS: Maher is the one liberal who defended Rush BEFORE attacking Maher became a silly GOP talking point. That should count for something. I think that may have arisen out of his experience with Politically Incorrect and ABC.

  • Suki||

    That different category being what? Political shill? Budding political operative?

  • ||

    I said it could be argued. I didn't. Then again, neither did you. Truly, I don't care about her either way.

  • Killazontherun||

    Save that last brain cell on something important like chomping food, don't waste it on trying to wrap your head around this to make phony distinctions that obscure the real point. It isn't really about Maher. Obama called Fluke to show solidarity against misogyny. Pointing towards Maher is an effective means to show Obama is a hypocrite and opportunist because he those two things are the man in his entirity.

  • Killazontherun||

    opportunist because he those two things are the man in his entirety.

  • ||

    Fine, but I am not into destroying the careers of 3rd parties over speech to "get" Obama. Perhaps you can keep the distinction, but many of your fellow travelers certainly cannot.

  • Killazontherun||

    'destroying careers?' What fucking lunatic planet you live on that that has any meaning in this context? Are you being dishonest with me, or yourself?

  • ||

    OK, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I see that is a waste of time.

    Try to recall 2001, and how all-American morons tried to ruin Maher's career over speech (perfectly accurate speech at that). I am not into the blackballing crowd over speech. Apparently you are, or just don't care, or don't understand, or are a moron. Regardless, that is all the time you deserve, and then some. Have a nice rant, in place of a life.

  • Killazontherun||

    I'd like to preserve your comment there as a perfect specimen of moving the goalpost. This was about your claim that Limbaugh was destroying Flukes career which is a batshit silly remark to make on your part, and I called you on it. I guess you are not use to that because you would have only got nods of approval for your ludicrous sentiment on a progressive site, right?

  • ||

    I wasn't talking about Fluke. I already said I don't care about Fluke. RIF. Jesus, if I knew you were only going to converse with the voices in your head, I would have ignored you to begin with. Live and learn I guess.

  • Killazontherun||

    Who was talking about going after Maher's career? Forgive me for assuming you were attempting to make some sense as there was a discussion about how this would impact Fluke's career.

  • Suki||

    Sounds like one of those lame, empty, McCarthy arguments coming on.

  • over the shark||

    Andrew McCarthy can be annoying. Who would argue with that?

  • Jeffersonian||

    I think he means Charlie McCarthy.

  • Suki||

    I think you mean she.

  • ||

    No need to bring in Tailgunner Joe, since I didn't. Do you always mouth both sides of a discussion?

    Instead, Maher actually lost a show over speech. That would be more pertinent.

  • Sevo||

    mark|3.15.12 @ 1:12PM|#
    "Instead, Maher actually lost a show over speech. That would be more pertinent."

    So?

  • ||

    Obama called Fluke to show solidarity against misogyny score cheap political points with his base.

    If he was interested in opposing misogyny, he'd be on the phone with hogh-profile conservative women every day.

  • -||

    hogh = hog or high?

  • T||

    Bill Maher, funnyman?

    Pizza Man is all I will ever need to disprove that statement.

  • ||

    OK, I keep seeing people say Maher was defending Rush, but I don't recall it. A little help, here?

  • shrike||

    Maher said that going after PigBoy's sponsors was lame. Which it is.

  • ||

    Ah. Fear of similar retaliation, eh?

  • we||

    He's on HBO cable. He doesn't have ads now. It happened to him before, on his ABC broadcast show.

  • ||

    HBO has subscribers. So, instead of advertisers threatening to leave, they deal with subscribers threatening to leave. Don't think that's not a possibility if a similar campaign was launched against Maher.

  • we||

    The vast majority of HBO "subscribers" have a packaged bundle of premium channels. "Leaving" HBO would be highly inconvenient to say the least.

  • Ska||

    Yeah, it's really tough to say "I don't want the HBO + SHO combo package. I just want SHO." Frankly it would be much harder to give up Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire just to spite Bill Maher. To hell with that.

  • Ska||

    Yeah, it's really tough to say "I don't want the HBO + SHO combo package. I just want SHO." Frankly it would be much harder to give up Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire just to spite Bill Maher. To hell with that.

  • ||

    Maher said that going after PigBoy's sponsors was lame.

    That's it?

    Pretty weak.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Take a look above at the quote from him. To his credit, he actually did say essentially, "Hey, this is America. I say things that offend people and some people want to hear me say them. Rush has his audience, and although I never listen to him, those people have the right to listen to him if they want to."

  • Michael||

    Fluke made herself a public figure by campaigning for "reproductive justice" at Georgetown and testifying speaking at a press conference about the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate before members of Congress.

  • ||

    Hey, the Dems who put that show together went to great lengths to make us treat it like actual testimony before a real Congressional Committee.

    Let's take them at their word.

  • ||

    Just like the reps who control congress went to great lengths that only people who spouted GOP talking points were allowed to speak before the actual committee.

  • Michael||

    Has anyone yet bothered to point out the probability of Sandra Flake taking on multiple cocks bareback? This argument is still about women's health, yes?

  • Michael||

    Fluke, not Flake.

    Derp.

  • OBAMA/KONY 2012||

    A lot of lubrication is called for.

  • Liberty||

    ... ah, yes. It's time for that special Libertarian moment: "A Hollywood Liberal Said Something, Somewhere."

    I disagree with Maher here. The real difference isn't that Maher's a comedian, (and thus had to work his way up the ranks of being a comic, while Limbaugh didn't) but rather that Maher doesn't matter the same way on the left.

    There are no moonbats putting a bust of Maher up in the Massachusetts state house. No one has spent 20 years getting their entire political philosophy from Maher. Can you imagine a Republican "dissing" Limbaugh the way Axelrod did Maher this week? Imagine all the yelling all those "Big" sites and the er, "Great Homeschooled" would be caterwauling then.

    The left knows Maher's a comedian. The right knows Limbaugh's kind of their intellectual engine.

  • Killazontherun||

    Limbaugh didn't) but rather that Maher doesn't matter the same way on the left.

    Highly disingenuous argument. You are saying that Maher is not significant to the left and Rush is significant to the right. Bull shit! The man just blew a million of his own money on an Obama superpac.

  • we||

    Repeatedly, GOP "statesmen" have had to genuflect before the great and vaunted Rushbo and apologize for criticizing him.

    No Democrat ever had to apologize for offending Maher.

    This ain't about one stray comment, either. Rush has a long, long history. Telling a black woman to "take that bone out of [her] nose" being just one example.

  • Killazontherun||

    I see. You are just going to keep justifying your concern troll hypocrisy of getting worked up against Limbaugh while defending a power player from your side of the isle who does the exact same thing. Do what you want. I don't care if you have no self respect. That's the choice you made.

  • we||

    Actually, I'm an "unconcerned troll."

    I don't much mind either guy. Maher is funny. Rush is tedious. They represent their respective political factions quite well in that way. Each has a history of "controversial" and "offensive" statements, any of which merit passing attention at best, and hardly warrant apology jihads or sponsor boycotts.

    But I'm in the minority on this, apparently.

  • Killazontherun||

    That's the choice you made, and it's a damn good one, so sleep well, Trolly!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Maher is funny.

    And here is where you lost all credibility. Maher is funny like a ruptured appendix. Or maybe a better comparison would be stepping in a pile of rancid dog shit, barefoot. That's about how funny Bill Maher is.

    The guy is bitter, hateful, and smugly sarcastic as if he's the smartest guy he knows. And I don't get what he thinks he has to be so smug about. He's really an unattractive human being, both on the outside and on the inside.

    The lefties have been struggling mightily to gin up some kind of meaningful distinction between Maher and Limbaugh in a vain attempt to justify why what Maher said was acceptable, while Limbaugh's statements warrant taking him off the air. It's all vapid nonsense. But of course, I've become accustomed to that from the left.

  • we||

    You just can't laugh at anybody if you disagree with their politics. Maher is funny. So is Dennis Miller. Even Ann Coulter has her moments (especially when she argues with Bill Maher).

    You don't have to be right to be funny.

  • KDN||

    Sorry, Bill Maher isn't, and has never been funny. It has nothing to do with his politics, the man is a terrible comedian.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    You just can't laugh at anybody if you disagree with their politics.

    Bullshit. Lewis Black is a self-declared socialist and I think he's fucking hilarious. George Carlin was a pot-smoking, Republican-hating hippy, and I loved his comedy.

    Dennis Miller is funny. Ann Coulter also can be funny.

    Even Janene Garofolo used to be funny. When I first saw her many years ago on the Comedy Channel, she was very funny. Now she's just become a bitter left-wing Obama sycophant. Same thing with Margaret Cho. She used to be very funny. I caught some of her routine on TV recently and was depressed at how unfunny she had become.

    Paula Poundstone is very left-leaning, but I like her. She's got a very quick wit. I listen to the NPR show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" all the time and I love it when she's on.

    I just don't find Bill Maher funny or appealing in any way.

  • KPres||

    "Bullshit. Lewis Black is a self-declared socialist and I think he's fucking hilarious."

    Yeah, he's funny. But his jokes aren't about politics.

  • KPres||

    OMFG Bill Maher is not funny. Neither is Dennis Miller and certainly not Anne Coulter. John Stewart can be funny maybe 1 out of 10 jokes. Rush Limbaugh was probably funny about the same back in the 90s, but these days he's painfully unfunny.

    Basically nobody that talks about politics is funny. The subject matter is too disturbing.

  • KPres||

    Not "nobody", I take that back. South Park is funny.

  • Sevo||

    we|3.15.12 @ 12:44PM|#
    "Repeatedly, GOP "statesmen" have had to genuflect before the great and vaunted Rushbo and apologize for criticizing him.
    No Democrat ever had to apologize for offending Maher."

    So the dems are sycophants and that proves what?

  • over the shark||

    Telling a black woman to "take that bone out of [her] nose"

    Hmm ... I missed when Rush said that. I guess I should spend more time on Moveon.org so I can keep up with all of Rush's transgressions.

  • we||

    Or you could just read the news wires every once in a while. Too much to ask? Too much?

  • ||

    It's not disingenuous. I don't recall the Democrats ever calling themselves the "Maher Caucus", but I do remember the Republicans in 1994 calling themselves the "Limbaugh Caucus".

    On the right, Limbaugh is an institution and a hero. On the left, Maher is a liberal comedian with a one hour weekly show on HBO. There's no comparison of their relative importance in the two parties.

    However, that aside, Limbaugh's real problem is he came off in the Fluke affair as a loud-mouthed bully. People don't like bullies.

  • Killazontherun||

    Defending a misogynist. Okay. If that is your prerogative, fine, but why do you need these distinctions between Limbaugh and Maher to feel better about yourself?

  • KPres||

    I like mind bullies that pick on phonies.

  • poiut||

    And again, complete avoidance of the point: Is it OK for Maher to call Palin a cunt? Did any democrats at the time publicly rebuke him? Should no one care if Maher calls Herman Cain a nigger? Is it OK if widely-visible public figures (Maher does have a highly-rated show afterall) use sexist and racist remarks as long as their "influence" is below some arbitrary threshold?

  • Sevo||

    Liberty|3.15.12 @ 12:31PM|#
    ..."The right knows Limbaugh's kind of their intellectual engine."

    One more opinion offered as "evidence".

  • over the shark||

    Can you imagine a Republican "dissing" Limbaugh

    Republicans, esp. establishment types, have denounced Limbaugh on a number of occasions.

  • we||

    .. and then apologized for it, groveling like they were begging mercy from Caligula.

  • Killazontherun||

    A politician back tracking, groveling, making a public spectacle out of himself and thus losing credibility, you say that like it is a bad thing.

    I remember when McCain had to do that. Lulz. I hate McCain more than any other human being on the planet, to be honest. Though I don't wish him dead, I do want the Vietnamese to take his ass back to complete that sentence.

  • we||

    Fine. I'm just saying that's why there is no equivalency.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hey, what's a million dollars thrown at an Obama superpack, right? That is what? 50 seconds of advertisement at for CBS during the Final Four! You tell 'em to get real. Maher is no player.

  • over the shark||

    ... groveling ...

    Your point is that Rush is taken seriously enough by the public that he can't be blithely crapped on by pols, right? I guess Rush is a winner in the arena of ideas.

  • we||

    Fine. I'm just saying that's why there is no equivalency.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    That's a bullshit distinction. Maher is a known misogynist, which he has demonstrated repeatedly. He has made millions from his schtick, one million of which he recently gave to Obama's super PAC. He is a darling of the left because of his constant raking of the conservatives over the coals.

    These attempts at making some kind of distinction are distractions and attempts at misdirection from the simple fact that the left thinks there's no problem with calling conservative women sluts, bitches, cunts, whores, or any other terribly offensive term, or making any other chauvinistic or derogatory comment abou them, but let one conservative commentator utter a clearly hyperbolic rant and sarcastically and flippantly state that a liberal women is a slut, and they're calling for his head on a platter.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    The real disingenuousness is that all of these attempts at disinguishing the two has come AFTER the cries that Rush should be held accountable, and only AFTER people have pointed out the hypocrisy. The cries to shut down Rush were expressly based on it being unacceptable to use such demeaning terms in talking about women - not anything about how big his audience is or how politically influential he is.

    It's all post hoc rationalization, period.

  • we||

    "post hoc" does not mean incorrect

  • we||

    "Your simple fact" is not actually a fact.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Their words - and lack thereof - and actions would indicate otherwise. As would all these gyrations in attemption to rationalize some kind of differentiation in order to legitimize Maher's hateful, misogynistic statements while detesting Limbaugh's.

    But that's ok - just keep telling yourself there is no liberal double-standard.

  • we||

    "...misogynistic..."

    So when Maher calls Romney a "dickhead", he is guilty of misandry?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    So you're saying calling a woman a twat and a cunt is not misogynistic?

  • we||

    depends

  • Shmenge||

    Not to mention the racial epithets the left throws at black Republicans.

  • we||

    Yes, that should go unmentioned, since it is untrue.

  • poiut||

    I love the twists and machinations we has to go through to hold on to his/her "THERE'S A HGUE DIFFERENCE!!111" party line. Calling people cunt and twats isn't sexist anymore? Jesus. This just in: "Nigger" was just a friendly colloquial term to call black people in the 19th century. I declare it no longer racist. VOILA!

  • ||

    Bla bla bla it's different when we do it cuz we're different and differences bla bla bla

  • MJ||

    You say people on the right like Limbaugh more than people on the left like Maher. OK, that may be true. I have no idea why that should matter in criticizing either man for using ad hominem attacks against people in the news. It is beyond the pale or it is not. It just strikes me as weird the left are defending their political entertainers by proclaiming their mediocrity is shield against criticism.

  • we||

    If calling a woman a "cunt" or a "twat" is sexist, then is calling a man a "dick" or "dickhead" or "prick" reverse-sexism?

    Also, does using a generic, unsubstantive insult like "twat" or "dickhead" in the same manner as "asshole" compare to a specific allegation that because a woman uses birth control she must be a "slut," viz., highly promiscuous?

  • Sidd Finch||

    Also, does using a generic, unsubstantive insult like "twat" or "dickhead" in the same manner as "asshole" compare to a specific allegation that because a woman uses birth control she must be a "slut," viz., highly promiscuous?

    No. Whenever you see the Outrage Industry it's over something plausibly true. They're offended at how someone said it, or that someone said it. That's why they always go after the language, not the content.

  • FIFY||

    a specific allegation that because a woman uses birth control suggests that her $3000 expenses for contraceptive is so critical to her life as a law student that others must pay for them, then she must be a "slut," with an entitlement mentality

    Rush has never said that because a woman uses contraceptives then she must be a "slut". Typical liberal tactic of smearing someone for something which they never said nor implied.

  • we||

    Gee. I always thought 'slut' had something to do with sexual promiscuity.

    But actually, it's about insurance "entitlements."

    The FIFY dictionary. Now you know.

  • over the shark||

    Rush made no generalized statement about all women who use contraceptives being sluts. That's just a liberal accusation. Libs do that kind of thing all the time. Liberal accusations, no matter how baseless, are treated by other liberals as absolute truth.

    Rush has made a career out of highlighting that kind of nonsense.

  • we||

    Address yourself to FIFY, not me. FIFY is the one who is unclear on the concept.

  • poiut||

    If calling someone a cunt or twat isn't sexist, then how is someone calling someone a slut sexist? It just means being sexually promiscuous (a relative judgement). Therefore, Limbaugh's statements were not sexist.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    It's funny, of course, if Palin were VP, you betcha she'd speak out against such Flukian nonsense. But she's hated here. Because she prayed at one time or didn't fist Katie Couric live on CBS or something which has nothing to do with politics. I guess her accent isn't as cool as filthy old leather jacket.

    As is Limbaugh. Hated here. Why? He's about as big a defender of liberty that's ever been mass marketed to America. In fact, let's play a game. Who beats Limbaugh in both audience and pro-liberty message to the country ever? Seriously. Was there someone long ago who achieved the same? Inquiring minds wanna know.

    Gasp! He doesn't hate cops and the military! *Hiss Hiss* And yeah, I find him boring. And all the cool kids really look up to Rachel Maddow, so let's just constantly disparage him. It'll make us feel good while we're not getting laid. Ever.

    Or something like that.

  • Killazontherun||

    Be it left or right, Griefing is never a pretty sight.

  • ||

    Wait, so because "we here" hate Rush, we love Maddow?

    Do you enjoy your monochromatic sky, griefer?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Maddow? Limbaugh? Both sounds like untreatable strains of super chlamydia to me.

  • Dave||

    OK, I rarely listen to Limbaugh but what I've heard him say totally refutes any claim that he's a defender of liberty.

  • ||

    "ok, i rarely listen to Limbaugh..."
    then you really look silly commenting, yes?

  • Dave||

    little Bucky, you look really silly proving how much you struggle with basic reading comprehension.

  • Joe M||

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

    No one in your target audience, you clueless fuck.

  • we||

    If your are explaining, then you are losing trying to argue with some smug-faced glibertard who deliberately fakes misunderstanding simple concepts.

  • ||

    stfu already, whore.

  • we||

    That's man-whore to you, griefer.

  • buddyglass||

    The difference to me is that Rush's mean words were in direct reference to certain behaviors on Fluke's part, whereas Maher was just calling Palin names because he doesn't like her. Rush was essentially judging her and calling her immoral for doing what most American consider perfectly morally acceptable. People hate that. Moreso, in fact, than just calling someone mean names without any judgment (e.g. Maher calling Palin "cunt" and "twat").

    For instance, suppose Maher had called Palin a "fucking piece of shit". We wouldn't be having this conversation. The only reason we are is that he chose specific pejoratives that reference female anatomy, and so his name-calling is seen as "misogynistic" in a way it wouldn't have been otherwise.

  • buddyglass||

    If, instead of Limbaugh and Fluke, we had Maher go after some pro-life college student testifying to congress about her decision to keep a child instead of aborting...I daresay Maher would be getting the same sort of heat Limbaugh is.

    There's probably also some merit to the "public vs. civilian" explanation. Despite giving congressional testimony, Fluke was perceived as one of the "little guys" whereas Palin, as a candidate for Vice President of the United States, is someone it's "okay" to attack.

  • fact checker||

    Fluke wasn't giving congressional testimony.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I keep seeing people trying to put this fine point on what Fluke was actually doing, but I have yet to see anyone explain why that matters one whit.

    She was talking to a whole bunch of members of Congress, including the former speaker of the House and leader of the Democrat representatives, Nancy Pelosi. They were a subset of Congress constituting a Congressional sub-committee. Was Fluke "testifying" before the entire "Congress"? No. So? She still was voluntarily putting herself in the public spotlight to advocate to members of Congress who were organized as a subcommitte of the House of Representatives and acting in their officials roles as U.S. Representatives.

    So why the hell does it matter that she wasn't "testifying before Congress"?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    That again seems like a meaningless technicality that the left is harping on to try to find any shred of substance to try to make what Rush did wrong while maintaining that what Maher did was fine.

  • fact checker||

    She was talking to a whole bunch of members of Congress,

    No, she was talking to a partisan publicity stunt.

    Fluke testified recently about contraception before an unofficial Democratic committee. ...

    Sandra Fluke testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee

    The reason she was speaking to an unofficial meeting comprised of only Democrats is that the Republicans wouldn't allow Fluke to testify before the actual congressional hearings on Obamacare and contraception. The Republicans were right to do so. The Democrats have a long history of presenting political activists as either subject matter experts or as representatives of ordinary people.

  • fact checker||

    Rush was essentially judging her and calling her immoral for doing what most American consider perfectly morally acceptable.

    Most people spend $3000 dollars on contraceptives and demand that other people pay for it?

    People hate that.

    Well, sluts do.

  • we||

    Do you even know how birth control pills work? You don't have to take more pills when you sleep with more guys.

  • fact checker||

    You sure are a touchy, slutty whore.

  • we||

    That's man-whore to you, griefer.

  • Bingo||

    Nice try rectal

  • Sidd Finch||

    But they're more expensive, because dudes won't pay for some slut's birth control.

  • WanT||

    @we,

    Do you even know how much birth control costs? Birth control pills, at most, are ~$100/month. The only form of birth control where one could conceivably spend $3000/year is condoms or spermicide, which both tend to be single use.

  • we||

    Condoms? Spermicide? Are they covered by insurance? I think the $3K is for a prescription-based means of birth control.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Any person who can get admitted to Georgetown Law School should be able to find the Planned Parenthood clinic 1.7 miles from her school, or perhaps affirmative action has run amok once again.

    If Planned Parenthood runs out of free birth control pills, a 30-day supply sells for $9 at the Target near Georgetown. That would be $324 for three years, leaving $2,676 for candles and wine.

    http://www.americanthinker.com.....fraud.html

  • buddyglass||

    That wasn't what his use of the term "slut" implied. The implication was a judgment of her perceived sexual promiscuity. That, I think, explains the extraordinarily negative reaction.

    If he'd referenced her desire that other people pay for her birth control by calling her "greedy" or "a mooch" then I think the reaction would have been less extreme.

  • Sidd Finch||

    The difference to me is that Rush's mean words were in direct reference to certain behaviors on Fluke's part, whereas Maher was just calling Palin names because he doesn't like her.

    Right. If you want to get conservatives Genuinely Outraged, call Palin stupid.

  • we||

    (zing!)

  • KPres||

    I don't think the Right gets genuinely outraged at shit like that. For that matter, I don't think the Left does either. It's all theatre. Nobody could really be that thin-skinned.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Nobody could really be that thin-skinned.

    May I introduce you to the current occupant of the White House?

  • Ed Zacharias||

    Maher is too stupid to know how stupid he is.

    The attention paid to him on this blog is unfair. It's like picking on someone with Downs.

  • ||

    so, the pres. is going say he acted stupidly?

  • ||

    Maher's rule: the audience should decide whether it's acceptable.
    Maher's role: never listens to Rush -- not part of his audience
    Maher's conclusion: still should decide whether it's acceptable.

  • From the UK||

    A 'comedian' is a tag other people use to describe you, you don't use it to describe yourself. So, in this instance, Bill Maher is not a comedian; he's a prick (whoops! I descended to his level - doh!)

  • X||

    I'm starting to think shrike is Bill Maher.

  • over the shark||

    There’s a big difference between just saying you’re a comedian and going out and getting thousands of people to laugh hard

    Rush has never called himself a comedian. He calls himself an entertainer and characterizes his show as 'combining irreverent humor with the serious discussion of issues'.

    Maher should really pay more attention to the fact that his own career was not built on people wanting to hear his deep thoughts on politics.

    btw, does Maher use writers for his show? Rush doesn't and he has managed to keep his live audience entertained 3 hours every week day for more than twenty years.

  • rst||

    Well come on, it's not like Rush has his Comedian's License, right?

  • Spiny Norman||

    "I never hear Rush Limbaugh unless a guy in the next truck at a stop light has it on..."

    Well, sure, only folks in trucks would listen to Rush.

  • SIV||

    Tractors too.

  • Mainer||

    Stopping at Walmart on the way to the tractor pull

  • ||

    That was the same defense Gallagher used in his famous interview with Marc Maron -- that his jokes aren't offensive because they kill at the State fairs where he performs.

  • JEP||

    I saw a portion of Maher's show once. What a twat.

    In order to be funny, he sacrifices the integrity of the point he's trying to make.

    Every one of his jokes can be boiled down to "hey, look how stupid this is."

    Maybe I'm just a hard ass who doesn't appreciate it when someone makes a joke out of an actual issue that deserves to be debated seriously instead of mocked.

  • Ben||

    Ah yes...the John Stewart defense.

  • ||

    For the record, Bill Maher is a self-congratulatory fuckwit whose juvenile political pronouncements ate delivered with enough smug, self-righteous superiority to make Jon Stewart look humble and open-minded in comparison. Aside from being unfunny, he clearly believes himself to be smarter than everyone, which is pretty fucking laughable from an outspoken cheerleader for vaccines-cause-autism delusionoids.

  • ||

    I'm still struggling with the idea, to tell you the truth, that "being funny" somehow means it is impossible for you to be rude or uncivil.

    Could somebody help me out on that one?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    There you go again, using logic and stuff.

    See, it's a deflection mechnism. If the person is "just a comedian," then it just means he was trying to be funny. And if you don't think it's funny, it's just because you're up-tight prude with no sense of humor.

    So lighten up, fer pete's sake - the guy was just making a joke! Haw haw!!

  • Dan||

    Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh have one other thing in common: I don't think I've ever seen a photo of either man where he didn't look insufferably smug.

  • onnta||

    Once again, Reason trots off to protect the Right after being correctly called out on its abusive rhetoric. I thought this thing was over, but i guess here it's alive and well. How dare someone disagree with the market priests. Do you guys ever notice how thuggish you get when someone disagrees with your beliefs. GOing after a thirty year old law student, how tough you all are. You might want to tone down the desperation with which you are trying to make this equal to somebody on the left. Is it because it's the only way to justify your beliefs?

  • poiut||

    If you're going to accuse an article of being an "attack" piece, you may want to make sure it doesn't contain a line like this: "That does not mean it's OK to call her a slut". The point of the article is that either Palin and Fluke are both fair game, or neither of them are. You can't pick and choose just because you agree with the politics of whoever uttered the epithet.

  • Killazontherun||

    Translation: Called out on our partisan bullshit, AGAIN.

  • ||

    If Veruca didn't want "anyone going after her" over her completely undeserved sense of sociopathic entitlement, then she should have kept her slutty pie-hole shut.

  • Rush Limpbaugh||

    Calling Jacob Sullum a cunt is an insult to cunts.

  • ||

    Call you a rodent is an insult to vermin everywhere...

  • ||

    Younthink Sandra Fluke, a woman whose name is unrecognizable to 99% of Americans, is the same "public figure" that Sarah Palin?

    You think calling Fluke a slut and suggesting she needed to put videos of her sex life on the air over a three day span to millions of people is the same as telling a joke in front of 2000?

    Finally, you don't find Maher or Limbaugh funny? Who is a hoot to you, pal, jay leno? Jim varney? David Koch (too soon?)

  • poiut||

    If they're giving testimony before committees of elected officials, they're fair game. Bill Maher's comments were said on HBO: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03.....umb-twat/.

    But thanks, glad to know that sexism is permissible as long as it's a closed audience. LOL.

  • ||

    "Younthink Sandra Fluke, a woman whose name is unrecognizable to 99% of Americans, is the same "public figure" that Sarah Palin?"...

    Hmmm, is this your way of saying that far to many Americans not being informed properly by what is laughingly called the news media that some whacked bimbo wants to stick her hands in everyone else's wallet?

    "You think calling Fluke a slut and suggesting she needed to put videos of her sex life on the air over a three day span to millions of people is the same as telling a joke in front of 2000?"...

    Well the skank did go in front of the cameras and whine that she didn't have enough taxpayer dollars to cover her lifestyle choices, so why shouldn't the taxpayers get something in return?

  • ||

    Mahr is doing one of two things. Either he is lying to himself or he is playing a game of semantics.

    He may even be projecting, but in an academic sense Rush is the more pure comic of the two. Rush is the comic poet and Mahr is the scatological comic.

  • ||

    Does anyone care what Bill Maher says?

    He can say whatever he wants. I don't listen to him.

  • ||

    Am I the only one who thinks Fluke was a Repubican plant?

    Seriously, a millionaire socialist boyfriend and weekly trips to Europe? And she can't afford birth control pills?

    I wouldn't doubt if Rush himself paid her to testify before Congress. Who vetted this woman?!?

  • ||

    I'm just wondering how many people have canceled HBO recently. I certainly have. I'm thinking that when Mahar recently remarked that he didn't have to worry about sponsors because he was on HBO, that might not be the protection he thinks it is.

  • ||

    "Nuance" is when a leftist embraces the hypocrisies of their most strongly held beliefs.

  • ||

    I think the point everyone is missing is that Rush said that Fluke was a prostitute for wanting her birth control paid for for by her insurance company.

    There are two problems with what he said.

    Prostitute is a special word. It means you get paid for sex, it is not a slur, like cunt. It is against the law to sell sex, it not against the law to be a bitch/cunt/etc.

    Second, Rush said that women should not have their birth control covered by insurance, which offends the majority of women. He also mangled the facts and did not understand that women take birth control everyday, even if they do not have sex everyday.

  • McGehee||

    He really said all those exact words? Who told you that?

  • Realety||

    Yes he did say those exact words, they are recorded, and unaltered. He even admits he said those things himself.

  • Realety||

    I see what you are saying, and would like to add that limbaugh did not say that the insurance companies had to pay, he said that the American people had to pay with taxes. Which only adds to the fact that Limbaugh doesn't know what he is talking about, never has and never will.

  • i||

    Cunt is a special word. It means that a woman is being too assertive. Maher was saying that women who disagree with his views should stay in the kitchen.

  • ||

    Noooo.....
    You are so off track. She is a slut for having so much sex.
    Also, a greedy slut, which is worse. She can afford law school, law books, nice clothes, etc., but needs someone else to pay for her pills. A CATHOLIC institution, of all things, which finds her activity morally objectionable. They have rights too.

  • McGehee||

    1. I'm funny; Limbaugh isn't.

    That man is delusional.

  • ||

    No, he's correct. Bill Maher is brilliant and at times hilarious. As for Rush Limbaugh, his fifteen minutes is UP.

  • ||

    I guess it depends who you are. I think Maher is an ass. But that's just me.

  • Realety||

    I would like to refute your statement that when Ms. Fluke went before congress that it made her a public figure. It most certainly does not. She also does not compare to Sarah Palin, who quite frankly deserves every form of ridicule that could possibly be given to a hypocrite, and also fits the definition of a prostitute much more than Ms. Fluke. If you don't agree with me, then how do you define what Sarah Palin does when she says " I want to do what's best for America." then she resigns her elected office in order to make a seven million dollar deal to write a book while she was still relevant? Limbaugh attacked a private citizen and it does not compare no matter what any "ditto head" tries to say.

  • i||

    So it's ok to compare women who disagree with you views to prostitutes? Ok. Got it.

  • ||

    Yes. It's okay to use words. If you don't like them don't listen.

  • ||

    By the way, I have been busy NOT listening to Bill Maher for years.

  • i||

    Me too. I've been ignoring Rush as well. They're both tools.

  • ||

    The realy joke here is that it is Rush Limbaugh's wives who would REALLY qualify as sluts and prostitutes. He is currently married to a woman 26 years his junior, a former party planner, and it seems to me that SHE (like all gold-diggers) is a slut and a prostitute, because I can't believe anything other than $$$ would induce her to have sex with Rusty Limbaugh.

  • ||

    (should be REAL... typo.)

  • MattyP||

    Sarah Palin is a public figure; Sandra Fluke is a private citizen.

    Public figures open themselves up to public satire, whereas that is not necessarily the case with private citizens.

    All sides could tone down a bit, but there is a difference between attacking a politician and attacking someone who is just trying to speak out on an issue they care about.

  • ||

    No there's not.
    If you go national with an issue, you make yourself a public figure. So you suck up whatever ridicule comes your way. Don't listen if you don't like what someone says, but just because you smirk when you call someone a cunt doesn't make it funny. I'll try that with my neighbor today. "HEY I'M A COMEDIAN!"

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Sandra Fluke is a very public a birth control activist. Daytime tv,"civility" liberals are full of shit, but they know how to manipulate amiable dunces.

  • Jim J||

    Bill Maher has turned me into feminist.
    I can't take the hipocracy any longer on female insults. My wife resigned from NOW years ago due to their treament of certain classes of women. Today, I cancelled my HBO service citing Bill Maher's statements on women desquised as humor. I saved $16 and feel good inside, as I look at my 17 year old daughter.

  • Toasted||

    To hear the people who throw out the "greed" label complain about the judging of others. Politics.

  • Joel Engel||

    The difference between Maher and Limbaugh is that I laugh AT Maher.

  • ||

    Bill Mayer is definitely funny looking. Rush is what I can a real man...ummmm ummm ummm.

  • ||

    Isn't REASON losing the point here? Rude remarks should not result in a public shaming. Also, the definition of "misogyny" is loose to the point of meaninglessness. Neither political spokesperson made a comment about women in general. If they don't like Ms. Fluke or Ms. Palin, that says something about their feelings on these individuals. It is not a generalization about an entire sex. If it were, that would also be okay. Lots of people have unpleasant or overly broad views. None of this matters, and I trust REASON to know that.

  • ||

    I was actually hopeing that Fluke would attempt to bring a defamation claim against Rush. Fluke was claiming $3000+ for contraception over 3 years. It would have been entertaining to see the Rush legal team demonstrate mathematically that Fluke can in fact be labeled a "slut."

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