Bill Maher Invokes The Fighting Sioux Controversy In Defending His Misogynist Comments
In a painfully obvious attempt to deflect criticism over his calling conservative women twats, bimbos and worse Bill Maher invokes the 1st amendment (and the Fighting Sioux) while calling for a mutual ceasefire over manufactured outrage in the New York Times:
When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others. Who can keep up?
This week, President Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, described Mitt Romney’s constant advertising barrage in Illinois as a “Mittzkrieg,” and instantly the Republican Jewish Coalition was outraged and called out Mr. Axelrod’s “Holocaust and Nazi imagery” as “disturbing.” Because the message of “Mittzkrieg” was clear: Kill all the Jews. Then the coalition demanded not only that Mr. Axelrod apologize immediately but also that Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz “publicly rebuke” him. For a pun! For punning against humanity!
The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged the late Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.
If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.
There’s some truth in Maher’s comments. The manufactured outrage industry is alive and well in politics. People of all political persuasions do it. It’s such a staple of political debate that I don’t even think most people realize they’re doing it. If A says something that could be construed, through even the most tortured of interpretation, as offensive to B then B issues miffed press releases and plays the victim.
Though, in Maher’s case, I think he’s attacking a bit of a strawman. Nobody is saying Bill Maher can’t call Sarah Palin a bimbo and worse if he wants to. We’re just saying that if President Obama means what he says about cooling down political debate, and leading “by example” on the matter of civility, then maybe he shouldn’t be accepting money from someone like Maher who is so clearly uninterested in being civil.
It’s not a free speech thing. It’s a consistency thing. Maher is just trying to muddy the waters by invoking the 1st amendment.
It’s Maher’s right to say controversial, even offensive things. And it’s our right to be critical of him for saying those things. This free speech stuff cuts both ways. You can’t stand on your right to tick people off with your words, and then get all bent out of shape when they do, in fact, get ticked off.Tags: Barack Obama, bill maher, free speech, new york times, sandra fluke, sarah palin