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Marion On August - 17 - 2011

This morning, I kicked a foul-mouthed woman off my Facebook page. She was a totally unreconstructed PUMA, who posted this article from the UK broadsheet, The Telegraph.

I’ve nothing against foul mouths. I can swear with the best of them and in four languages. Hell, I live in Britain, where foul mouths are created at birth; but she was presenting the information given in this article as Gospel fact, when it was exactly what I called it: bullshit.

I pointed out to her that The Telegraph was the official mouthpiece of the Conservative Party (read: Republicans, the way they used to be). It stood for the England of flowery meadows, quaint little towns full of Tudor houses, and cricket on the village green. In other words, white Britain – the same white Britain where the sun never set on its empire of oppressed brown and black people.

She was quick to point out to me that I didn’t know what I was talking about. (Really? I’ve only lived in England for 30 years with a husband who’s worked directly for every Prime Minister from Maggie to Gordon Brown. I think I would know a little bit more about that newspaper and its agenda than she).

But n-o-o-o-o-o-o, as the late John Belushi would say. She had to inform me that no less than The Huffington Post, Salon, and Bill Maher said the same as the article: That Democrats were tanking on Obama, that they didn’t think he would win. The article even quoted Bill Maher as having buyer’s remorse re supporting the President.

And those people, this woman pointed out smugly, all had brains.

Well, so do I; and better brains than they. They just have more money, a lot of which has been made off the stupidity of people like this talking-point PUMA.

First, we all know about the proprietor of The Huffington Post, Her Serene Highness Queen Ratfucker Omnipotent of Medialand and how she ratfucked the deluded Progressives into thinking she was their friend; but if this woman thinks the Media Whoreanna is a friend of Hillary’s, she’s sadly mistaken. And as she reads HP and takes its word as truthful, I suggest she check out this article, or this one.

And Joan Walsh has been rooted our for her white privilege and racist slips since Ta-Nehisi Coates started calling out her behaviour in early 2008. You can check out Joan’s articles here and here, with TNC’s rejoinders here and here.

The person who values Joan’s talking points can even see here that Joan’s still conflicted on racial issues and still in denial about her problem.

Not that she would be convinced by any of this. I got the impression that this particular woman loved Hillary, loved Bill even more, and just like Harriet Christian, considers the President of the United States to be just an “inadequate black man” who displaced an entitled white face.

So the banished person also is taking Bill Maher as an expert voice on this as well? That’s as reliable as asking the Pope to bless an abortion. Bill follows political fashion. When it was OK for everyone to criticize George Bush openly* (*meaning after he won his second term and effectively became lame duck), Bill led the charge. Prior to that, his jokes were lame and he actually supported the Iraqi surge. But Bill’s a moral coward, and he’d already been rendered unemployed once during Bush’s tenure because of his mouth.

First, during the primary campaign in 2008, Bill and his bumchum, Chris Matthews, discussed both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, before rounding on Hillary’s problems. Matthews was often criticized for his overtly sexist remarks concerning Clinton’s campaign, whilst Maher, earlier in the year, had referred to her as by the c-word:-

Hold Bill’s “orange juice and gin” remark in your mind now.

Here’s Bill in 2010, on ABC’s This Week, where, during a discussion about immigration, interjected his opinion about Republicans and racists and how they’re related:-

Not all Republicans are racist, but if you are racist, you’re probably a Republican!

Yet, later that same month, when Anderson Cooper posited that Islam was a religion of peace, Bill blew off on Islamic violence as par for the religious course.

Later,in October 2010, he actually expresses fear that Islam is taking over the world and wonders if that makes him racist. (Actually, Bill, that exposes your prejudice and intolerance, which are, technically, not supposed to be liberal or progressive traits, although we know that they can be.

But in between these two incidences, we had this remark about the President, which is not only ignorant, it’s distinctly whiffy:-

Blogging on Loonwatch.com, the blogger Emperor, spoke about a confrontation earlier this year on Bill’s show, when Bill got into an argument with Tavis Smiley about women’s rights in the Middle East, and presented some details as facts which, clearly, were not. I leave it to Emperor to set the record straight:-

How long will Bill Maher get a pass on his racism and anti-Muslim Islamophobia? Is it acceptable because the targets are Arabs and Muslims and because Maher is a comedian from whom outrageous things are expected?

On his last show Bill Maher went on a speel undermining the Democratic character of Revolutions sweeping across the Arab world. Amongst his ludicrous statements he claimed “women can’t vote in 19 of 22 Arab countries,” that “women who have dated an Arab man, the results aren’t good,” that “Arab men have a sense of “entitlement,” etc. He also went onto forward the argument that “we are better than them,” justifying it by implying he is not a “cultural relativist.”

No, Bill might not be a “cultural relativist” but he sure sounds like a “cultural supremacist.” His factual accuracy about the Islamic and Arab world is akin to Robert Spencer’s. It is patently false that “19 of 22″ Arab states don’t allow for women to vote, a brief trip to Wikipidea would have disabused him of that false fact:

Women were granted the right to vote on a universal and equal basis in Lebanon in 1952[46], Syria (to vote) in 1949 [47] (Restrictions or conditions lifted) in 1953 [48], Egypt in 1956[49], Tunisia in 1959 [50], Mauritania in 1961[51], Algeria in 1962 [52], Morocco in 1963 [53], Libya [54] and Sudan in 1964 [55],Yemen (Partly)in 1967 [47] (full right) in 1970 [56], Bahrain in 1973 [57], Jordan in 1974 [58], Iraq (Full right) 1980 [57] Oman (Partly) in 1994 and (Fully granted) 2003 [59], and Kuwait in 2005 [57]. Y3WF28MHH4A4

The reality, (what is lost on Maher) is that even though nearly all Arab states allow for voting for men and women, their votes didn’t matter in the autocratic kleptocracies that littered the Middle East, and this is what Arabs — men and women — have been fighting against these past few months. It seems Maher just can’t handle all the myths he’s been pushing being shattered.

Bill Maher goes onto talk about how Arab men are bad spouses and boyfriends, to buttress his points he brings up “anecdotal” evidence and his opinion that Arabs have a “sense of entitlement.” How does Bill know? Has he dated Arab men? This is one of those things that is so ridiculous and patently unsubstantiated that it is beyond being laughable, you almost cringe with embarrassment for how stupid it makes Maher look.

Maher also seemed to use “Arab” and “Muslim” interchangeably, perhaps not knowing that a significant number of Arabs are not Muslims. While there are certainly problems in the Middle East and the Muslim world regarding the treatment of women, Maher judges Arabs and Muslims by their lowest common denominator. Ignoring countries such as Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan and others that have progressive legislation regarding women and which have had women presidents, prime ministers, parliamentarians, business leaders, sports icons, journalists, etc.

At the end of the day Maher needs to have someone on his show who can push back against the myths that he indulges in and propagates. Someone of the caliber of As’ad Abu Khalil or Juan Cole might be a good start.

And, finally, here’s a clip from his March 2011 interview with Rep Keith Ellison, where he literally attacks Ellison on Islam’s message, along with a stereotypically racist quip about where Ellison was converted.

So, for my banished Facebook PUMA, I’d think twice before I cite either Huffington or Walsh or certainly, Maher as impeccable sources of imparting fact-checked information. Huffington has her own agenda (ratfucking and the return of the Republicans) as does Walsh (Hillary running for President and replacing the “inadequate black man”). Bill’s agenda is just to follow whatever the political fashion is, but like Walsh, his racism in general and his intolerance of Islam in particular are distinctly at odds with the Leftwing credentials he pushes relentlessly.

Insert foot in mouth and shove.

 

 

16 Responses so far.

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  1. Weirdwriter says:

    My enjoyment of Maher’s humor started to fade years ago after he devoted almost an entire episode of his old TV show to complain about something he seemed to regard as a personal insult — Christian rock ‘n’ roll.

    “Rock ‘n’ roll is about rebellion!” he kept saying peevishly. “What the hell are these bands rebelling against?”

    Even the nonChristian rockers on the show for the occasion seemed a little taken aback. If I remember correctly, one of ’em suggested, “Uh, maybe they’re rebelling against boring church music?”

    But Bill wasn’t having any of it. At which point, I decided I wasn’t having any more of Bill and never looked back. What a relief to see I’m not the only lefty who feels queasiness about the guy,

  2. Khirad says:

    I feel like I’ve been alone in the liberal wilderness on calling bigots like Maher out. What’s worse, is that so-called progressives more often than not just remain silent when someone goes after Muslims. It crushes me to see this.

    I say look! and they avert their eyes, hiding behind their nontheism (i.e. ‘but we don’t like Christians either’) and not seeing it for the ‘otherness’ dimension it takes. They’re no better than the trolls on Iranian threads who see a stoning case as an example to harp on Muslim brutality and completely dodge the issue when I point out the lawyer for that woman, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, is also a Muslim, as was a majority of the Green Movement.

    And Maher is the kind that makes it all acceptable to the left, and I daresay even vogue to rail against such ‘political correctness.’ The way he brushed aside Hooman Majd, an Iranian Muslim scholar, and Ellison, when Islamophobia is brought up had me angry.

    But when he goes on about all those stereotypes, and even doubles down on them when challenged, it’s infuriating. I think next season he needs an intervention.

    My special panel lineup for him: Irshad Manji (whom he tolerates only ’cause she’s lesbian, apparently), Reza Aslan, and Juan Cole. For the guest? Aasif Mandvi. That’d give everyone at Loonwatch and I some viewing pleasure.

    • KQuark says:

      Khirad you could not have said it better but you are not alone mate.

      I get the feeling the left would have just as much problem with a Muslim American candidate as the right would. Even if the man or woman was born in Dearborn MI and lived in America all their lives people would have the nerve to think because they are Muslim they have different values than the rest of us. That’s utter nonsense. Like I argued the other day every individual has an individual American experience based on many factors but they are AMERICAN experiences nonetheless. There simply is not ONE American experience that’s just as preposterous.

      A complaint I have with president Obama is that he does not call out the right to say having Islamic faith is not a bad thing at all enough. I get the fact that he does not want to be misrepresented but he missed a big opportunity to make a speech about religion largely in part focused on Islamic beliefs when he made his famous speech on race.

      Finally I absolutely cringe when people on the left mocking the right by jokingly call Obama a “Muslim Socialist Terrorist”. It’s not funny to group those words together implying a negative connotation to each when only one is really negative.

      I have to put in my disclaimer though. Like every issue that involves bigotry and stereotypes I think the right is much worse but we need to be aware that it’s on both sides of the political spectrum.

      • Khirad says:

        Indeed, I understand how sensitive a position Obama is in, and that’s really sad for me to say that, because it’s bowing down to bigotry, but I do think there are things he could do, like sneaking in such references when talking about race and such. In any case, Muslims last time I checked are still behind him, even though many are disappointed on the Palestinian issue. They see the alternative. And to think that the Republican Party was once a home to them on social issues (and that pattern of immigrants from such countries almost trying too hard to prove how patriotic they are -- don’t know if I’m the only one to notice that). Well, I’m happy to have them, as it fits our inclusive vision of America. I expect this from the Right, it is wholly consistent with the Nativism they’ve been drifting towards more and more. While I would agree there is no equivalency, it just upsets me as it is wholly inconsistent with those whom claim to be the tolerant ones.

        • A huge part of the problem with anti-Muslim sentiment in the US is ignorance. People who know little or nothing at all about Islam and the Koran spout their bile as if they were experts on Islam.
          I myself, don’t know much about it, but then I don’t go round spouting anti-Muslim statements and hatred. I see all religions as different pathways to the same end.
          I have a problem with atheistic activism. I see such people as being no different than evangelicals who feel they have to convert everybody to Christianity and make believers out of non-believers.
          Issues of faith should be personal and not worn on the sleeve. Where orthodoxy is concerned, fine. I have no real problem with churches, temples and mosques. People seek them out and that’s their choosing, even though I am about as unorthodox as one can be. But I don’t try to win over people to my personal beliefs or non-beliefs.

    • choicelady says:

      No, Khirad -- you were LONELY, but not alone. I called out Mike Malloy -- wrote him a letter saying how WRONG he was on Islamic matters -- and he read it on the air. He apologized, too.

      That, may I add, would NEVER happen with Maher.

      The other person I despise with a capital D is Kathy Griffin who is ALSO a major Islamophobe, tells WRONG information and gets laughs with it, all at the expense of both the religion and usually Muslim women. She is vile and disgusting and again, incapable of being wrong.

      Bad judgement is bad judgement, and whether Left or Right, people who profit themselves from promoting disrespect don’t deserve any back.

      • Khirad says:

        I must say my view of Mike Malloy just improved, and while more ambivalent about Kathy Griffin, I was not aware of this dimension.

        Maher as the worst kind of militant atheist, of course, will never temper this view.

        It’s a fine line. The Muslim World does need a lot of of self-reflection, and Muslim guests will freely admit this, but to go on to marginalize and mock those as so-called “moderates” or “special cases” is self-defeating and damaging.

        He could be part of the solution by giving them such a voice and platform, but he always shuts them down immediately…

        • choicelady says:

          My single biggest issue with Maher is why ANYONE gives him room to spout off. What is it about America that leads us to think actors, comics, and people with NO “street cred” on politics actually know anything worth hearing? Remember when for a blessedly short time Charles Grodin -- a second-rate actor -- had his own political talk show? He was SO stupid. Just cranky, and always with no substance.

          And now Michael Moore wants Matt Damon to run against Obama in the primaries? WTF???? Just because someone plays a tough guy (Chuck Norris anyone?) it does not qualify them to lead a nation. His charitable work -- all for things overseas -- is admirable, but so is Angeline Jolie’s. Should she be Veep?

          GROW UP AMERICA! Bill Maher has his head wedged, and he has nothing to offer us. Period. Especially his views about Muslims. Well OK -- or anything else. He’s a bigot and unintelligent. Get over this infatuation with mediocrity.

  3. ADONAI says:

    Yep. He’s still a douche.

  4. BlueStateMan says:

    Thank you!

    It is so nice to see that I’m not alone in my amazement that this 3rd rate ‘standup’ (on his best day) has garnered not only credibility.. but actual gravitas amongst progressives.

    His show is only as good as its guest lineup.. the rest is pure prattle. Maher himself is dwarfed by most of his panels.

    He’s the luckiest schmuck in showbiz… having made a stupid remark and getting fired from ABC.

    He is an ignorant, arrogant hypocrite and spews all kinds of garbage about subjects he knows nothing about from history to medical science… and he has the audacity to compare himself to the likes of Lenny Bruce or George Carlin.

    He’s more in the realm of “Carrot Top”….. and that is on his better days.

    • choicelady says:

      Insult to Carrot Top.

    • Maher is not nearly as “smart” or “hip” as he thinks himself to be. Ellison made a fool of him in that video. And as far as Afro-Americans are concerned, Bill thinks he knows them really well, but usually mimics the worst, stereo-typical aspects of black culture. And he does it for money. It’s part of his self appointed profession.

      • KQuark says:

        Comedians are not suppose to be smug it’s terrible form. At heart he’s not really a comedian but a mean spirited troll for lack of better words. Look I’m from NJ the snark capital of the world like he is so I actually get his comedy style more than most. But I learned living down South for 18 years that snark is the lowest form of comedy. Methinks he needs some humility lessons that I had to go through.

        Like many on the right wing Mayer actually has the nerve to tell people how to live their lives. If you don’t eat organic, smoke a bunch of weed, or if you take prescription drugs that you actually need to live or go to church Mayer simply looks down on you.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      George Carlin was the Master! Bill can’t hold a candle to him!

    • In Maher’s wildest dream, he couldn’t come close to matching Carlin’s wit and delivery. Not even close.


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