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Bill Maher: Please stop apologizing

Let me apologize in advance to comedian Bill Maher for what I am about to say: I don't think Bill Maher is the funniest guy in the world. And I apologize in advance to Bill Maher haters for this: Nonetheless, I do find Bill Maher funny sometimes, although I do not condone his use of the C-word to describe Sarah Palin, although I don't condemn it either because who do I think I am to condemn someone?

I didn't know about Maher's c-wordization of Palin until rightys brought it up as payback after leftys went after Rush Limbaugh for his own recent word choices. Even more recently, Robert DeNiro apologized for what was a relatively harmless joke about whether America was ready for a white first lady, and I would like to give credit to Ann Romney, she who hopes to be the next white first lady, for saying that she got the joke, laughed at it, took no offense and didn't really understand why anyone else did.

Maher took to the op-ed page of the NY Times with a piece headlined "Please Stop Apologizing," which I commend to you. He didn't mention either his or Limbaugh's recent political incorrectnesses, but brought up quite a few more of which I hadn't previously heard (including the offense taken by Jewish Republicans over Obama strategist David Axelrod's use of the term "Mittzkrieg" to describe Romney's habit of bombarding his opponents with negative ads.) Here's a taste from the Maher piece:

"Let’s have an amnesty — from the left and the right — on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront. Let’s make this Sunday the National Day of No Outrage. One day a year when you will not find some tiny thing someone did or said and pretend you can barely continue functioning until they apologize.

If that doesn’t work, what about this: If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.

The answer to whenever another human being annoys you is not 'make them go away forever.' We need to learn to coexist, and it’s actually pretty easy to do. For example, I find Rush Limbaugh obnoxious, but I’ve been able to coexist comfortably with him for 20 years by using this simple method: I never listen to his program. The only time I hear him is when I’m at a stoplight next to a pickup truck."

The full piece is here.

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Comments (6)

I, for one, am happy to know

I, for one, am happy to know who is an ass by what they say. I'm capable of that all by myself. It's the Etch-a-Sketch people who you have to really watch out for.

By the way, these were recent Q&A for the Etch-a-Sketch technical assistance department:

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has a distorted display.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has lines that prevent me from doing my art project.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I keep from losing my Etch-A-Sketch documents in the middle of my work?
A: Stop shaking it.

"Thank you for calling Etch-A-Sketch Support!"


When I was younger and had more hair, I went to the best barber in the town in which I lived. He was very far to the right of me politically, and was a Limbaugh-worshipper, first class. I put up with the show for a while, basically by tuning out, but eventually, the barber asked me about his idol, and I had to admit that, in all honesty, I wasn't a fan.

After that, the barber turned down his radio when it was my turn to get my hair cut. Not off, mind you, and not at my request, really, but in an effort to accommodate a regular customer. In turn, I didn't insist that he turn Limbaugh's broadcast off, but I *did* thank him for turning down the volume. It worked pretty well for several years until I moved away. No apology necessary from either one of us…

When did "conservative" become a dirty word?

And what wrong with Bill using it?


I certainly find it reasonable to tone down the faux outrage. Maher's timing, when he becomes the target, is pretty obviously motivated by self interest. The proof in the pudding will be he comes to the defense of the next conservative who comes under attack in this sense. He certainly hasn't done so in the past.

Ray, the idea of simply understanding that other people believe different things and not making an issue of it is so healthy and reasonable that it feels strange to read about it online.

need more than apology

Public individuals, including commedians, TV/radio show hosts, commentators, politicians, anyone with an audience, have a right to get by using any language they choose, check out the 1st Amendment.
But, using any language they choose in calling other people names is another matter. It is a hate crime. Congress is currently re-debating Violence to Women and Anti-Bully Legislation One thing they cannot legislate, requirement of adults to lead by example.
Any responsible adult must realize, children are the greatest imitators, and when we allow these grown men bullies to call women such offensive words, we condone violence to women, bullying, and hate crimes.

It's not the choice words

The problem isn't that Limbaugh or Maher used bad words, or that DeNiro made a joke. The reason Limbaugh sticks out is he told vicious lies about a woman who couldn't hit back, or at least he thought she couldn't hit back. Maher and DeNiro didn't lie about anyone. Take out the choice of words, and they didn't say anything. Take out Limbaugh's word choices, and he still tried to to destroy Sandra Fluke's reputation by lying about her.