Wow. Ask and ye shall receive, it seems.
Andrew Sullivan, in discussing his reaction to the Limbaugh boycott, referenced a recent tweet from Bill Maher. I apologize for being technically inept, and thus ignorant of how I can insert the same image here. The tweet reads:
Hate to defend #Rush Limbaugh, but he apologized, liberals look bad not accepting. Also hate intimidation by sponsor pullout
Here is my request to Bill Maher — shut your goddamned pie hole. Speaking as one of the more liberal denizens hereabouts, I’d like to loudly proclaim that there is not one single person on the face of this planet with less right to pronounce on this topic than you. You have negative cred on this issue: people who associate with you lose credibility, so you should STFU and wait for someone to change the subject.
If anyone here happens to be ignorant about why it is the very definition of chutzpah for Maher to be offering his opinions (in which case, I hope you’ve been enjoying your cave on Mars), I’ll keep it brief. I’m also just going to write the word he used, because we’re all grown-ups here, and frankly I think it’s a good reminder of what a revolting thing it was to say. I do not mean to offend anyone. Anyhow, in his stand-up act Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a cunt. And he hasn’t apologized.
Before I go any further, I have something of an apology to offer to Tom Van Dyke. In this response to one of his comments, I wrote the following:
And for the record, I didn’t have my place in this community when Maher made his comment about Palin, so I didn’t have a similar platform to criticize it. If I had, you may rest assured that I would have offered blistering criticism of it. I detest Maher and his nauseating smugness, and found his comment loathsome. Happy?
Writing today’s post, I discovered that Maher had made his comment about Palin much more recently than I had thought. It seems he made his disgusting and degrading joke in March of last year. The truth is that I wasn’t even aware of it when it happened, which speaks to a point Tom has been making about the relative lack of outrage vis a vis the Limbaugh fiasco. I consume a lot of political media, and I think it’s fair to say I take my ignorance of the matter as evidence that it didn’t get a whole lot of attention. Further, I think it is legitimate to question the biases of those who let it slide. While I did find criticism of the comment from the left, in particular the National Organization of Women, it didn’t generate the decisive condemnation I think it deserved, and I think Tom is making a fair point by saying so.
Anyhow, I haven’t seen a lot of merit in lambasting Maher for old comments (in terms of political news, March of last year may as well have been the Taft administration), but then he went and gave me an excuse. So here goes — in criticizing Limbaugh, I said that I took his comments as a sign of misogyny. (I stand by that.) And the same goes for Bill Maher — the only people who use terms of sexual degradation against women, any women, are people who think those terms have legitimate use. You have to think they’re somehow okay. They are never, ever okay. It is always unacceptable to call a woman a “cunt,” and it says something incredibly ugly about anyone who would do so. That he smugly thinks he did no wrong only makes it more revolting. Frankly, I suspect he’d like “liberals” to take Limbaugh’s apology because he doesn’t like the scrutiny it’s bringing to his own “joke,” and he’d like the issue to die down before too many more people hear about it.
In the words of one of America’s greatest television stars, Bill Maher can cram it with walnuts. I detest Sarah Palin and everything she stands for in American politics, but she deserves to be treated with the same basic decency and respect as any other woman. If he’s too much of a self-congratulatory asshat to know that, then he should spare all of us any more of his opinions.