Tag Archives: Bill Maher

Bill Maher is a not-too-funny comic, not a member of the media

I posited a notion in an earlier blog post today that Donald Trump’s assertion that the media are trying to destroy the economy is a typically absurd effort to avoid taking any responsibility for the economic woe his own policies might bring to American.

Then a post from a couple of days ago came to my attention. It’s of Bill Maher saying he wishes the economy tanks so that Donald Trump is denied re-election next year.

Is there a parallel here? I don’t see it.

Maher is a comic and sometime-political commentator who’s got a talk show that I never watch, although I’ve heard Maher’s shtick over the years. I don’t think he’s very funny. His “comedy” occasionally crosses a line or two of good taste and decorum.

I am perplexed enough to ask: Is this guy a member of the media? I suppose one could suggest so, given that he at times appears on left-leaning cable commentary shows to offer his world view on this or that issue. However, his media role is at best something that occurs on its fringe.

If you’re interested, you can see how The Hill reported Maher’s rantings here.

I’ll stand by my earlier post that the president is wrong to blame the media for conspiring to tank the economy. He is trying to divert attention from his policies that threaten to undermine the “greatest economy” in human history.

Plus, the media are for-profit businesses that would suffer mightily with the loss of ad revenue if the economy heads straight into the crapper.

Do the media intend to cut their own throats by seeking to destroy the only thing that Donald Trump could say has earned him a second term in office? I don’t believe so.

Knock off the vulgarity, talking heads


I’ll give Fox News credit for exhibiting a low tolerance for what poured out of the mouths of two of its contributors.

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and Stacey Dash decided to get downright filthy when referring to President Obama. I won’t repeat what they said here, but let’s just say that Peters’s comment included a profane reference to a certain private body part, while Dash referred to fecal matter when describing what the president thinks about the war on terrorism.

Fox suspended both of them.

This is important to note for a simple reason. Other notable Americans have used hideous language when discussing public figures and politicians. Yet no sanctions were leveled against them.

The most notable example involves comedian Bill Maher, who fancies himself as a political commentator, who once used an equally disgusting term to describe former Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. He’s still on the air, to the lasting shame of the network — HBO — that carries his show.

The political debate is overheated enough already. The tone has been set by at least one of the Republicans running for the presidency.

As for the comments of the likes of Dash and Peters, well, suffice to say that their employer — the Fox News Channel — is known as a magnet for conservative television news viewers. Perhaps their vile commentary comports with the views held — if not expressed — by many of those viewers.

The issues are serious and they deserve equally serious analysis. Dropping vulgar bombs on the air only distracts us from the importance of the matters under discussion.

I’m just glad to see that the network has established that such language isn’t appropriate when referencing candidates for the presidency, let alone the man who’s already holding the most important office in the land.

A once-respected comedian — Bill Cosby — once decried fellow comedians’ use of filthy language. He would say that those comics who resort to f-bombs and other profane terms do so because they don’t have anything clever or interesting to say.

The same can be said for political commentary.


Reason prevails at Berkeley

Reason, common sense and an understanding of mission is rearing its head at the University of California-Berkeley.

University administrators are declaring that liberal comedian/pundit Bill Maher will be allowed to speak at a campus event despite protests from students who are angered by his recent comments about Islam.


Students have circulated petitions seeking to rescind Maher’s invitation to speak at Cal-Berkeley over comments he made that said, essentially, that Islam fosters terrorist acts.

The effort to pull back the invitation is silly on its face and is offensive at many levels.

Maher’s freedom of expression is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. His comments, while controversial and (to some folks) offensive, do not rise to the level of something that should be censored. Finally, universities should be a place where all ideas are heard, discussed and debated.

Finally, Cal-Berkeley is known around the world as a sort of Ground Zero of progressive thought. By definition, progressives should be open to all points of view. Let’s not take some namby-pamby view that allows thoughts that don’t rile us up, get our hearts started, cause us to hyperventilate.

Cal-Berkeley issued this statement: “UC Berkeley administration cannot and will not accept this decision, which appears to have been based solely on Mr. Maher’s opinions and beliefs, which he conveyed through constitutionally protected speech.”

So, let the man speak. Those who don’t want to hear him are free to do something else … like study.


Silencing speech at a university

Here we go again.

University students and more than likely some faculty are up in arms because someone made comments that offended them. So now they want to ban that famous someone from speaking at their campus.

Sounds familiar, right?


The target this time is a noted liberal comedian/political pundit, Bill Maher, who recently said some things about Islam that have riled a few thousand students at the University of California-Berkeley. They are circulating petitions to get the school to rescind its invitation to Maher.

For the record, I don’t think much of Maher either as a comedian or a political commentator. He’s not particularly funny, nor is he particularly insightful — in my view.

Whatever I might think of someone, though, has nothing to do with the notion of allowing him or her to speak.

Universities are supposed to be breeding grounds for diversity of thought, opinion and perspective. Yet many of them have shown remarkable intolerance of ideas with which they disagree. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for example, has been disinvited by university faculty and students because of his conservative judicial philosophy, which they contend just isn’t welcome in their midst. Now it’s a liberal, Maher, who’s drawing the scorn.

It is patently wrong to deny noted individuals, regardless of philosophy, the opportunity to share their views at places of learning. Isn’t the very definition of “learning” intended to expose minds to a wide range of perspective?

Let the comedian speak his mind. Those who don’t want to hear it don’t need to attend. Those who do want to lend an ear, then do so, listen and then talk among yourselves about the merits of what the guy has to say.

Isn’t that what higher education is supposed to foster?



Affleck vs. Maher on Islam

Almost never do I take anything that Bill Maher says seriously.

He’s a comedian who, for my taste, isn’t all that funny. He’s morphing into some sort of political commentator of late. Now he’s taking on Islam, calling it a “Mafia-like” organization.

OK. So we’ve heard from him on that.

Enter another entertainer. Ben Affleck, an actor of some acclaim, has challenged Maher’s assertion that Islam is what he says it is. I don’t usually listen to actors’ views on politics and religion, either.

However …

In this case, Affleck makes the more salient point.


Affleck took part in a testy exchange on “Real Time” in which he tried to take down Maher’s assertion about Islam. Affleck criticized Maher’s “gross” and “racist” portrayal of Islam. He said Islam should not be judged based on the conduct of sociopathic murderers, such as the Islamic State — which has hijacked the Islamic name, for crying out loud, while committing utterly unspeakable acts of barbarism. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof sided with Affleck, contending that Maher’s description of Islam and Muslims is “incomplete.”

Maher used terms like “vast numbers of Muslims” wanting non-believers of their religion to die. Vast numbers? How many is that? And what percentage do those numbers comprise among the 1.5 billion or so practicing Muslims around the world?

I simply am not going to condemn a religion on the basis of what crazed fanatics do in that religion’s name.

Nor should a second-rate comedian such as Bill Maher.