#BillMaher gives a lovely example of the way the Left uses itself as the template for what’s fair

I always love it when Leftist idiocy highlights some sort of life lesson I just imparted to young people.  Today’s life lesson is that fairness should be a reasonably objective standard, rather than one that, as Bill Maher would have it, depends on whether you, personally, are benefiting from the standard imposed.

Back in 2008, all the Marin children with whom I had contact were claiming that they “would vote” for Obama “because he’s black.”  They were taken aback when I said, “That’s racist.”  To them, racism means negative treatment based upon race.  It never occurred to them that racism includes any treatment that sees one so dehumanize a person that the person becomes nothing more than the color of his or her skin.  I suggested that, if they were indeed interested in the election, they should consider Obama’s history, statements, and ideas, rather than his skin color, in determining whether he was fit for office.  I wish the opportunity had arisen (which it did not) to make the same point to their parents.

Yesterday, I again had the opportunity to help a couple of kids understand that things are not always as they seem.  We were talking about good and bad teachers.  Good teachers, obviously, were the ones who communicated well and, even better, made the material seem meaningful and sometimes exciting.  Bad teachers were poor communicators and managed to make every subject boring.

Within these good and bad divisions, though, something interesting cropped up:  One of the hallmarks of the bad teachers was that they treated students differently within the class.  This didn’t just mean picking on some students, which the kids easily classified as “unfair.”  It also included playing favorites, something that the kids didn’t like, but didn’t recognize as equally “unfair.”  To them, “fair” is good treatment, “unfair” is bad treatment.  A teacher who is too good to some students therefore cannot be considered “unfair.”  They were quite taken aback when I suggested to them that any equal treatment is unfair.  Sometimes the lack of fairness can be justified, but it’s still not “fair.”

I thought of this inability to comprehend that it’s just as unfair to treat people too well as it is to treat them too badly when I read about Bill Maher’s defense when Jake Tapper queried him about the truly vile statements he’s routinely made regarding conservative women:

Bill Maher: The bit I did about Palin using the word c—, one of the biggest laughs in my act, I did it all over the country, not one person ever registered disapproval, and believe me, audiences are not afraid to let you know.  Because it was a routine where that word came in at just the right moment. Context is very important, and it’s also important to remember that stand-up comedy is the final frontier of free speech. Still, I stopped doing that routine, but I would like someone to replace that word if it’s so awful with another one that has the same meaning for a person – not just women, it’s a word you can and lots do (all the British, for example) use for both sexes. It has a very specific meaning.

Jake Tapper: And that’s not comparable to what Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke?

Bill Maher:  To compare that to Rush is ridiculous – he went after a civilian about very specific behavior, that was a lie, speaking for a party that has systematically gone after women’s rights all year, on the public airwaves. I used a rude word about a public figure who gives as good as she gets, who’s called people “terrorist” and “unAmerican.” Sarah Barracuda. The First Amendment was specifically designed for citizens to insult politicians. Libel laws were written to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting called whores by Oxycontin addicts.

John Nolte nails down precisely what is wrong with Maher’s self-serving analysis:

Bill Maher is a comedian and commentator. Rush Limbaugh is a commentator. But for some reason, Maher is apparently under the absurd impression that there’s some kind of caveat in the First Amendment that gives him super, secret, double free speech rights over the rest of us.

Well, I’ve read the First Amendment and no such caveat exists.

If there’s a difference between what’s happening to Maher and what’s happening to Limbaugh, it is that Maher is under fire from private citizens and Limbaugh is under fire from a stealth campaign led by the government — specifically, the President of the United States.

Private citizens exercising their free speech rights to protest Bill Maher is the purest form of democracy there is.

The government, however, joining a crusade to silence one of their critics is the very definition of censorship.

(Nolte has much more to say, which you can read here.)

What’s pretty apparent is that, when it comes to fairness, Maher’s understanding of the word is stuck in the middle school years.  For all his sophisticated patina, he’s still a little boy who thinks that his emotional reaction to something determines whether something is fair or not.  If it works in his favor, it’s fair; if it doesn’t, it’s unfair.  Easy-peasy analysis for the small, immature mind, right?

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  • jj

    I keep encountering this idea, that Maher’s a comedian.  Has anyone ever met anyone, or heard of anyone, who ever laughed at something he once said?  Ever?  Anywhere?  I certainly never have.
    And no, I don’t think – even it were somehow true – that the label “comedian” gives him some kind of double-secret free speech right, any more than the label “pin-headed twinkie” gives Carney the right to stand there and spin off lie after lie after lie, either.


    It’s what the LEFT does. It defines the narrative, what’s funny, what’s fair, what’s right/wrong. Dare to disagree or be skeptical and you’ll be forced to join the flat earth society. Why they call themselves “progressive” beats me – repressive is a better fit.

    “To ‘belittle’ is to be little.”
    ~ Unknown    

  • Charles Martel

    Once the spell is broken, the attempts to keep people under it become more and more frantic. There are many like jj (and me) who don’t “get” Maher and have no desire to share in that dubious distinction. The number of people who find him fascinating or funny is declining, not growing, and that’s because the mean spiritedness of the left is becoming too evident to ignore. 
    So what you’re going to see increasingly is a doubling down on vileness as the left attempts to stem the hemorrhaging in the ranks of the deluded. Maher’s solution will be to continue insulting women, Catholics, blue-collar whites, and Republicans. At some point he will probably unveil his anti-Semitism, too. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Destroy the Left, and you won’t have any template to work with.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    And people are refusing to buy Government Motors vehicles. The trick is, the government will make a law that tells you that it is illegal not to purchase a Government Motors vehicle. Just like they did with healthcare.

    And then what? Is it going to matter if people dislike Maher and turn him off? They’ll just make a law that says it would be illegal to do so. Problem fixed.


  • Gringo

    As I don’t have cable, I cannot call to cancel HBO w Bill Maher.
    Bill Maher at one point said that he did 90 minutes of comedy to 3000 people- which he said Rush had never done. Au contraire: in his Rush to Excellence tour, Rush Limbaugh did just that- talking to a live audience for 90 minutes.
    Bill Maher’s attempts to excuse what he did and at the same time to condemn what Rush did is just another example of lib sophistry.
    I am not about to spend big bucks to a Bill Maher performance to shout out my dissatisfaction at him.

  • http://bkivey.wordpress.com/ bkivey

    The Left is self-referential about most of their views; the problem is that most of their views were formed in kindergarten, and they’ve never outgrown them. A good example is the notion of ‘fairness’. Children are taught that ‘fairness’ is defined by equality of results: if there are x number of children, and there are y cookies on a plate, it’s only fair if x = y. This is a useful and necessary first step in what a friend of mine called ‘civilizing savages’, but it’s only the first lesson.

    The next lesson is usually taught when children engage in competition. Whether on the chessboard or the ballfield, the expectation is that competition is a zero-sum game: there will be a winner and a loser. Here ‘fairness’ is presented in a more sophisticated manner: a situation is ‘fair’ if there exists equality of opportunity. This is often a difficult concept for the self-absorbed, immature, mind, but if reinfored by coaches and parents, children can make the transition. It’s part of growing up. I need not belabor the effect the ‘self-esteem’ movement has had on this vital part of the maturation process and the disasterous effect it’s had on society.

    To SADIE,

    ‘Progressives’ call themselves such because they view themselves as ‘progressing’ beyond the established order. It matters not what the relative merits of the established order may be, in the Progressive mind it’s enought that they are seeking to overthrow. It’s nothing more than a temper tantrum, and just as well thought out.


    bkivey Child like behavior, temper tantrums, demanding … all we need is for them to hold their breath and turn a nice shade of blue. 😉

    Oh dear…two-year olds vote. :(