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Let's try this again, shall we?  Yesterday's diary seemed to get overrun by moral scolds who, because they don't like Maher's position on one topic or two, decide to categorically reject everything he has to say.  Nice.  If you don't agree with someone 100%, then you can ignore them.  You must be fun at parties.  Living up to their own standard, I'm thusly ignoring them.  :-)


Anyway, getting to the substance, Bill Maher had another excellent New Rule last Friday, blasting the sensationalist media coverage over the Secret Service prostitution scandal, and its coverage of sex scandals in general when it comes to politicians.

The only politics we understand is scandal, and the only scandal we understand is sex.  Look at the primaries.  Newt Gingrich, over his long career, has committed every crime in Dante's Inferno except grave robbing, and that's just because shoveling is work.  But why is he ineligible for high office?  Adultery.

Or take Herman Cain, the lovable huckster who said things like, "No bill in Congress should be more than three pages long."  Every time he opened his mouth, something frighteningly stupid, factually inaccurate, or mathematically impossible would fall out.  And the media just stood around and said, "Hey wow, he's the frontrunner!"  But as soon as a woman came forward with some dirt, say hello to Woodward and Bernstein.

....

John Edwards' favorability rating is 3%, the worst ever recorded.  Is he really the worst person in the world ever?  The crime he's accused of is a campaign finance violation.  But thanks to the Supreme Court, last week Mitt Romney's super PAC was able to get a $10 million dollar anonymous donation.  For all we know, it came from Vladimir Putin, or Mel Gibson, or Kim Dotcom.  The Supreme Court did a lot more to corrupt campaign finance than John Edwards.  (wild audience applause)

Video and full transcript below the fold.


And finally, New Rule: If the media is going to cover all the sordid details of the Secret Service prostitution scandal for yet another week, it has to start its stories with "Dear Penthouse, I never thought this would happen to me...."

Now as you may know, the reason President Obama had made that trip to Colombia was to discuss hemispheric security with Mexico, where a narco civil war has killed over 50,000... oh, who the fuck am I kidding, a secret agent had sexy time with a lady!!  And I'll bet she had boobies too!  And you know who else is from Colombia?  The Modern Lady Family!  And this has been the CBS Evening News.  I mean, the Modern Family lady.

Oh yes, it's easy to make fun of the media, and there's a good reason for that.  They suck.  I watched the three network news broadcasts Monday night, this is what they covered.  First, the weather, which isn't news, and can be better handled by the local news team, which gives you an idea of how deep that is.  After the weather, the heirs to Kronkite and Murrow reported about a Japanese kid who lost his soccer ball in the tsunami, and now it washed up over here!  Then they did a story about World Peace.  Not the issue, the basketball player.  And then, I shit you not, a story about how highway traffic in California was delayed because a family of ducks was trying to cross the road.  You stay classy, San Diego.

But of course, all these stories took a backseat to the Secret Service scandal, which pretends to be about something important like the President's security, but really, it's just an excuse to show this picture and call it breaking news.

It's like Telemundo for people who speak English.

The only politics we understand is scandal, and the only scandal we understand is sex.  Look at the primaries.  Newt Gingrich, over his long career, has committed every crime in Dante's Inferno except grave robbing, and that's just because shoveling is work.  But why is he ineligible for high office?  Adultery.

Or take Herman Cain, the lovable huckster who said things like, "No bill in Congress should be more than three pages long."  Every time he opened his mouth, something frighteningly stupid, factually inaccurate, or mathematically impossible would fall out.  And the media just stood around and said, "Hey wow, he's the frontrunner!"  But as soon as a woman came forward with some dirt, say hello to Woodward and Bernstein.

Or take the John Edwards trial.  Please.  That story is so big this week, TIME magazine didn't even put Jesus on the cover.  Oh yes, stories like that bring out the "People have a right to know!" fervor in our intrepid reporters.  In fact, they dug so deep into Edwards' scandal, we actually learned that he went down on his mistress when she was pregnant.  He didn't want to, but she convinced him her vagina had a mirror in it.

Now John Edwards....  John Edwards' favor....  (audience and panelists cracking up)  A mirror in it!

S.E. CUPP: I can't un-see that!

I know, I'm sorry.  John Edwards' favorability rating is 3%, the worst ever recorded.  Is he really the worst person in the world ever?  The crime he's accused of is a campaign finance violation.  But thanks to the Supreme Court, last week Mitt Romney's super PAC was able to get a $10 million dollar anonymous donation.  For all we know, it came from Vladimir Putin, or Mel Gibson, or Kim Dotcom.  The Supreme Court did a lot more to corrupt campaign finance than John Edwards.  (wild audience applause)

Why do we punish sex so much more than everything else?  Clinton lied about a blowjob, and got impeached.  Bush lied about a war, didn't.  (audience applause)  I can't help but think that if an alien landed in America tomorrow, the first thing he would say would be... well, the first thing he would say would be, "Hey, Mitt Romney, great to see you again!  How's that human exoskeleton holding up?"  But after that, the alien would say, "Is there no end to your childish fixation with pee-pees and wee-wees?"

Even Rick Santorum was fascinating to us because of sex, albeit in reverse, that someone could be that sexually repressed.  Because I must admit, I never worried Rick would have an affair, I worried he'd dress up as his mother and kill women in a motel.

Oh, now that Romney is effectively the nominee (sorry Ron Paul fans), Bill Maher also had a tribute to all the failed Republican candidates.



I hope you guys understand I do these transcripts of Bill Maher, and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, is because I feel these segments need to go out to a wider audience.  It's because they raise an important issue, or they frame a topical issue in such a way that cuts through all the right-wing bullshit.  Sometimes, the only way to reach someone who's been brainwashed by Fox News is through humor.  Like Al Gore said in The Assault on Reason, in medieval times, the only person who could tell the truth was the court jester.  This has been a staple of human society throughout history.  Why would you think things are different in the 21st century?  We're more technologically advanced, but we're still human.

And no, these clips won't work on a lot of right-wingers or those who just don't give a shit about politics; they're too far gone.  But it will work on a certain number of them.  There are still rational people out there who have simply not thought too much about the issues, and have been swayed by the right-wing's simplistic line of thinking.  It starts by them seeing the clip, and then admitting, usually reluctantly, that the comedian has a point.  OK, that's your "in".  Use it as a starting point to show them how the wool's been pulled over their eyes systematically.  Some, but not all, of them will start to wake up.

We need to do this as much as possible before November.  We're about to face an onslaught of super PAC money we have never before seen in American history.  We got a taste of it in 2010, and someone as pure as Russ Feingold could get booted out of his seat as a result of their relentless attacks on him.

And if only people who have cable get to see it, that won't help.


So if you don't like Bill Maher for one reason or another (and yes, I have my disagreements with him as well), or Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert for whatever reason, write your own damn diary complaining about it.  But when they take on a certain issue, and frame it so brilliantly that all Democrats should be talking about it that exact same way, all your complaining does is distract from the issue at hand, which then benefits the GOP.  Stop enabling them, please.

And frankly, with all the work it takes me to carefully transcribe what they said, I don't have the time to deal with getting into petty arguments and whines over each time they don't toe the progressive line.  It's not their job to push progressivism; they're comedians.  That's not their job; it's yours.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA and Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Another guy that a lot of people around here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ilovecheese, palantir, BruinKid

    don't like (Mike Malloy) read a terrific e-mail about the grandstanding of both Republicans AND Democrats over the GSA scandal. I the content applies almost equally to the Secret Service scandal.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 05:08:09 AM PDT

  •  the problem is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    ....Maher promotes the anti-vaccine autism CT, which is if anything MORE pernicious than 9/11 CT.  

    This is not "moral scold" stuff, this is about scientific facts and anti-scientific CT that kills people dead.  

    There is presently an outbreak of whooping cough in the Pacific Northwest (Washington/Oregon) to the tune of 1000 cases.

    Dammit, that kills children, and it's the DIRECT result of anti-vaccine CTers promoting their foul deadly bullshit.  

    You can thank the anti-vaxers for the whooping cough, and thank them for the measles, which has also been making a come-back.  

    Anti-vaxers are also shipping chicken pox contaminated material including used lolly pops and even infected spit through the mail to each other, so they can infect their kids and give them "natural immunity."  Know what that is?  That's a fucking federal felony, shipping infectious biohazards through the United States Mail.  

    When Maher admits the error of his ways about this, I'll take him seriously.  Until then, hell no, same as if he was a climate denialist.

    And if he has something useful to say, make use of the memes, put the ideas in our own words, and don't give him credit for it.  

    The fact that someone famous says something that a lot of us working-class hero nobodies have been saying for years, doesn't make it any more true than when one of us said it.  And frankly we need to start giving credit where credit is really due on that point.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 06:01:01 AM PDT

  •  Another thing he said that got overlooked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruinKid

    is people saying Romney donates to 'charity', Maher pointed out he does not donate to charity, he donates to Mormons. 'When have you ever seen a poor Mormon'?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 06:24:28 AM PDT

  •  Tipped, rec'd, and shared on Facebook (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruinKid

    Oh, how heartily I agree!  I'm just about to ban the morning news shows in our house and I may either ban the evening nudes--oh, sorry, evening news--as well.  Or switch to the Beeb or Al Jazeera.

    I am so SICK of sex, sleaze, and scandal!  If I didn't read  aging copies of the The Economist that a friend passes on to me, I wouldn't know anything about anything.  I realize quite plainly that The Ec has a corporatist viewpoint, but at least they do report actual political and economic news about real countries.

    This country is doomed.  Reminds me of another empire 2,000 years ago...something about bread and circuses...

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 06:53:58 AM PDT

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