Bill Maher’s Selective Outrage Over Outrage

March 22, 2012 / 10:35 am • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

Bill Maher, liberal, pretend libertarian and over all, failed comic, decides, finally, that the outrage over, well, everything, has finally all become too much. From his editorial in today’s New York Times:

When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others. Who can keep up?

This week, President Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, described Mitt Romney’s constant advertising barrage in Illinois as a “Mittzkrieg,” and instantly the Republican Jewish Coalition was outraged and called out Mr. Axelrod’s “Holocaust and Nazi imagery” as “disturbing.” Because the message of “Mittzkrieg” was clear: Kill all the Jews. Then the coalition demanded not only that Mr. Axelrod apologize immediately but also that Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz “publicly rebuke” him. For a pun! For punning against humanity!

The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged the late Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.

If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.

Please stop apologizing, Maher implores.

Here’s how the right’s outrage machine got started Mr. Maher–just for your edification. (I will admit, I worried about this tactic for fear it would stop being ironic and become the New Right’s political correctness.)

See, for years, decades even, the Left’s number one weapon in its arsenal has been outrage over nothing. Let me make a list:

Silent Spring (Environmentalism outrage)
The new Ice Age (Environmentalism outrage)
Sensitivity training (racism, sexism, minority outrage)
Poisoned apples (Environmentalism outrage)
DDT (Environmentalism outrage)
Any kind of cultural joke…ever. (See isms above)

Words, and worse, ideas, started to be censured. Like the prohibitionist knitting circle of yore, leftists have cluck clucked their way into power by being the church ladies aggrieved at every blond joke, straying eye, proper use of word (niggardly!!!), scientific disagreement, and on and on.

In response, the right of center side decided to throw the selective outrage back at them.

There’s a lot of pent up fury. How would you feel about being hectored over every meaningless and stupid aside (MACACA!!!!).

So, conservatives through New Media, are holding the left to their own race-baiting, sexist, offensive-language standards.

Big surprise! The left turns out to be more racist, sexist, degrading, closed-minded, and ugly than the right–something that minorities who have defected from the left know all too well.

And now, when Bill Maher is finally taking some heat for being the sexist jackass that he is, he’s crying foul.

In the years before New Media, everyone just wink-winked and chortled at how edgy and clever and brave Maher was while castigating conservatives who said far less offensive things.

Restricting speech on one side was such a great tool. Everyone hated conservatives and laughed at liberals. And then they realized they were the butt of the joke.

Now, liberals are hated too.

You’re welcome.

Liberals have themselves to thank for this fine politically correct mess.

See, I’m a free speech absolutist. Do I think it’s despicable to make fun of Sarah Palin’s kid and calling him a “retard”? Yes. Do I want to be able to use the word “retard”? Yes.

As in, Bill Maher is a retard.

To have any credibility whatsoever, he should have been decrying the politically correct war on words from the left years ago, but of course, that didn’t serve his political ends.

My concern on the right is that we’re becoming as bad as the left–that is, we’re actually starting to believe the outrage we’re pouring at the left.

My concern is that rather than being outraged at the leftists phony outrage and throwing it back at them, we’re becoming as politically correct and insufferable as them.

As long as Sandra Flukes exist and screech about inequality over nothing, the right has every reason to thrown their hypocrisy back at them.

The minute, though, we buy into political correctness and start being just like the lefty church ladies we loathe, the whole battle has been lost.

Humor, art, science, technology can only thrive where new, outrageous and edgy words and ideas thrive.

Conformity of language is conformity of culture. Stasis.

Free speech. Cherish it.

It would be nice if Bill Maher could have found his outrage at outrage when the leftist outrage machine has survived on outrage fuel. But then, Bill Maher’s not a great mind or comedian. The irony is lost on him.


Bruce of The Conservatory notes what Maher really wants:

In essence, Maher wants to be able to say anything he wants and not have to apologize for it.

I agree.

Please, do so. And don’t apologize. That is fine with me.

But … and you knew there had to be one … that doesn’t mean what you say is consequence free. You still get to pay the price for what you say.

That’s really what Maher wants to see go by the boards, make no mistake about it. He really wants no-penalty “free speech”.

Sorry, no such thing. Never has been, never will be.

Updated again:

Great piece from Dorian Davis: Get a sense of humor.

  • CJ

    Maher really needs to start taking his bipolar meds

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  • Wolfboy87

    As in, this post is retarded

  • Hmmmm.  Were you even alive for most of these?  Liberal “outrage?

    Silent Spring (Environmentalism outrage)

    Carson’s book was a warning trumpet, not a call to arms, but a call to be careful.  Outrage?  Look at the reaction of the chemical companies who conducted a half-million dollar public relations campaign to impugn Carson (that was real money in 1962), look at the bizarre reviews of the book in chemical industry publications and even science journals. 

    It took ten years for the careful science case to be made to ban DDT from agricultural use in the U.S. — slow steps, backed at each point by a lot of scientific observation and study, and finally by application of already-existing laws.

    You’ve got the story wrong just by missing so much of it.

    The new Ice Age (Environmentalism outrage)

    This is a fictitious incident, mostly.  New Ice Age?  If air pollution had not been better controlled, it was a possibility.  Particulates and aerosols dimmed the sun and scattered light, and cooled the planet.  Without controls, they would overwhelm greenhouse gases, whose effects are to warm the planet.  But the big danger was a nuclear winter, which would have been caused by a massive nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. 

    It wasn’t environmentalist outrage, but the strong desire for peace and nuclear non-proliferation that exhibited itself.  Meanwhile, the drive for clean air — a 100-year project of science and conservationists and public health officials — bore fruit in the Clean Air Act in the U.S., and other similar statutes in other places.  Particulate pollution and aerosols were controlled, leaving greenhouse gases, less visible, as the remaining control task for really clean and healthy air.

    Outrage?  Nutcases on the right have been outraged at that successful effort to clean the air so much that they have killed every attempt to control greenhouse gases since 1972. 

    Again, the facts tell a different story than your shorthand swipe at environmentalists.

    Sensitivity training (racism, sexism, minority outrage)

    How young are you?  The Civil Rights Movement was a triumph of calm, peaceful action, over outrage from the racists.  It was Martin Luther King, Jr., who demonstrated the value of non-violent protest; it was Bull Connor who put the dogs on the church ladies out of outrage, in retaliation.

    You’ve got almost every incident in the civil rights movement exactly backwards.

    That’s rather outrageous by itself — but I note your home is not being picketed.  Where is the outrage, really?

    Poisoned apples (Environmentalism outrage)

    DDT (Environmentalism outrage)

    You mean Alar? 

    The Alar story is a story of lack of outrage, mostly.  For several years, various people in public health and environmental safety tried to get some action to limit the use of Alar.  They finally gave up.

    PR Watch noted the history in 1997 (16 years ago, if my Alar- and DDT-scarred memory works, still):

    Alar was a chemical, first marketed in 1968, that growers
    sprayed on trees to make their apples ripen longer before
    falling off. In use, however, Alar breaks down to a byproduct called
    “unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine” or UDMH.

    first study showing that UDMH can cause cancer was published
    in 1973. Further studies published in 1977 and 1978 confirmed
    that Alar and UDMH caused tumors in laboratory animals.
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened an
    investigation of Alar’s hazards in 1980, but shelved the investigation
    after a closed meeting with Alar’s manufacturer. In 1984, EPA
    re-opened its investigation, concluding in 1985 that both Alar
    and UDMH were “probable human carcinogens,” capable of causing
    as many as 100 cancers per million people exposed to it in
    their diet for a lifetime — in other words, 100 times the human
    health hazard considered “acceptable” by EPA standards.

    Under pressure from the manufacturer, however, EPA allowed
    Alar to stay on the market. Its use continued, even after tests
    by the National Food Processors Association and Gerber Baby Foods
    repeatedly detected Alar in samples of apple sauce and apple juice,
    including formulations for infants.

    states of Massachusetts and New York had banned the chemical,
    and the American Academy of Pediatrics was urging a similar ban
    at the federal level.

    estimates based on the best available information at this time
    raise serious concern about the safety of continued, long-term
    exposure,” stated an EPA letter to apple growers which
    estimated that 50 out of every million adults would get cancer from
    long-term exposure to Alar and that the danger to children was
    even greater. Aside from these urgings, however, federal
    agencies continued to avoid regulatory action.

    (see )

    Then, in February 1989, CBS’s 60 Minutes reported the story.  While hearings in Congress got no significant press in the previous five years, suddenly people were interested (I think there was some cross-pollination with an apple juice contamination scandal, but I’d have to check calendars to verify that).

    1963 to 1989 — you’re confusing justice, at last, with outrage.

    Any kind of cultural joke…ever. (See isms above)

    Did you hear the one about the GOP candidate for [pick one or more: governor, House of Representatives, Senate, President] who told the rape joke?

    Why can’t George Allen offer a racist name for a dark-skinned employee of his opponent, and not face outrage?  Is this really a mystery to you?

    Perhaps in each case you’ve confused justice with outrage.  Perhaps you’d prefer mercy, but then someone would be outraged you didn’t get justice.

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