Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Need for Our Side to Do What Elizabeth Hasselbeck Did

Yesterday, I blogged about an incident, which occurred on yesterday's edition of The View.

To recap, several months ago, during the Egyptian uprising, Bill Maher made a pretty crass joke about swapping Lara Logan for Elizabeth Hasselbeck regarding coverage Logan was providing from the uprising. This happened a week before Logan, herself, was assaulted whilst in the line of professional duty. True, Maher's joke was quipped an entire week before this unfortunate incident, and he had no way of knowing what would transpire - just like President Obama had no way of knowing about the BP disaster when it happened one week after he agreed to allow limited offshore drilling in the Gulf area. (Still, Bill did that, himself; but then, it's mete for the corporate entertainment/punditocracy of the Left to blame the President for events happening before the fact).

However, Maher's joke was tasteless in that it treated both women mentioned, Logan and Hasselbeck, as objects rather than as professionals - hot tasty morsals of sexual meat, the very least to be enjoyed by the average male as eye candy.

You can watch the entire encounter here.

I took a lot of flack from various sources yesterday because I remarked that Hasselbeck totally "had" Bill from her initial reaction to his presence, through her consistent attitude throughout the interview, which - in effect - totally railroaded the segment and which actually prevented Maher from touting his latest book, which was the reason behind his appearance anyway. The most common complaint was, paraphrased, that Hasselbeck sounded like a petulant schoolgirl.

She did. And Maher sounded like the smartass in the back of the classroom, who's just been put in his place by a favourite teacher.

The point was this: Maher made a joke about Hasselbeck, sometime ago, which obviously offended her, personally; and, rather than play the luvvie showbiz game of ignoring it as something pithy and ineffectual, she chose her moment and confronted him, from the very beginning. If Maher had acknowledged the offence and had apologised, the subject would have been dropped. He didn't, and it turned into an uncomfortable game of chicken, in which she attacked everything he said, equaling his snark level, and with not a few snide asides about the great intellectual Bill presents himself as being.

Maybe it wasn't very professional, and maybe it was childlike, made even moreso by Hasselbeck's voice and general appearance, but when someone like Maher purports to straddle the defining line between comedy and political punditry, he has to be made to acknowledge inappropriate remarks and to take responsibility for him.

Yesterday, Michael Moore lit Twitter fires by promulgating the lie that President Obama authorised the police in various cities to start dismantling the Occupy movement's camps. Moore's voice is, like Maher's, a strident one amongst the so-called Progressive community. So abhorrent has Moore's tissue of Presidential lies been lately, that one prominent PragProg blogger was moved to long for a liberal voice with courage enough to call Moore on his bullshit whilst in his presence - which is what has happened to Maher twice this autumn on his very own discussion panel - once by Governor Jennifer Granholme for the myths Maher sought to propagate about the President's policies and leadership ability and once (in the presence of Maher) when Jane Harmon handed him his ass for his misogyny.

There are considerably more people than I who recognise the myths, half-truths, incorrections and deliberate lies being passed about this President by the Professional Left; but we're plebs. We really are the 99 per cent, because every time one of us tries to correct the misapprehensions being propagated by the high profiled professional Progressive cognoscenti who interact on social networking sites, first we're rudely dismissed and then we're blocked in favour of the syncophants who choose to suck their collective egos for comfort.

Earlier this autumn, Bill Maher sat on his panel and actually said the President lied about closing Gitmo, when he patently knew better and knew why, even after an Executive Order had been signed, it was effectively rendered obsolete. It was an open and obvious lie, and no one on that panel refuted it - or even refudiated it.

The old song says "you say it best when you say nothing at all," and this was never more rendered true than on yesterday's edition of The View, and this is what made the segment all the more uncomfortable.

Of course, we expect someone like Elizabeth Hasselbeck to challenge a liberal. She's a Republican, after all, and a vociferous one. Her policies, her beliefs and even her values may differ; but yesterday, she challenged Bill Maher, mostly, about a joke that was not only sexist, it was misogynistic.

She challenged him in front of a panel of four other women.

Let me reiterate: A Republican woman challenged an man who refers to himself as a Progressive (although that's debatable) for an offensive sexist and misogynistic joke he made about her, personally, and another woman professionally. The other four women on the panel are known liberals, one of whom actually being a charter member of Tom Wolfe's radical chic who gathered around Leonard Bernstein's living room to listen to the wisdom of the original Black Panthers.

Not one of these women backed Hasselbeck. Instead, Joy Behar parrotted Bill's standard excuse about comedians tell jokes that are sometimes offensive, but are never meant seriously.

Really, Joy? Tell me, how would you react to a fellow comedian, any comedian, liberal or conservative, calling you a "cunt" as part of his routine.

"That Joy Behar ... tee-heehee-haha ... you know, she's such a cunt. There's no other word for her."

I would be willing to bet that Joy would either knock that comedian six ways 'til Sunday the next time he appeared on her show, or either refuse to share the stage with him and stalk off.

Barbara Walters responded patronisingly to Hasselbeck, reminding her that she, Walters, had had to suffer years of being addressed as "Baba Wawa" after the late Gilda Radner's satirical take on Walters as an interviewer. I am sorry, but having to live with a comedian's gentle impersonation of a media star's manner is nothing compared to Maher's misogynistic and cruel joke about Hasselbeck and Lara Logan.

And Whoopi said nothing, which was disappointing, because the discussion veered onto the subject of the GOP debates, and I thought Whoopi would be quick to question Bill's dodgy "ape" remarks in relation to his thoughts about Herman Cain's candidacy, and considering her brilliant takedown of Ann Coulter in light of Coulter's remarks about "our blacks" and "their blacks."

Instead, Whoopi said nothing, but that's not surprising either, because Whoopi defended Michael Vick, and Whoopi dismissed Roman Polanski's rape of a 13 year-old girl as not really "rape rape."

And then, this same panel, Hasselbeck included, hosted Moore two months ago, when he made blatantly racist remark about the President, which was actually a direct quote from one Bill Maher, and said nothing. Further, none of them thought to question the fact that Moore had chosen to contribute $25,000 to Julian Assange's appeal fund, to ensure that he wasn't extradited to Sweden after having been accused of two rapes, and, specifically, none of these women queried Moore's insensitive remarks about the rape allegations being "hooey."

We love to deride Fox News for the smear job of liberal politics and politicians which it does and presents as the truth. We abhor the work of Andrew Breitbart, but with almost as much misbegotten and deliberately false information, as well as racist and misogynistic remarks being made by high profiled media pundits who pass themselves off on the unsuspecting and non-critically thinking public as "Progressives," aren't we just as guilty?

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