Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mark Steyn Makes a Point to Consider

I am neither a fan of Bill Maher, and I'm certainly not a fan of Canadian conservative commentator, Mark Steyn, who's sitting in this week for Sean Hannity.

In case you weren't aware, Bill Maher, who's beginning a tenth season of Real Time in January, chose to remind his sheeple (and the rest of us) that he was still "relevant" by tweeting this on Christmas Eve:-

Wow, Jesus just fucked #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them’

This, of course, caused outrage - well, at least it did on Fox News.

I'm of the opinion that Fox and Bill Maher feed each other's fantasies. Maher appears regularly on Bill O'Reilly's show - being a close friend, he would. He constantly quips jokes and snide remarks about Fox on his program. And various other commentators pretend to be outraged whenever he says something which he knows will deliberately outrage the Right, specifically, the religious Right. Knowing what a starfucker and publicity-seeker Maher is and what a corporate hack the likes of Hannity and most of his ilk at Fox are, they're probably grateful for the inadvertant publicity they provide each other.

Come to think of it, I'm no great fan of Tim Tebow or, indeed, of anyone who espouses ostentatious shows of religion. Strip away the fanfare, and you've probably got a raging hypocrite behind the finery.

But Fox pundit Andy Levy offered an entirely different reaction to Maher's allegedly offensive tweet when he guested on a Hannity panel, moderated by Steyn.

“Bill Maher tweeted this for one reason and one reason only: to get a rise out of people. Why give him the satisfaction?” Levy argued, suggesting that “people need to stop being outraged at what comedians say” because “part of their job is to say things that are outrageous.” “He’s not a politician, he’s not running for office, he’s got a show on HBO and he’s a comedian– who cares?” he concluded.

This is very true, but Steyn's riposte was more prescient.

Steyn agreed, except to add that, in a world of “politically correct comedy,” comedians have their feet held to the fire for far less outrageous offenses ... noted as well that there were comedians like Maher and, to some extent, Jon Stewart, who also wanted political influence, and when they demand to be taken seriously, they should be held to a different standard.

This is actually a very valid point, because Bill Maher does want to be taken seriously. If you watch his program, the only comic elements are his monologue at the beginning and the New Rules section at the end. The opening interview and the panel discussion are a direct aping of shows like Meet the Press. There's no satire there. The discussion is deadly serious. Maher wants to be a pundit. He's the only comedian/satirist/whatever who appears regularly on political opinion shows with the likes of Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, John King or his BFF Billo on Fox. Stewart's appearances on those shows are rare, limited only to programs fronted by personal friends such as Brian Williams, Chris Wallace or - again - Billo. But Maher is everywhere, and his fans are legion.

When he's not subtly encouraging Progressives not to vote, he's regularly impugning and undermining the President, he's maligning him as "wimpy and wussy" on such serious discussion shows as that fronted by Fareed Zakaria.

The standard meme he's been pushing this past year is to imply that by the end of Barack Obama's four years in Office, we've seen no real Democratic policies, and this is one abject and open lie.

Maher has a gaggle of followers who are fervent to the point of almost being religious in their devotion. To them, Maher speaks the truth. Point out, with proof, any fallacy in his argument, and they turn a deaf ear or move the goalposts. These people are influenced by him, by his words and by his critiques; and his criticism of the President has devolved into open race-baiting.

Who, after hearing a person whom they acknowledge to be of superior intellect and acumen, would even think of voting for the President when such fallacies are promoted as truths?

So, as much as it pains me to do so, I agree with Mark Steyn in this instance. Bill Maher is insinuating his way into political discourse, holding the comedians' banner as a shield and a defence for the various times he's actually caught out in a blatant untruth. After all, he can say, he's only a comedian.

But he's not, and as someone who willfully disseminates the truth and imparts deliberate misinformation and lies to misguided and trusting fanatics, he's got to be held to a higher standard - as he holds this President; and, thus, he deserves to have his lies exposed - hopefully, to his face and publically.

The irony of all this is that Bill is constantly holding up Canada and Canadians to his masses of fans as superior to the America he derides as stupid, and Mark Steyn is Canadian.

I guess Bill is right about Canadians, at least.

1 comment:

  1. Don't know how you can not like Mark Steyn.