Bill Maher: Harmless

While I’d be the first to admit I’m not quite Alan Alda, I like to think I’m still a feminist, in a Flintstone sort of way (read conservative).

Yeah, my wife would probably be the first one to tell you, I’m a caveman with heart. At the end of the day, however, I support women’s rights, especially when it comes to them being treated with respect.

On Monday, I wrote an article concerning Bill Maher’s recent attempt to one-up his friend, David Letterman, on the stupid ladder. During his opening monologue on his June 12 “Real Time” show, Maher took his shot at the Palin girls and later went on to state how he believed his pal’s jokes were “harmless.” A claim he continued to echo as recently as yesterday in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN:

BLITZER: “Some of these domestic issues- we’re almost out of time, but a quick question. On David Letterman’s apology to Sarah Palin and her daughters- what do you think?”

MAHER: (Laughs) “I think it’s a real shame. David Letterman should not have had to apologize. You know, I’ve known David Letterman a long time. We’ve all watched him a very long time. He’s a very fundamentally decent Midwesterner. It’s just not in his DNA to have said something that they’re accusing him of saying, and it just bothers me- the way some lie gets into the media- and then, it becomes the truth. Somehow, it became conventional wisdom now that David Letterman made a rape joke about a 14-year-old. I promise you, the 14-year-old was not in their minds. They made a joke about Alex Rodriguez, because he has a certain reputation as a player. Sarah Palin was at Yankee Stadium, where Alex Rodriguez plays. Her family is very fertile – her daughter did get impregnated before she was married. It was an easy and obvious joke to make. It was funny. It was not offensive in any way, and they made it sound like he said something completely different. So he’s apologizing for something he never meant, never thought, and never said. I’ve been through this, Wolf. It stinks.”

Personally, I considered Letterman’s joke as being in poor taste. Maher’s joke, on the other hand, was disgusting and pissed me off. I’m all for free speech and I enjoy a good laugh as much as the next guy; however, these two were over the line. I say, from here on in, the children of politicians should be “off limits” on all sides.

Additionally in my article, I addressed the National Organization for Women coming forward and speaking out on the issue. The fact that NOW had made Letterman a part of their Media Hall of Shame, seemed a good thing. They agreed the joke was ‘ugly’ and went on to state:

Comedians in search of a laugh should really know better than to snicker about men having sex with teenage girls (or young women) less than half their age.

The sexualization of girls and women in the media is reaching new lows these days — it is exploitative and has a negative effect on how all women and girls are perceived and how they view themselves.

Since David Letterman on Monday made a sincere apology to the Palins (which the Governor accepted), the case should now be closed.

So the question for NOW is, what about Bill Maher? If Letterman’s joke was ugly and worth a trip to the Media Hall of Shame, how do you explain Maher getting a pass? If Maher can’t make it into NOW’s Media Hall of Shame for his sexual jokes concerning a 14-year-old kid and a 62-year-old gap tooth comedian, while subsequently stating these types of jokes are “harmless,” then no one can.

I would only ask NOW to be consistent in dealing with those who continue attacking women, especially young women.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a dead horse I need to put to rest.

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Big Hollywood, Sarah Palin, Bill Maher, David Letterman

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