The Last Word

Bill Maher talks with Lawrence O’Donnell about bridging “the partisan divide” amongst other things. It’s a great conversation, as might be expected with these two.

Speaking of partisan divides, Maher’s remarks about the pointless “feud” with Elisabeth Hasselbeck over a joke about her on his show last week provides yet more anecdotal corroboration of a theory we’ve long propounded here concerning the profound disconnect that seemingly exists when it comes to right-wingers and humour.



Filed under Conservatism, Humour, Obama, Republican Party

16 responses to “The Last Word

  1. Rotterdam

    A left wing love interview.

    Maher uses humor to attack the right, much like Ann Coulter uses humour to attack the left. The difference is that Coulter is a lot more effective and funny. Which is why the left wants to “ban her” (Carlton).

    At least Maher won’t be banned at Carlton, his humour too politically correct.

  2. Bill Maher has slipped over the line from slick, liberal political humour that Jon Stewart is now so good at, to shrill partisan harping – a la Dennis Miller.

    Does anyone really care anymore what Bill Maher says about anything?

    At the end of the day, he’s just not that funny any more, and it seems he’s either taking himself too serious, or, imho, he’s so angry over the world not unfolding as he would like, that his commentary has become more sad polemic than witty observation.

  3. Rotterdam: I certainly agree that Coulter is a comedian, but not a particularly funny one imho.

    But hey, I’m always prepared to stand corrected…

    Can you offer up a shining example of her “humour” so we can be the judge of its hilarity?

  4. Rob: Well, I for one, am always interested in what Bill Maher has to say. I don’t always agree with him, but he’s usually a perceptive and amusing observer of politics and contemporary culture.

    His rant the other week comparing the NFL to MLB as way of illustrating the difference between socialism and capitalism was not only a very clever analogy, but had a lot of truth to it.

    As for his comments these days being nothing but “shrill partisan harping” you may perceive them that way, but I don’t think an objective assessment would substantiate your opinion.

  5. Rotterdam

    “If John Kerry had a dollar for every time he bragged about serving in Vietnam — oh wait, he does.”

    “There are a lot of bad republicans; there are no good democrats.”

    “some illegal aliens were held for months after 9/11, so long they had to drop out of flight school.

    Her one on Ted Kennedy is priceless.

    As I said, Maher is “safe” because he is a politically correct liberal. Coulter is verboten by the left at Carleton.
    So much for the free expression of ideas on campus,

  6. Sorry, but almost none of that was even remotely funny. Coulter isn’t amusing – for the most part, her dimestore wit is just mean and spiteful. Perhaps that’s what makes her so appealing to certain people because they have an affinity for those particular characteristics in themselves.

  7. Rotterdam

    Fair enough.
    You feel the same way as Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
    She see’s Maher as mean and spiteful.

  8. Heh. Well, he can be at times, but it’s not really his stock in trade. He’s more into mockery and ridicule than character assassination, which is Coulter’s strong suit.

  9. Rotterdam

    If you are a conservative, Bill Maher will assassinate your character.
    He will link you to Tuscon.

  10. sapphireandsteel

    It seems more like if you’re a conservative you’ll troll comments with stale talking points Rotterdam.

  11. Martin – the NFL discussion was enlightening – not because it was valid, but because it illustrated his diminished perspective on the world around him.

    To suggest that the NFL is an example of how socialism “works” is pretty lame – I mean, the NFL works because it has no competition and can treat its players, more than any other professional sport, as slave labor.

    In other words the NFL is the perfect example of how 19th century capitalism “works”.

    Or.. if you prefer, think of the NFL teams as a collection of other “like minded” businesses, oh, like say, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, et al.. who all banded together to share the investment pie, while, at the same time, technically being in competition together.

    Seems kinda not so much like perfect socialism anymore.

  12. Maher routinely has many conservatives on his program and engages them in friendly discourse, so that kind of undermines your bullshit argument there, ol’ Rotter.

  13. Rotterdam

    He will have a single conservative on.
    Its the ones that are not on that get “assassinated”
    the way Coulter “assassinates”.
    Talking about bullshit arguments.
    Are we allowed to use that word?
    The left blamed Palin for Tuscon because she used the word “cross-hair”.

  14. You can use any word you want. Unlike some of our “conservative” friends, I’m not only a believer in free speech, but actually follow the principle in practice.

    I’m sort of tired of this argument though. Let’s just agree to disagree and move on, okay?

  15. philosoraptor

    It may be that I just don’t ‘get’ the Coulter jokes. Hmmm, maybe if I put them in a context where I *should* find them funny (i.e., translate them to point to the right, rather than the left):

    “If John KerryGeorge Bush had a dollar for every time he bragged about serving in Vietnamcleared brush on his ranch — oh wait, he does.”

    “There are a lot of bad republicansdemocrats; there are no good democratsrepublicans.”

    Nope it didn’t do shit. They’re still profoundly unfunny.

  16. philosoraptor

    If that’s the best of Coulter’s jokes, and the zenith of conservative humour, then I can confidently say that humour is completely dead on the right wing. Further, I wouldn’t be surprised to find anti-intellectualism standing astride the corpse…reloading.

    I think the right gave up any hope of having a meaningful shift in ideological consciousness when they abandoned any intellectual pretense. Humour may seem to be impotent, but a very powerful political message can easily hitch-hike on a well-wrought satirical sendup. With proper and careful delivery, these messages can reach people emotionally through humour where they wouldn’t be allowed to venture with a malicious or accusatory tone.

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