Tag: Bill Maher

The Democrats’ Hermetically Sealed World


I was barely 16, a high school junior growing up in a small conservative farm town in Oklahoma. I was weirdly interested in politics, especially for a teenager. Not long after President Nixon won a massive landslide in the 1972 election over his challenger, US Sen. George McGovern (D-SD), I remembered a quote from Pauline Kael being bandied about in the media. At the time, she was the film critic for the New Yorker. I’ve kept it all these years.

Nixon’s landslide should have surprised no one. McGovern’s campaign was a mess almost from the start of the Democratic National Convention when he gave his acceptance speech so late that almost no one watched it. He was forced to ditch his first running mate, Senate colleague Thomas Eagleton (D-MO), over psychiatric treatment (electric shock) reasons for Kennedy family icon and our nation’s first Peace Corps director, Sargent Shriver. That didn’t help.

Bill Maher: ’10 Years Ago … the Left Did Not Have a Crazy Section’


On a recent episode of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s podcast, comedian Bill Maher said that the political diversity of his audiences was changing.m”For the first time in my life, I am playing to a mixed audience,” Maher said. “I was in Nashville about a month ago, and the audience was about 60-40 liberal to conservative.”

“That never used to happen — never — I think it’s because 10 years ago, in my opinion anyway, the left did not have a crazy section,” Maher explained. “There was no such thing as woke, and now they do have a crazy section, which I call out as a liberal. I think I’m kind of one of the only people doing that, so there’s a hunger to hear that.”

Fran Lebowitz: Still Upset Fawn Died in Animal House


Liberal media, double standards; same song, different verse. We already knew HBO promotes leftist propaganda, whether it’s Vice, Bill Maher, John Oliver, or ensuring its Game of Thrones middle-earth soap opera is diverse enough for their woke overlords. When Vanity Fair Contributing Editor (liberal author) Fran Lebowitz stated to Maher’s barking seal audience that impeachment was not enough for President Trump she added that he “deserves to be handed over to the Saudis” to face the same treatment as the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally killed and dismembered.


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So Al Franken has canceled his upcoming Friday appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. The reason? Maher used a racial slur in a joke which Franken found  “inappropriate and offensive”. Yes, the author of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot is very concerned about decorum. Some of you might remember his (occasionally funny) Franken and Davis skits […]

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Comedian Bill Maher Says He’ll Take Cruz Over Trump, It’s a No-Brainer


Maher-CruzWhen given the choice between a President Donald Trump and President Ted Cruz, Comedian Bill Maher says the choice is easy — he would pick Cruz. On the HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” he first took a dig at the current Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. He said she is not a sure thing because “You need a fall back between suicide and Canada.”

He told the audience he feels for Republicans who had a field of 17 candidates and are now left with a choice between “Mussolini and Joe McCarthy.” The comedian went on to point out the subtle differences between the two but said in the end better to choose Ted than dead.

“There are actual job requirements. It’s not like Mardi Gras parade king. Do I think President Trump would actually disappear people? No, but I can’t rule it out. With him, I can’t rule anything out. What does he do on day one, send Megyn Kelly to Guantanamo Bay? Or me? He’s already sued me. The president signs off on a kill list every day, and sends out the drones, and I like going outside. So, yes, Ted Cruz will be our worst president, but Donald Trump, might well be our last. Which is why I say better Ted than dead.”

Big, New Feature Documentary Asks: “Can We Take A Joke?”


i-Co2a06Way back when I was promoting my first book, Unlearning Liberty, I did a podcast at the Comedy Cellar in which the most liberal member of the panel of comedians I was talking to said that he didn’t like playing campuses anymore. Really, given the kind of things that can get you in trouble on the modern college campus, I was not surprised. Satire and parody are risky business in higher education and have been throughout my entire career at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

A few years ago FIRE started working with director Ted Balaker on a small video about the censorship of comedy on campus. Now, with the help of the DKT Liberty Project, Ted is completing a new major feature documentary titled Can We Take a Joke? The documentary already features interviews with Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Jim Norton, Lisa Lampanelli, Heather McDonald, Karith Foster, me, Jon Ronson, Chris Lee, Ron Collins, Bob Corn-Revere, and Jonathan Rauch.

The timing is perfect. The year kicked off with comedian Chris Rock saying that he did not like playing campuses anymore, and that comedy legend George Carlin didn’t like to either. Now, with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher condemning the oversensitivity and humorlessness of college students, the world seems ready to make a stand for comedy. The through-line of the film follows the life and career of famous iconoclastic comedian Lenny Bruce, making the argument that Lenny Bruce would not stand a minute on the modern college campus. The film also features a few important FIRE cases in which censorship tried to crush satire, parody, and comedy on campus — sometimes successfully.

Arguing Maher: Can We Just Assume for the Sake of Argument That Everyone Who Disagrees with Me is Hitler?


I’m sure Ricochet readers who know my work are surprised it has taken me this long to write something about the disinvitation push at UC Berkeley against comedian Bill Maher. After all, it’s one of the major topics in my latest short book, Freedom From Speech, and even the term “disinvitation season” was an internal FIRE term until this year. The truth is, I was waiting to hear back on an op-ed I’d written about Maher which fell through as the case developed.

But today, at the Huffington Post (I think it’s important not to just preach to the choir), I outline five major points that people should keep in mind even as UC Berkeley seems to be doing the right thing. But, one point I thought Ricochet readers would enjoy in particular, was my criticism of Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR for trying to shift the debate about Bill Maher over to a hypothetical about the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. Here’s my take on that in full in the fifth point of my piece.

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As I try to make clear in Waking Up, many positive states of mind, such as ecstasy, are ethically neutral. Which is to say that it really matters what you think the feeling of ecstasy means. If you think it means that the Creator of the Universe is rewarding you for having purged your village […]

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