by Susannah Fleetwood | March 12, 2012 4:21 pm
As many of you are now aware, Bill Maher (as well as a host of other commentators on the left) has a long history of making sexist, uncivil comments with regard to conservatives, and conservative women in particular. In fact, Maher’s misogyny has gotten so out of hand, that now many noted liberal columnists, such as Kirsten Powers, are finally calling him (and some other progressive pundits) out on his egregious behavior.
However, this past Friday evening Bill Maher–who is now well aware that even those on his own side of the aisle have grown weary of his misogyny–decided to move on from picking on women to picking on poor people. Maher sent Alexandra Pelosi (the daughter of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) to rural Mississippi to supposedly interview prospective Republican voters about the upcoming Mississippi primary. While Ms. Pelosi’s video aired during Maher’s show, he, Jon Hamm and some other liberals on his panel sneered at the poor, barely literate people in the video (see the video below). Francis Martel of Mediate implied that Maher and his panel were elitist when she wrote that they were “mocking rural Mississippi residents from a smug Hollywood perch”. While I agree with Ms. Martel that elitism was definitely on display here, something else more sinister was afoot.
First of all, Ms. Pelosi issued a disclaimer that these were the only sort of people that she could find in the entire state of Mississippi. I gotta call BS on that! I grew up in Mobile, AL and had a roommate in college that was from Biloxi, MS (who I went home with on the weekends frequently). I have driven through and been to MS numerous times–I have NEVER seen or come into contact with people like the ones featured in the above video. Furthermore, my mother-in-law is from rural MS and she was valedictorian of her high school, got a Master’s degree in statistics from Tulane University and spent her career teaching advance placement mathematics in Texas high schools. Furthermore, her mother was one of the first women ever to graduate from Vanderbilt University with a degree in physics. Heck, Eli Manning was the quarterback for Ole Miss and still managed to graduate with a 3.44 GPA! Why didn’t Ms. Pelosi drive through Biloxi and Ole Miss’s campus and chat with the people there? (That would have been a heck of a lot simpler that traipsing through backwoods MS in order to talk to people with no education and no teeth.) The answer is simple–Ms. Pelosi didn’t want to talk to people that sounded like my mother-in-law or looked like Eli Manning. People like them would not have fit the narrative that she wanted to create–that narrative being that all MS Republican voters are illiterate, racist and toothless. Bottom line, Pelosi and Maher are being highly disingenuous when they try to pass the people in the above video off as the typical southern/MS Republican Primary voter.
Second of all, is it just me or was there a certain cruelty in mocking the people in the above video (even the stupid white supremacist)? It made me a tad queasy to see the daughter of the former Speaker of the House, Bill Maher (a guy who just gave President Obama a million dollar check) and Jon Hamm (one of the five best looking people in America IMHO) laugh at poor, semi-literate people, a senile old man, and a homeless guy (he was living in a hovel) who seemed somewhat mentally challenged and was lacking many of his front teeth. The people in the above video are poor, they are powerless and some are literally toothless! (My heart went out to them, and would have if they had said ridiculous things about George W. Bush instead of Barack Obama. Oh, and if anyone thinks that most of these people in the above video actually vote, then I have a blind bird dog and some underwater real-estate to sell you.) Whereas, Alexandra Pelosi, Bill Maher and Jon Ham are rich and quite powerful when it comes to shaping public opinion. I am reminded of what it says in the book of Luke:
“To whom much is given, of him much will be required.”
I mean, these people on Maher’s panel were given so much (looks, wealth, fame, power) and they then decide to pick on the powerless and the toothless?! That is not good satire–any great satirist, like say Oscar Wilde, knows to only pick on the powerful. This is just pure meanness.
And finally, to Bill Maher I say the following:
Dude, really???!! Your idea of cutting edge comedy and satire is to call conservative women misogynistic four letter words and to imply that all southern conservatives are “toothless hicks”? Yawn! That is not only tired, cliche’ and totally played out, it is the last bastion of the intellectually lazy. Jon Stewart would never stoop to that level. It is definitely time to hire some new writers and bring in some fresh blood because you, yourself, have become a cliche’–that of the angry, hypocritical liberal elitist who thinks that he is for the women and the little guy, but in reality has absolutely no tolerance or compassion for anyone–rich or poor, male or female–who does not think exactly like him.
This column is also posted at The Minority Report and The Green Room.
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