Ethics Observations On Bill Maher’s Incest Joke About Ivanka Trump

This is my favorite photo of Bill Maher. It captures the essence of his charm, his manners and his wit so perfectly…

Following the (much deserved and still not sufficient) criticism of Fox News’ Jesse Watters’ leering “joke” about Ivanka Trump’s handling of a microphone, HBO’s Bill Maher gave conservative critics an opportunity to trot out the  “we have standards, where are yours?” accusation against liberals when the host of “Real Time” made suggestive gestures while talking about how the First Daughter “helps” President Trump.

“What do you make of Ivanka and her efforts to sort of humanize her father?”, the comic asked guest Gabe Sherman ( a writer, book author, Fox News critic and a vocal one regarding Watters’ incivility). “We see all this misogyny at Fox News [ KABOOM!, incidentally. If there is anyone on earth other than the President more ethically estopped from accusing someone else of misogyny, it’s Maher, who flings “cunt” and “twat” at women he disagrees with and who cheered Bill Clinton’s exploitation of Monica Lewinsky on the grounds that “he works hard, and he deserves it”); we see it in Donald Trump himself. A lot of us thought, Ivanka is gonna be our saving grace.” Then, as he mimed Ivanka masturbating her father, Maher continued, “When he’s about to nuke Finland or something, she’s gonna walk into the bedroom and—”Daddy, Daddy…’Don’t do it, Daddy!”‘

This most recent vulgarity by Maher as his audience of hateful left-wing boors hooted on cue even moved the progressive tool Daily Beast to complain that “if liberals are going to castigate Donald Trump for his boorish, sexist behavior, they shouldn’t behave in a similar fashion” —a point that is too little and far too late in the case of proudly boorish, sexist Bill Maher.

Ethics Observations:

1. Watters and Maher are not equivalents in their positions, duties, obligations or ethics standards. Watters is a news commentator, and his sleazy comment about Ivanka was unprofessional, juvenile, and misogynist in the extreme. He should have been disciplined, but Fox is hopeless when it comes to women and harassment (making that same joke and gesture about a female employee in the workplace would be per se sexual harassment, but they obviously have had no training on this at Fox News). Maher is a comedian (who thinks he’s a pundit, kind of like a dog who thinks he’s a human), and his baseline responsibility is to be funny. You can’t say a professional  comic is being unprofessional by telling a joke, even an ugly, unfunny joke, especially after Maher’s audience of creeps laughs uproariously.

2. Proof that Maher thinks it is hilarious to suggest that a young woman whose “crime” is advising and supporting her father is likely to commit incest with him is the fact that Maher was recycling an old joke from one of his stand-up appearances before the election. ‘If he’s going to do something nutty, we’re going to depend on Ivanka going into that bedroom. “Daddy, Daddy! You have to apologize for that tweet where you called Angela Merkel a ‘cunt.’ You have to apologize, Daddy,”‘ Maher said in an L.A. comedy club appearance on November 2, as he again mimed a hand-job. [Kaboom! 2: Bill Maher denigrates someone else as “nutty” for calling a female politician “a cunt.”]

3. One can’t fairly say that Maher is someone who has been transmogrified into an asshole by post 2016 election hysteria, like so many other progressives, Democrats, celebrities and ordinary citizens who were once decent human beings even as you and I, because Bill was a certifiable, offensive and revolting asshole long, long before that.

4. Fact: any comic, indeed anyone, who dared to make a similar “joke” about an Obama daughter would have been jettisoned, shamed and made a permanent pariah within days, if not hours. The attacks on Ivanka Trump, and the hate directed at her generally by the Left, are completely undeserved and show, frankly, what vicious, unfair, hypocritical and cruel people so many on the Left have become in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s self-engineered defeat. In stark contrast to Hillary’s daughter, who is treated in the news media as if she has actually accomplished something to justify her wealth and prominence, Ivanka Trump had a successful career as a fashion model, successfully started and ran a business, and apparently has shown sufficiently good judgment in her role as an executive in her father’s organization to have her father’s trust as an advisor. Despite this she is routinely denigrated and held to a brand new, just-for-Trumps standard. Actress Debra Messing, for example, following her attack on the President based on his appearance, launched a diatribe against Ivanka for “blindly defending” her father and not “defending what you say you believe in.”

You know, just like feminists and Hollywood celebrities like Messing have criticized Hillary and Chelsea for not condemning Bill Clinton’s mistreatment of women.

5. The denigration of Ivanka by Hollywood liberals like Maher is indefensible conduct: crude, disrespectful, misogynist, hypocritical, vicious. Maher, however, is within the low, lower, lowest standards of his field and profession—paid cable left-wing partisan hate-comic—to say such things. As long as there is a rapidly devolving audience that loves it, he can legitimately get a pass from HBO, which, however, should be marked as a cultural polluter by providing such a pass.

6. Finally, Gabe Sherman, who was the official first audience member for Maher’s lewd comment, gets a reluctant pass from Ethics Alarms for kind of laughing at it. Yes, as a critic of Watters, he should have called Maher on his misogyny. Many, many Maher guests disgrace themselves this way; I have fantasies about being a guest on “Real Time” and confronting him with his smarmy pandering to the worst instincts of progressives. Still Sherman was Maher’s guest, his instincts were to be polite, he was on camera in a partisan environment, and was obviously uncomfortable.

7. Democrats and progressives really think flanking President Trump on the crude, ugly, cruel and mean-spirited side will win them public support while weakening his.



Sources; Mediaite, Daily Mail

28 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On Bill Maher’s Incest Joke About Ivanka Trump

  1. An e-pal raised in Smith County, TX claims he didn’t know ”Damn Yankee” was two words until he matriculated at UT/Austin.

    Perhaps Progressive Tool deserves to be deemed in that same light?

  2. “Fact: any comic, indeed anyone, who dared to make a similar “joke” about an Obama daughter would have been jettisoned.”

    I’ll take this, Deery.

    Ivanka is white and PRIVILEGED! She has to be mocked. The Obama girls are members of a minority. And they’re female! To make fun of them is a hate crime! They’re getting into Harvard and getting internships on Wall Street when most kids are working at Burger King because they’re the smartest girls in the room! Ivanka would be nothing without her father! Maher speaks truth to power.

    • Okay…if a comic said this about Chelsea Clinton despite every white and privileged cell in her body they would have been jettisoned. White and privileged are just excuses that vicious people toss out to rationalize bigotry and incivility.

    • “Where are the rousing condemnations from the left?”

      Here’s one. Whether it’s Colbert, or Maher, or Bee, they’re over the line. They cancel out any complaints about Trump being obscene by dipping into the same well; ditto for being strident.

      I completely agree with this post. Not my left.

      • Thank you, Charles. Before joining EA, I was despairing of any ethical and responsible debate from the Left. Glad to still have a discussion here.

        And congrats on the COTD

      • Yes. Well put, Charles. Good for you. I particularly appreciate your not adding, “But what about Rush Limbaugh or FOX News, or, or…” or something like that. Very refreshing and admirable. Thank you.

        • Thanks Bill. And thanks SlickWillly too.

          As Jack noted, he and I had the chance to break bread (and rent a lot of coffee) the other morning. It reinforced to me how important it is to remember we’re all basically decent folk here.

          I doubt either of you are axe murderers. You’re both probably kind to dogs and children, at least when you have to be. And I do know you’re both far from the deprived end of the intelligence scale.

          But it’s so easy to lose civility when we’re debating abstract ideas solely through this medium. There’s something seductive about baiting and flaming someone while not having to see them as whole people. And at the same time, it’s very tough to not feel baited or flamed by someone’s negative comments, even if they’re not meant that way.

          I’m not sure what my point is, other than to acknowledge and reciprocate your kind words, and suggest we all could do with a bit more of that.

          • I doubt either of you are axe murderers.

            Well, OB prefers a machete, while I like the civility of a Bowie knife myself. Otherwise, we are just plain folks (hide the kids). 🙂

          • This is very true, and many studies, as you know, confirm it. I know I won’t be able to be as snarky, harsh and severe with you as I have, unfortunately, been in the past, while seeing in my mind’s eye those soulful, Harp seal-like eyes, that faint sent of orchids and a sunny seashore, those lush, sensitive lips, that insouciant twinkle tinged with the sense of sadness and wisdom a diverse and richly active life can confer…

            • I do think you should have an Ethics Alarms convention, Jack. Or at least a cocktail hour. I think it would be a lot of fun. I think there’d be a lot more laughter than fist fighting.

              Charles, I think my motive in commenting is a genuine concern for the future of the country. I want my kids and grand kids to have as decent a place to live in as possible. I think of myself as a moderate but I guess by today’s standards, I’m a conservative. Of course I was very liberal as a kid and thought Democrats were the norm and Republicans weren’t.

              And I second Jack’s thoughts about snark. I’m trying to lessen my snark content and comment with a less inflammatory tone, particularly with Chris and Sparty. They’re the future of the country. I’m the past.


              • And Steve O in NJ and TexAgg are probably younger as well. I didn’t mean to leave them (among many others, I’m sure) out as being the important future.

              • Think I might have to take a pass on that. Though I am trying to keep the snark and abuse down, I’m not naïve enough to believe that bygones can be bygones here after some of the flame wars that have raged here. Jack should not have to host a real game of “murder in the dark.”

  3. Maher has always been a left-wing slime bag. He’s just feeling his oats because of the wide (unilateral?) hissy fit the Democrats and “progressives” are pitching since Trump’s election.

    And it will always amaze me that the memory of everyone in politics is so short. Hillary — who supported her husband regardless of numerous well publicized and not so well publicized affairs, as well defending his sexual harassment of Monica Lewinsky (see the bill he signed (!) which defines the powerful who harass those without power, that is him, as POTUS — still stands as a feminist, an advocate for women? Nonsense. She was smart and rode her husband’s coattails to the national political stage. Her other activities aside, that alone should have disqualified her as a serious candidate — for any office, much less the presidency — for any thinking person, liberal or conservative.

    The demise of the Democratic party is deserved, no matter how much they complain and how hard they try to appear as victims of… something. So the Bill Mahers will continue their ugly work, and they will continue to love themselves, think they are both witty and profound, while more and more of the general public begin to see them as whining, pitiful creeps who are only out to serve themselves, not anyone else. (I have a Facebook post which quotes Teddy Roosevelt wherein he disdains the critic — who produces nothing, doesn’t even try to create or produce and who only exists to damn the real actors on the stage… Maybe I should start a TR blog. I could post for years just on him…)

  4. I think Bill Maher must have been born in a barn and is stuck at the psychological level of a smutty mouthed 5th grader. Why the network that keeps him on the air
    doesn’t fire his sorry ass and let him rant in a third rate comedy club beats me.

    • Exactly. And he has the disadvantage of not having a portrait of himself hidden away. Just one look at that face (the one at the top of the page for a prime example) is enough to put you off your feed. That is the face a lifetime of hate reveals.

  5. I’ve really come to despise Bill Maher, as someone who is generally left-leaning. Maybe he was funny and insightful in the past, but more and more he’s become the Rush Limbaugh of the left. Not just the left, but the most corrupt elements thereof- the last straw for me was Maher mocking people as lazy and ignorant for opposing Hillary. Perhaps my priorities are misplaced, but I feel that, for a comedian, lashing out at one’s audience and sucking up to the powerful are far greater sins than simple crudeness.

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