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.
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.