Bill Maher, the star of HBO’s “Real Time,” was hosting comedian Joy Behar of “The View” to talk about her new book when they got on the subject of Bill O’Reilly and his $32 million settlement of a single sexual harassment claim.
Maher observed that many of the recent powerful men of Hollywood accused of sexual abuse always seem to be married. Behar expressed puzzlement regarding why that was.
Now, I could answer that question for Joy, as could anyone else smarter than she is, which is to say, almost anyone. Joy, you will recall, earlier this month excused sexual harassment by progressives like Weinstein over harassers like Bill O’Reilly because, she said, at least the liberals weren’t hypocrites. (She didn’t explain the pro-feminist/misogyny contradiction, but then Joy is, as I just noted, an idiot.)
Rich and powerful men are almost always older, usually middle-aged, in Hollywood, and everywhere else for that matter. See, Joy, it takes a while to become rich and famous. Nobody heard of you when you were 25 either, and let me tell you, I was much happier then.
The older a man is, the more likely he is to be rich and powerful—sexual harassment doesn’t require power, but power inequity helps—and also he is more likely to be married, especially in Hollywood, where executives start wondering whether you are gay if you aren’t married and 40. Not that they care if you are gay—after all, more than 50% of Hollywood men probably are— but they care if the public cares, because then you won’t be as marhetable as a romantic lead. Thus even gay middle aged men are usually married by the time they are powers in Hollywood. This has been true since the 1920s.
Another reason is that it takes a while to accumulate hundreds of victims, as in the case of James Toback.
Maher, however, had a different, if predictable, answer:
“Because they have shitty sex lives.”
Oh, was that a joke, Bill? Hilarious! Except Bill wasn’t joking. He’s a well-documented misogynist, not that this would stop a hypocritical feminist dimwit like Behar from sucking up to him since he is on the right side of history, and Maher has always made it clear that he thinks marriage is for chumps. Maher defended Bill Clinton’s sexual harassing/assaulting ways by arguing that he “earned it,” and has extolled his own lifestyle as a play-the-field, aging bachelor like Sam Malone on “Cheers” as Man Heaven. It should surprise no one that Bill believes that if married women were good little submissive spouses and eagerly cheered while their fat, disgusting husbands masturbated in front of them like Weinstein or humped their leg like James Toback, men wouldn’t have to force young women looking for jobs to do it instead.
This is signature significance for Maher, a hero of the young progressives who require nothing more ennobling of their idols than that they make non-stop attacks on Donald Trump, and, in Maher’s case, call Republican women like Sara Palin “twats” on national TV. Nobody who respects women tries to blame sexual predators’ conduct on women. Nobody.
This is just my opinion, but I don’t trust straight men who cannot imagine forming a committed relationship with a woman. I believe this is powerful evidence that such a man is in arrested adolescence, and thinks of women as sexual play-things placed on Earth to satisfy the horny, rather than human beings. I’ve seen Bill’s various dates, who get younger and younger as he gets older and more grizzled. This lifestyle is so far down my long list of why I find Bill Maher a blight on the culture that it would normally not bear mentioning, but when he lets his true rottenness ooze out from his core, as in this instance, I feel I am obligated to try, one more time, to point out why this man’s opinion on anything political, social, or regarding salad dressings is no more worthy of attention than that of the nearest slobbering degenerate hanging out in the bushes next to your local elementary school.
Bill Maher has been around almost as long as I have. I have seen sexual harassment up close by young men, old men, middle-aged men, fathers, married men, bachelors, celebrities, CEOs, managers, low-level employees and every other kind of man imaginable, and I don’t work in Hollywood. He’s seen it too, and from all these types, except that he probably doesn’t see it as harassment, in all likelihood because he’s a harasser himself. That’s just a guess, but when someone is male, wealthy, successful (however inexplicably), demonstrates no respect for women, as this latest comment confirms, and is a self-evident asshole like Maher, harassment is to be expected.
As an aside, I find it impossible to laugh at the humor of comedians I find personally disgusting in their treatment and attitudes toward women. It’s cognitive dissonance. Maher, David Letterman (another sexual harasser), Woody Allen…I haven’t laughed at any of them in many years, and won’t.
I don’t find Bill Clinton or President Trump funny either.
39 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Bill Maher, As Usual”
Maher, a hero of the young progressives
Then who are all those kids cheering his every “twat”? Paying money to see his concerts? They sure look and sound like then ones cheering Colbert’s “cockholsters,” Kimmel, Trevor and Samanatha Bee. What am I missing?
My impression is that Maher’s base is older. Young progressives are far more likely to call out Maher’s misogyny, Islamophobia, and other bigotries.
The other personalities you mention are far less problematic, and not good analogies.
I can only speak from personal experience having never watched the show, but the numerous times it has been recommended to me was by my younger more progressive friends.
Young progressives are seldom calling out anyone on their side. And if they are its usually for the wrong reasons, e.g. Evergreen College.
And Jack, if you really do have slobbering degenerates hanging around in the bushes outside of your local elementary school, I’d really suggest calling the police.
Young progressives are seldom calling out anyone on their side.
We really do inhabit very different worlds.
Yes, and you should inhabit a different one than this website.
I will agree that Maher is clearly a bigger asshole than any two of them, if you leave out Kimmel, who is, as I keep documenting, a serial advocate of child abuse as comedy, something beneath even Maher. They are all one-note, partisan, hateful comics of varying degrees of competence and bias.
If Bill Maher didn’t have the beer demographic, 20 to 30 year-olds, he wouldn’t be on TV.
He’s on HBO, no ads, so all that matters is number of subscribers who watch vs how much the show costs to produce
You’re right. Maher does occasionally go off the reservation and criticize Lefty. He’s not big on Islam, for instance and has been known to say positive things about free speech from time to time. So no, he’s not one of the faithful. He’s not an addled product of the current American academy. So no, he’s not an icon like the pure ones.
Bill hates all religions and their believers equally. I supposed that’s something.
No. He hates Islam more.
”He hates Islam more.”
I’m curious why you say that.
I rarely tune in (except for noted guests, like Conservatives S.E. Cupp and Ann Coulter (whom he told gave his staff a “boner”) or the shrill Warmalista Alarmacyst Dr. Michael Mann.
I’ve always seen him as an equal-opportunity hater when it comes to Religion bigotry, the same with Conservative women.
Unless they’re face-to-face, like Cupp & Coulter, he holds them in uniformly low regard.
This is actually well documented. While Maher is an avowed atheist and makes fun of all religions, he actually comments (frequently) that Islam is inherently dangerous as compared to other religions.
I don’t think that he brings in or doesn’t bring in ad revenue was OB’s point. I think his point was that the main demographic Maher appeals to is the 20-30 generation, who flock to him in droves, and subscribe so they can watch his show. If he didn’t bring the viewers, or the numbers, in, he’d be gone.
No Steve, HBO is evidently a non-profit. Kind of like PBS and NPR. The money just mysteriously appears, regardless of what they broadcast. Amazing, isn’t it?
I have no doubt that Maher appeals to young progressives, but if any of ya’ll think college kids *pay* to watch HBO shows, you’re out of touch with current technology. The post-Napster, “peer-to-peer” generation doesn’t pay for TV, music, or movies, beyond maybe $8 a month for Netflix. I’ve never checked, but I’ll bet you can download a copy of Maher’s show for free less than an hour after it airs if you know where to look.
I imagine Maher’s show doesn’t need to get particularly good ratings or attract that many subscribers to stay on the air. It’s probably the cheapest-to-produce show HBO has, and it reliably generates attention for the network when Maher or one of his guests says something ridiculous or outrageous every week.
I have to side with Chris on this one. I see a lot of calling out of Maher on websites aimed at the college to thirty-something crowd (unlike Colbert, Bee, John Oliver, and the rest of the Daily Show alumni, who get passes.)
I get the impression Maher’s bread and butter is the older Gen Xers and Boomers still trying to hang onto their radical cred, but having trouble getting the hang of this social justice stuff since they associate being hip with edgy, envelope pushing free speech like George Carlin back in the day (much like Maher himself.) I think there’s more audience overlap between Maher and South Park than Maher and Samantha Bee.
He sure is popular on the college circuit. And nobody protests against him speaking…
That’s not right either. He famously was uninvited by a university just a year or two ago because of his views on Islam.
He IS popular on the college circuit. That his Islam comments got him uninvited somewhere doesn’t mean he isn’t. He’s appeared at local colleges in the DC area. College gigs are a profit center for him, like most of the liberal comics.
“College gigs are a profit center for him, like most of the liberal comics.”
Several (Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, et al) have stopped playing colleges venues altogether because of their pissy weenie-whiny PC obsessed students.
A couple of notables expressed their “death of comedy” concerns on Maher’s program: Mel Brooks (2015) & the inimitable John Cleese (2015)
And he himself (to his credit) has spoken out against them.
” ‘Maher told these PC ‘idiots’ that their ‘new brand of censorship’ doesn’t care if something is offensive, all it takes is for certain words to set people off and they go ballistic.
”Maher particularly had some choice words for the writer of ‘An Open Letter to Jerry Seinfeld from a ‘Politically Correct’ College Student.’ Maher called him a ‘little shit’ and gleaned from his letter that the PC police are fine with jokes as long as they’re not made ‘about a protected species.’
”He patiently explained that comedy is never fair and stereotypes are often used, but most people tend to just laugh at get over it rather than freaking out about every single little possible slight that someone might make in a comedy routine.”
He doesn’t get invited a lot anymore — he’s been very critical of colleges who police speech — as Paul documented here.
Yes, that makes sense, Spartan. Bill is a near absolutist on speech.
Can you be specific? On conservatives sites they mention how he is often taken to task because of his stance on Islam. the only thing I ever see anyone ever call out on the own side is when it goes against one of their core practices. this isn’t limited to the left. The right was rather harsh to Tomi Loren and her stance on abortion.
I actually agree, if for different reasons. Maher’s demographic on his HBO series is probably older than Jack suggests, but Jack is right in that his tours will probably skew younger, and when something of interest happens on his show, it circulates through the secondary market (YouTube, Social Media), where it’s consumed by a younger audience.
Why do I think that is? Probably because HBO isn’t cheap. But that’s just my theory.
As to whether Bill gets flack from progressives…. He does. But again, not for the reasons he should. Bill’s one of those old timey liberals who believe much of what progressives have to sell, but isn’t so mouth-foamy about it. Bill doesn’t get flack from progressives when he’s lewd, crude, rude or does something that would get me fired, he gets flack from progressives when he criticizes Islamic practices, or points out when a feminists is particularly loony.
Progressives AREN’T good at policing their bad apples when those apples are too extreme, they’re GOOD at policing their bad apples when they start to swing moderate.
”I have seen sexual harassment up close by young men, old men, middle-aged men, fathers, married men, bachelors, celebrities, CEOs, managers, low-level employees and every other kind of man imaginable, and I don’t work in Hollywood.”
No mention of X-Chromosomal Units, they don’t harass?
At an earlier stage of development, there were more than a few times that I didn’t respond to, or outright rejected, the amorous advances of females.
To be fair, there’ve been instances where my interests have gone…um…unrequited, leaving me less-than-pleased with the outcome.
It may not qualify as harassment, but reactions like jumping up and ferociously slamming a car or apartment door, or launching into expletive-laced diatribes intended to shame, belittle, berate, debase, and demean, shouldn’t be tolerated behavior, regardless of gender, even in an imperfect world.
William Congreve said it best: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
I’ve seen it. What I’ve seen much, much more of in the workplace is women who have the assets, knack and ruthlessness taking advantage of sexist, easily manipulated men in power by holding out fantasies of something more than a professional relationship, and cashing in. And there has never been, and never will be, any laws against THAT.
I was once asked by gorgeous female lawyer if I considered it unethical for her to dress provocatively in court before an elderly judge who had actually suggested IN COURT that she shouldn’t “cover up” so much. She also asked if it was unethical for her to flirt with the pig. And I said: “He’s the unethical one. You have an obligation to your client. This kind of judge is going to be biased one way or the other; your job is to make sure he’s biased towards you and not against you.”
Personally, I’d much rather that the facts of any given case, and the law, be what decided the judge rather than what one of the attorneys wore.
”what one of the attorneys wore.”
Using the rationale for ‘school uniforms,’ might a possible solution be ‘courtroom uniforms?’
“Educators and experts who are pro school uniforms believe that uniforms contribute positively to students’ behavior. They believe that when students wear uniforms, they feel more professional and behave accordingly. Many educators believe that students can become distracted by fashion trends and status symbol clothing.” (bolds mine)
Wouldn’t then the normally Armani clad/Gucci-slippered contingent, (or those for whom ”assets” abound) not have an unfair advantage over the Men’s Warehouse clad/Florsheim shod or the less curvaceous?
Before or after she reports that judge to the Committee on Judicial Conduct? If she didn’t, I as her opponent would. I’ve known my share of judges who were just plain dumb or incompetent (that’s part of the downside of being in a state where judges are appointed, not elected, so they are all people with political connections). I wouldn’t stand for a judge who was a biased pig abusing his position to get a cheap leer.
Dunno if Bill’s comment was meant as a poke at these fallen harassers for not being able to catch enough tail through sheer charm, or for getting married and not being able to go after all the tail they wanted, or at marriage itself because there’s the perception that women turn off the tap once they’ve closed the deal.
Maher is 61 and has never been married, in fact he says that his friends’ wives hate him just like slave owners hate an escaped slave, because they are both “messengers from freedom.” He’s also dated a plethora of younger and younger hotties, only to throw them over in relatively short order, and the fact is that he can – he’s got money and access, and a lot of women will put up with an underwhelming guy or even an out and out jackass who’s going to give them valuable stuff, take them on trips to places they couldn’t afford to go on their own, get them into parties they wouldn’t even get to have a sniff at otherwise, and maybe get them access they can use to forward their own careers.
Those are frequently the kind of women who will throw that guy over once a good deal is inked and signed and they have what they want, and they deserve the men who would toss them aside when they got bored. It’s just a question of can they keep the men on the hook long enough to get what they want (having a birth control failure is an extreme measure, but some women will do it), or are the men astute enough (and thinking with the right head enough) to see them for what they are and discard them before they get the hoped-for windfall.
A committed relationship is work, and sometimes extremely difficult work. There is a feeling on the part of men as to “why should I work 50 hours a week for 30 years at a job I might not even like that much to provide for one woman, especially after she no longer looks like a model?” There is a feeling on the part of women as to “why should I cook and clean and raise kids for one guy for 30 years, especially after he isn’t exactly an Adonis and takes me for granted?” Life’s not one long party, and family life’s not one good time after another. If you can’t accept that, then yes, you have never grown up and will probably never grow up.
Steve, with the right person, it’s really fun. Non-stop. But there’s dumb luck involved as well.
But you’ve done a great job of describing the celebrity/high earner marriage market.
Bill Maher is factually wrong, although that is not surprising. I think his schtick is more about witty commentary than actually being, you know, smart.
In truth, there has been more than enough work done sociologically to document that married people, in general, have better sex lives, and generally have more regular, satisfying sex. Other markers of healthy sexuality (like a lack of abuse) also favor marriage. The benefits are even more pronounced if the married couple were virgins to start with.
The mountains of evidence for this are all over the internet and are widely available, but Bill Maher is not a man who cares about science (for all practical purposes he’s also an anti-vaxxer, after all.) Bill likes the IDEA of science, if it can be appropriated as a bludgeon against religion.
Bill Maher is also, almost certainly, pathetic and miserable in every facet of his romantic life. Anyone who takes a turn with “Super Head” (don’t Google it), is just dead inside and desperate to feel something.
His schtick is more about being a snide asshole playing to like-minded assholes. I’ve heard it both ways. I’ve heard that a guaranteed source of sex keeps you happy, and that while on Emergency! (70s TV show about firemen in California when a paramedic was a new animal) young, hip John Gage was hustling dates, not always successfully, older, married square Roy Desoto was getting his knob polished on the regular. I’ve also heard that after marriage a woman cuts back the sex to almost nothing and forces the husband to beg, plead, and do favors for his monthly ration that’s sometimes no more than a half-hearted hand job and never more interesting than snaking out the shower drain, so it’s better to stay single and at least get fun sex when you get it. Frankly to me it’s irrelevant, I’m too out of practice to care and too old to keep score.
You’re absolutely right with regard to your last two paragraphs. Maher is a religion hater and a marriage hater, and it’s kinda pathetic to be 61 and still defining yourself by what you hate.
“I’ve heard that a guaranteed source of sex keeps you happy”
Certainly in the plus column!
”I’ve also heard that after marriage a woman cuts back the sex to almost nothing and forces the husband to beg, plead, and do favors for his monthly ration”
Not at all my experience. The only gal I ever asked was my through the back-yard neighbor.
She accepted; I got lucky…