Fox New's Glenn Beck is increasing "the chance for people to take horrible action" on President Obama.
So said HBO's Bill Maher Friday evening in a lengthy discussion about FNC's new primetime star.
I guess Maher missed the hypocrisy concerning his disturbingly caustic views of the Bush administration while they were in power, in particular his expression of regret that the March 2007 assassination of Vice President Dick Cheney failed.
Possibly even more delicious was that sitting to Maher's left was MSNBC's Keith Olbermann who himself has made an almost endless number of personal attacks on members of the Bush administration during his tenure on "Countdown."
Alas, Maher seemed oblivious to all this seemingly obvious irony (video embedded below the fold courtesy our friend Ms Underestimated):
BILL MAHER, HOST: Listening to people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck these days, I cannot figure out whether these right-wingers are more dangerous when they're in power or when they're out of power. Because when they're out of power, their paranoia goes off the charts. This Glenn Beck guy, I wouldn't even give him the time of day except he's a big star now on Fox and a lot of people believe him, and he's talking about FEMA concentration camps. He says, "We are headed towards socialism, totalitarianism beyond your wildest imagination." But apparently not beyond his wildest imagination.
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, NEW YORK TIMES: Did you see what he said about that? He said, "I can't prove these FEMA concentration camps, but let me tell you about them anyway." It's, you think it would be the opposite.
KEITH OLBERMANN, "COUNTDOWN" HOST: Can I quote Madeline Albright?
OLBERMANN: He's nuts. (wild audience applause).
MAHER: But you know, look, I, I, I would never be the person who says you have to watch what you say because some borderline, no really, I'm not for that. But that's an argument that's given a lot: you can't say this because a borderline person might take it and do this. I'm sorry, that's the price of living in a free speech country, and I do want to live in one because I make my living at it. Okay, but you know, I must say, Tim McVeigh in 1995 if you recall, this was the same kind of talk that made him blow up that building.
OLBERMANN: The guy who walked into the church in Tennessee said in his statement to the police that he did this because he could not shoot the liberals who were on the list from Bernie Goldberg. And Bernie Goldberg has proceeded to come out with another list of liberals, and this time I'm on the list, so this is even more vivid in my mind now. So, yeah, you're absolutely right about that. [...]
MAHER: The person who I think is irresponsible is Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News for putting him on, or Rupert Murdoch who's his boss. I mean, you know, they know that this is not responsible stuff, and this kind of stuff...
KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS AND ACTIVIST: You think people take it seriously?
WASHINGTON: I mean, to me he seems like a conservative Jerry Springer.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.): You have not gotten the e-mails at my office lately. People take it seriously.
MAHER: You know, remember when Obama said that the people out there who are bitter and cling to their guns? Yeah, he was way off about that. I mean, it's those people who I worry about. I do think that this increases the chance for people, you know, to take horrible action. I mean, you know, already Obama has more threats than any president ever.
WASHINGTON: Are we surprised about that fact?
MAHER: No. I am not surprised. No, I am not surprised about that. I'm just saying this stuff doesn't help.
Wow. So the conservative opinions being expressed on Fox News, particularly by Glenn Beck, are increasing the chances of horrible action against the president?
Yet, folks like Maher and Olbermann, who routinely bashed former President Bush in a significantly more caustic and violent fashion than anyone who is currently criticizing Obama, were just expressing views enabled by the First Amendment?
Anybody see a flaw in this logic?
As an aside, I do think it's fascinating that Olbermann was invited on "Real Time" when there wasn't one conservative member of the panel.
Makes one wonder if this was required by him to appear. After all, he clearly never wants anyone around to challenge his views.
Such was important Friday evening as Olbermann compared Beck to the Depression-era Father Coughlin:
OLBERMANN: You know, in the last major, economic crisis of this nation, we spewed forth Father Coughlin. Well, this is Father Coughlin with a crew cut. This is Father Coughlin on TV.
Good thing there wasn't a conservative around to challenge Olbermann -- or anyone on the panel who knew who Coughlin was -- for Coughlin initially supported Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. In fact, he was pivotal in helping get FDR elected in 1932, and was actually in FDR's inner circle early in the President's first term.
It was only after Coughlin began to disagree with some of FDR's policies that he left the reservation and became a critic. In particular, he felt the President was moving the nation towards communism, and that he was hyper-inflating the dollar. He advocated monetary reform and the elimination of the Federal Reserve Bank. Years later, many of his positions were supported by economists Milton Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz in their 1963 book "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960."
But, most importantly, what eventually really got Coughlin in trouble was his rabid anti-Semitism as well as his support of the policies of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
As such, equating Beck to Coughlin is absurd.
Sadly, this is what we get when only liberals are invited on "Real Time."
Nice job, Bill.
*****Update: Olbermann also misspoke when he said, "The guy who walked into the church in Tennessee said in his statement to the police that he did this because he could not shoot the liberals who were on the list from Bernie Goldberg."
Actually, what Jim David Adkisson wrote in his confession letter was:
Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate + House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the Mainstream Media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals + high ranking officers of the Marxist Movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickens**t liberals that vote in these traitorous people.
Olbermann in his castigation of Goldberg conveniently chose to ignore the rest of that paragraph. What he also ignored was Adkisson's opening paragraph wherein he explained why he did this awful act:
Over the years I've had some good jobs but always got layed [sic] off. Now I'm 58 years old + can't get a decent job. I'm told I'm "overqualified" which is a code word for "too damned old." Like I'm expected to age gracefully into poverty. No thanks! I'm done!
In his conclusion, Adkisson wrote:
No one gets out of this world alive so I've chosen to skip the bad years of poverty. I know my life is going downhill fast from here. I'm sick + tired of being sick + tired. I'm absolutely fed up!
As such, Olbermann's claim "he did this because he could not shoot the liberals who were on the list from Bernie Goldberg" is utter, total nonsense...likely another reason the MSNBC host refuses to appear anywhere with conservatives that might challenge his detritus.