Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pots, Kettles and Dipshits

Bill Maher is one of those personalities on television that parades himself as an intellectual social critic but seems to have missed the essential elements of intellectual integrity when he was a student at Cornell.   At times he has described himself as a "libertarian" and a "progressive" - so I guess that makes him a progressive libertarian.  He has thrived in that genre of television called "gotcha" broadcasting.   He seems to love to hear himself speak.   He sees himself as an iconoclast - I see him as a lazy bully.

Over his career on television he has had two shows - Politically Incorrect and Real Time (with Bill Maher).  In the first, which was cancelled in 2002, he brought together groups of talkers - often with one conservative in the set, to discuss issues of the day(Sort of a male version of The View and with about the same level of thought).   But somehow the discussion was always set up to present only one side - the left.  Real Time is more one on one - him doing a Tonight show format without the jokes.   He has appeared on such insightful programs as Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Countdown with Keith Olberman, and Joy Behar.   His credits do not yet seem to have included the Home Shopping Network.  He is a big supporter of marijuana legalization and PETA (where he serves on the board).  His movie credits include Pizza Man and Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death.   Larry King, another of this type of personality, called Real Time, one of the best shows on TV.  Maher is one of those ubiquitous liberal commentators that have enriched all of our lives so much.   For a record with such wonderful accomplishments and shows with such a tiny market share, one wonders why he is so omnipresent in the media.

What set me off on Maher at this point was a comment he made this week about the undecided voters in this election.  He called them "dipshits"   He said

'If you’re one of the 5 percent of American voters who are still undecided on who to vote for, it’s ok to admit you just don’t give a shit,” Maher said. “Really, if at this point you still can’t figure out who you like more, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama — stay home, because you probably couldn’t find your polling place anyway. I mean, what more information does someone need to make this choice? Obama has been president for nearly four years, and Mitt Romney has been running for president since 1971, when his space egg incubated, and he burst out of an astronaut’s chest.”
“And they’re really not that much alike. If you can’t tell this man, from this man, you’re not a swing voter. You’re a lesbian. It’s ok that there’s a tiny fraction of uncommitted voters in a few swing states who will decide this election, but can we all please stop treating them like they’re somehow more noble and discerning than the rest of us?”

There may be very good reasons for not having decided who to vote for in this election.  One study from the University of California Press argued that people retain voting propensities even if they are independent.   It is reasonable to assume that some voters also have other things going on in their lives, so that they do not think about politics 24/7 - which sounds like a pretty good way to live.  

From my point of view, voters should always have the opportunity to make up their minds at any time before they vote.   That is frustrating to the political players but as in any other market, quite appropriate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. I for one am waiting to hear the debates before deciding.