Friday, October 17, 2014

Bill Maher Has Been a Bigot for a Long Time

By Marko Marjanović on October 17th, 2014

Recently the American TV show host, Bill Maher, has finally and deservedly caught substantial flak for the intolerant collectivist attitude he displays on his show. I have found a critique and analysis by Murtaza Hussain in this vein particularly enjoyable and useful to read.

It is only now, with his most recent collective condemnation of Muslims that Maher has caused a scandal, but Hussain points out that Maher has been displaying similar bigotry for “several years” now. That is actually an underestimate, however. Long before Maher, who styles himself a “politically incorrect liberal,” got into the habit of launching indignant tirades about Muslims, he in 1999 partook in the liberal pleasure of demonizing the Serbs along collectivist lines.

As NATO was attacking targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in a three-month-long bombing campaign that expended 22.000 tons of ammunition, targeted civilian infrastructure and killed 2,000 civilians according to Yugoslav sources (500 according to American estimates), Maher ridiculed Serb suffering and addressed the Serbs as “yuppie fascists”, who were angry that the bombing was keeping them from “getting to their Tae-Bo class.” Maher characterized the Serbs as supporting an “evil dictator hell-bent on eliminating an entire people” and advised the Serbs to do like the yuppies and “get some therapy”:

So let me be the first to say I am so sorry that supporting a genocidal regime has turned into such a hassle for you. I’m sorry if our bombing has delayed the delivery of your J. Crew catalog or screwed [laughter] or screwed up your commute. And, by the way, if I were you, I would write a strongly worded letter to the transit authority, because I’ve seen your bridges, and frankly, they’re a mess. [laughter and applause] Believe me, we would never have started bombing them if we realized it was keeping you from getting to Tae-Bo class. So maybe what you yuppie fascists need to do is stop supporting an evil dictator who is hellbent on eliminating an entire people just because their ancestors kicked your ancestors’ asses 600 years ago. Let it go. You’re yuppies, get some therapy. [laughter] Get your moral clock working. Let me give you a hint. If in your language you have ever used the phrase, “can I get to the mall if I make a left at the death camp” [laughter] you might be a redneck.

Maher’s recipe of passing chauvinism for edginess was on full display already in 1999. The difference was that the target of his 2-minute bigotry was the Serbian people rather than the Muslim world, and that back then this caused no scandal as only voices from the alternative media called him out for getting a laugh from Serbian civilian hardship.

Photo: Reuters
It is the case the Western world has a problem with both, anti-Muslim as well as, anti-Serbian/anti-Eastern European bigotry. While the former is felt more pointedly it is also the case it comes more from the margins of the society and is more likely to be combated by the establishment and the liberals. The latter prejudice, against the daily savage from Eastern Europe, however, tends to emanate precisely from these circles and as a result will not even be detected as bigotry, much less confronted. The truth is that if Maher had stuck to just bashing Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Latvia and so on he may have still been universally recognized as a liberal.

[This article was originally published on Crappy Town]

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