November 17, 2011 / Media - Entertainment, Politics, Sexism, Unity

Why Is Bill Maher Still on the Air?


On Tuesday, Bill Maher was politely confronted by Elizabeth Hasselbeck on ABC’s The View over his comments regarding reporter Lara Logan the year before.:

“…he [suggested] that after the horrendous sexual assault of a CBS News reporter, we should send Hasselbeck to Egypt.”

Though Hasselbeck is the token conservative on the show, I found it horrific that her sister cast members would not make any kind of a stand against this kind of despicable and violent rhetoric, whether or not these other women agreed with her politics. Maher basically suggested that Hasselbeck, because of her conservative political views, should be sent to Egypt to be gang raped.

I had been a Democrat my entire life, but was likewise horrified when comedian Sandra Bernhard threatened Sarah Palin with gang rape in 2008 “if she dared set foot in Manhattan.” This is not about politics. This is about decency.

Maher, not surprisingly, hid behind the veil of “I’m a comedian” i.e, ‘relax, ladies, it’s only a joke.’

If a shock jock and hate monger misogynist like Maher face ever faced even the threat of the ills he wishes upon women, he might change his self righteous posture. I highly recommend watching this video if only to see his defensiveness, cowardice and unwillingness to apologize for something that clearly crossed the line.

What is even more grotesque is that the rest of the women on this show, knowing how much violence women face in this country and around the world daily, either sat in silence or did their best to try to smooth over the awkward moment and make Maher feel comfortable – as if Hasselbeck was being unreasonable.

Barbara Walter goes so far as to offer that she had to “endure” being called “Baba Wawa” her entire career, as if that compares to wishing unspeakable and horrible violence upon a woman. Shame on her for acting like a protective “mommy.” This is why overgrown spoiled children like Maher continue to practice this kind of behavior, while a network TV show holds up “Applause” screens to egg this on.

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  • Allison

    No one holds him accountable–including HBO–so he will continue making rape jokes and being a sexist against women in both parties.

    The Women’s Media Center called out Ed Schultz when he call Laura Ingram a “slut” on his radio program and then MSNBC suspended him. There were consequences, and Schultz sincerely apologized for what he said.

    So some women organizations need to get together and put pressure on HBO to reprimand Maher so he will stop. Otherwise, he will never change.

  • maddie

    Allison, as we saw in 2008, “some women organizations” have become part of the problem. We can no longer wait on them to take the lead. Now, it’s up to us.

  • This is one of the biggest underlying issues regarding sexual assault, rape, and sexual harassment in our country. This idea that “well it was only a joke” or “geez, lighten up” is so sickening and yet so common. It’s another reason people don’t speak up. How many times does a woman have to hear that something is wrong with her for not being able to take a joke or for taking something the wrong way before she’s worn down and gives up completely? And then our society is shocked when something goes horribly, horribly wrong and can’t understand why she didn’t come forward sooner, which in turn becomes a downward spiral into character assassination. Why do we wait for a suicide or a rape to occur before taking a closer look at the events/attitudes leading up to it?

    Making light of something so heinous and specifically targeting a woman for the sake of getting laughs and attention are not only not okay, it’s reprehensible. Sexual violence is never funny, regardless of the context, and it is a huge part of the problem.

    I admire Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s courage in speaking up for herself and calling out Bill Maher. I love that about her. While I don’t always agree with what she says, I love that she’s not afraid to say what she’s thinking and that she stands so solidly by her convictions, even when it seems she’s the only one in the entire room who feels that way. So good on her. Bill Maher deserved it, and he deserved far more backlash than he got.

    Shame on Joy Behar for defending his right to “push the envelope”, and shame on Barbara Walters for saying, in a round about way, that since she tolerated ridicule for her speech, Elizabeth Hasselbeck should tolerate being the punchline in a joke about sexual assault. I expected better from a woman who is considered a role model and a pioneer in her field.

  • Anna

    Perhaps we should flood Ms. Wawa’s mailbox and point out how ridiculous it is to compare a nickname to being raped…. What a useless tool she is.

  • Allison

    Maher doesn’t just joke about rape. He also makes jokes about child molestation. He told David Letterman of his scuffle with Hasselbeck: “I felt like a teenage boy at Penn State”. Yeah, child rape is so, so funny.

  • Henrietta

    The View is subservient to Liberal Dude Nation. That being so, they routinely show hatred toward women. IMO, the View is every bit as dangerous and offensive as Bill Maher. Perhaps they are even more insidious, as they disguise themselves as being “for women”.

    Although I was happy that Hasselbeck raised this issue, in the end I was disappointed with the way she expressed herself as it seem she held back, probably due to something of a script and a need to blend in with the other women in the end. Why did she not just spell it out? Bill Maher was joking about rape and suggested that Hasselbeck be raped by an angry crowd. Hasselbeck never mentioned the word “rape” which seems to be the important point here.

    Yes, Walters and the rest of the co-hosts on the View are just pathetic. As if Gilda Radner’s rather funny and sweet portrayal of Barbara as Barbara Wawa can compare to a joke about being thrown into a crowd of rapist.

  • Henrietta

    Dear God, look at Hasselbeck’s FB page. Her “friends” calling her bitch and demanding she be raped to death. It’s sickening.

  • I reported those commenters to Facebook and threats of violence which they were. Sick!

  • Kimble

    Perhaps the new internet show PolitiChicks will take up the cause.

  • Kimble
  • Anita Finlay

    I don’t understand how people can live with themselves after calling for this kind of sick violence upon another human being just because they disagree with her politics. This Facebook stuff is appalling and now has a petition to fire Hasselbeck as well.

    I have witnessed several friends have a complete blind spot when it comes to Bill Maher and will let him get away with anything, no matter how debasing — and defend him for it. If the tables were turned and he were on the receiving end of rape and death threats, would they tell him to just laugh it off? “Lighten up, honey — it’s just a joke.”

  • Susan

    The “women” on The View should be ashamed of themselves for not supporting Elisabeth. Maher loathes women unless they’re blowing him and he should never have been offered the opportunity to sell his wares on a show ostensibly directed toward women.

  • anna

    from the 60ies 70ies I remember a page from a major journal putting together a page of sorry penises associated to all the machos of the student movement. another story, I did not witness and cannot say whether it happened or was some bragging. reportedly a large group of apalled women visited the office of a prominent defense lawyer for rapists, undressed him partially and sprayed his penis with some offensive color.
    I would love to see Maher’s face when such stories are told. just as joke and even historic.

  • Juliette

    This is why I will support and vote for CONSERVATIVE women. The other “ladies” on the view are the typical decadent permissive callous elite that tolerate moral monstrocities that any common sense person would find to be awful, i.e. they are liberals. When trying to explain that liberals have become more and more accepting and have even promoted misogyny, my female liberal friends don’t seem to recognize the problem. Could it be that they have surrounded themselves with men like Bill Maher and to them his is acceptable and normal behavior? Barbara Walters has low self esteem because she used sex to get ahead in her career. The other conservative bashers and slanderers on “The View” also have very low self esteem. I cannot understand why Elizabeth works for ABC. ABC is a Christian Conservative bashing network that only altered the name of thier new Sit-Com “Good Christian Bitches, to GCB; as if no one will know what GCB stands for!
    Thank God Joyless Bayhar will not be picked up for another season of her sic show HLN which spreds lies and slander.
    I wonder if Bill Maher would like to see all Good Christian Bitches slautered in Egypt like the Coptic Christians are being slautered while our Muslim Brotherhood loving Obama regime silently watches.
    Women are greatly threatened by the Global Marxist-Muslim brotherhood movement which liberal women seem to support.

  • anna

    Juliette, I think I understand where you are coming from. I used to be a democrat before 2008. Just not all liberal women and politicians think or act the the ones on the view. think Hillary Clinton or Gillibrand or my Maryland rep Barbara Mikulsky. I am sure they would not find Maher funny with his view of women and outspoken sexism and hate mongering.
    all the commentors on Hasselbeck’s site make a great deal that the joke was told before news broke what happened to Logan. But everyone knows how blond haired women in the middle east are doing. and a female journalist detained in Egypt definitely means peril.

  • Juliette

    I volunteered for the HRC presidential campaign. It is how I met Amy. I began to see the truth about my now former party while I noticed how Hillary Clinton put up and shut up and submitted to the will of her sexist misogynic party. Hillay’s husband Bill turned The White House into his own personal whore house. Hillary Clinton has remained a loyal stepford wife to a preditor womanizer. She remained loyal to a party that treated her like dirt! I can see very clearly that liberal women have been prgrammed to turn a blind eye to the outragious behavior of thier liberal dudes. Clinton, Gillibrand and Mikkusky should have revolted against the RBC and DNC gang raped of Hillary’s candidacy. Instead they submitted to the will of the democrat extablishment. Sarah Palin never did such a thing. She will take on any republican man who screws the people. She did when she exposed Murkowski’s involvement with oil companies. Liberal woman are manipulated and controlled. It is sad that they have been convinced that the only right they need to fight for is the right to an abortion, which by no coincidece, relieves the liberal dude father from any parental responsibility.

  • franziska

    a lot of women of both parties are manipulated and controlled.
    when you look at abortion. sure liberal women think they have to fight for something that sad. but I don’t see anyone from the republican side to tackle the abortion problem addressing irresponsible male behavior. If there were agreement that males who cause unwanted pregnancies should be fined. we had a lot less abortions. so to me republicans support dudes conservative or liberal ones just the same.

  • Juliette

    I respectfully disagree with your thinking. Conservative republicans are pro-family. Liberals have rewarded out of wed lock parents with welfare checks. Often these women who have become baby mammas wind up having abortions in addition to out of wedlock children. This is a win win situation for democrats because either way it means tax payer money for Welfare or Planned Parenthood. Conservatives want families to have a mother and father so they can grow to be strong independent and free. The dems want more hopeless down trotted people who will surrender to being totally dependent on government and will therefore continue to vote for big government democrats. There are most deffinitly fines for dead beat dads. Child supprt is required by law and many men go to prison for not supporting thier children. But abortion offers men a get out of child support and possibly jail free card. Welfare offers unidentified baby daddies the freedom of having other tax payers pay for the welfare of thier children and also offesr them the freedom to spread more of thier sperm around. Like most liberal policies these are insane and very damaging to women.

  • Juliette

    Wow. I finally got to see this video. I could not acccess it through this site for some reason.
    The liberal women of the view were so ridiculously week and submissive. For Barbara Walters to compare what that Pig Bill Maher wished on Elizabeth Hasselback and wishes on any God loving conservative woman, to being mimicked by a truly funny comedian-Gilda Radner in her Baba Wawa skits is beyond absurd.
    I could almost picture Whoopie, Joy, Baba and Sherie in Burks during Hasselbacks courageous take down of a cowardly liberal dude who would like to make the US his own personal Playboy Mansion. What the hell is wrong with liberal woman. They are thier own worst enemy.
    Oh and Bill Maher thinks republicans are stupid.
    Watch Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson express his fear that Guam could tip over if we sent too many troops there!

  • Allison

    You seem to forget that Democrat Jane Harman called out Maher on his sexism against a conservative woman:

    Ralph Nader called Maher a sexist to his face on the HBO show:


  • Juliette

    Allison I voted for Ralph Nader against coruptocrat insider trader extreem Al Gore. I don’t know who Jane Harmon is but good for her! I’ll check your links. Thanks.