Bill Maher on Monday compared the psychological makeup of Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused of Saturday's Tucson massacre, to that of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck.
Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper about the incident, Maher disgustingly said, "Glenn Beck is also a little nutty. You know, I mean, this Jared guy's chalkboard in his basement, I'm not sure it wouldn't look that different than Glenn Beck's chalkboard" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Joining us now is Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."
Bill, when you first heard the news that a member of Congress had been shot in a politically heated state like Arizona, what was your initial reaction?
BILL MAHER, HOST, HBO'S "REAL TIME":That this is really the only country in the world that shoots its leaders at the rate that we do. The last time I think a leader was shot in Britain was 1812. Canada has had 15 or 16 prime ministers, how many have been shot? Zero.
It's a very well-armed country with a lot of nutty people. And that's a very bad combination.
COOPER: Is it fair at this point -- I mean obviously there's been a lot of soul searching, a lot of finger pointing at this point. Is it fair to be placing blame at the feet of anyone other than the shooter at this point?
MAHER: Yes. I mean, not direct blame. No. This guy was clearly a nut. I mean, a schizophrenic, a paranoid. I don't know. I'm not a psychologist. But nut would be the layman's term.
But it's also clear that he was very antigovernment. I mean if you read some of the stuff that we have -- that we know he wrote, I mean, it's sprinkled with things anti-government ideas, treason, tyranny, of the gold get off -- get back to the gold standard, that kind of stuff that seems like -- you know, I don't know who else but Glenn Beck talks about that stuff. I'm not saying he was specifically listening to Mr. Beck or anybody else.
But Glenn Beck is also a little nutty. You know, I mean, this Jared guy's chalkboard in his basement, I'm not sure it wouldn't look that different than Glenn Beck's chalkboard. Yes, I think it's disingenuous for the right wing, as I've heard them say today, that we can't make any connection here or else the -- or the false equivalency argument that I hear, you know. There's a lot of nuts on the left, too.
Yeah, there are nutty people on the left, too. They don't make threats. They don't talk about guns. I heard someone on NPR today say, well, when Bush was president, there was Bush equals Hitler signs. From who? Not from someone in Congress. Yeah, there's always going to be some nut out there. I don't know who had that sign.
Don't know who had that sign, Bill? Exactly where were you when George W. Bush was in the White House?
As NewsBusters reported in August 2009, hate-filled anti-Bush signs were quite the rage throughout much of the last decade:
Of course, it's not at all surprising Maher isn't familiar with such signs. Most liberal media members aren't.
But that was just the beginning of the absurdity:
MAHER: But Sarah Palin put the cross hairs up on her website. That's a person in a position of authority.
Yes, that's true. But as NewsBusters reported Tuesday, the Democratic Leadership Council in 2004 also used crosshairs to depict a political targeting strategy:
I guess the oh-so-brilliant Mr. Maher was also unaware of this. But there's still more, for next he brushed off all vitriolic statements by liberals as being no comparison to what's said on the right:
MAHER: Her other example was, you know, Keith Olbermann says Worst Person in the World. Well, first of all, it's comedy. It's tongue in cheek. And it's very different than what Allan West talks about, what Michele Bachmann talks about. I want to, you know, keep my opponents scared to come out of his house. I want Minnesotans armed and dangerous.
Sharron Angle with 2nd Amendment remedies. You float these ideas. Nobody on the left is saying it would cause a rational person to do something crazy. We're saying it goes out to the borderline cases, the nutty people. But it's always from the right.
It's always from the right? Well, how about Maher himself in March 2007 expressing regret that then Vice President Dick Cheney's assassination attempt wasn't successful:
I quite imagine Maher's forgotten this as well what with all the pot he smokes. But there was still more, for next he made excuses for President Obama's own violent political rhetoric:
COOPER: But at this point, I mean -- well, first of all, a lot of people on the right will point to a comment that President Obama -- I think then candidate Obama made about, you know, bringing a gun to a knife fight. That's the line I've heard a lot today. Is that a fair comparison?
MAHER: No, it's not. I mean, maybe it's unfortunate that he would use that metaphor. But, you know, there are such things as guns and knives in the world. We're not trying to say you can't use those words ever in speech. But it's a lot different than the this sort of direct idea that it's OK to threaten with bodily harm the people you disagree with. Jesse Kelly, I saw in the paper, there's an ad that --
COOPER: That's the person who was running against the congresswoman.
MAHER: Right. Which said help remove her from office. And in the next line talked about firing M-16s. You know, this -- this kind of stuff is not what goes on on the left. You cannot -- you cannot point to any sort of equivalency here.
And as always, the media gets that wrong. They try to -- they try to make it like they're being fair because they're making everything 50/50. Well, if you're not being truthful, and that's not truthful, then you're not being fair.
Yep - it's just not fair to refer to anything said by folks on the left that might in any way be the equivalent of what they find offensive coming from the right.
And this guy has his own talk show on HBO from which he gets to spew his nonsense with total impunity.
Even worse, there are those that actually believe what he says is true.
Heaven help us.