Bill Maher wasn't too happy with Jon Stewart for playing the false equivalency game at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear he and his cohort Stephen Colbert held last month in his New Rules segment on this week's Real Time.
I agree with Bill completely when it comes to his remarks about Jon Stewart. As much as I love both Jon and Stephen for what they do most days on the air and as much as I enjoyed the rally for the most part, I think the criticism was spot on. We've been pushed way too far to the right and the notion of "centrism" when it amounts to corporatism does not equal a "fair and balanced" anything.
Maher: And finally New Rule, if you’re going to have a rally where hundreds of thousands of people show up, you might as well go ahead and make it about something. With all due respect to my friends Jon and Stephen, it seems to me that if you truly wanted to come down on the side of restoring sanity and reason, you’d side with the sane and the reasonable and not try to pretend that the insanity is equally distributed in both parties.
Keith Olbermann is right when he says he’s not the equivalent of Glenn Beck. One reports facts. The other one is very close to playing with his poop. And the big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance’s sake, that the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just as powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is damaging as racism. There’s a difference between a “mad man” and a “madman”. […]
But the message of the rally as I heard it was that if the media would just stop giving voice to the crazies on both sides then maybe we could restore sanity. It was all nonpartisan and urged cooperation with the moderates on the other side, forgetting that Obama tried that and found out, there are no moderates on the other side. […]
You see Republicans keep staking out a position that is further and further right and then demand Democrats meet them in the middle, which is not now the middle any more. That’s the reason health care reform is so watered down. It’s Bob Dole’s old plan from 1994. Same thing with cap and trade; it was the first president Bush’s plan to deal with carbon emissions. Now the Republican plan for climate change is to claim it’s a hoax. But it’s not. […]
Two opposing sides don’t necessarily have two compelling arguments. Martin Luther King spoke on that Mall in the Capitol. He didn’t say “Remember folks, those southern sheriffs with the fire hose and the German Shepherds, they have a point too. No. He said “I have a dream” and they have a nightmare.
This isn’t team Edward and team Jacob. Liberals like the ones on that field must stand up and be counted and not pretend that we’re as mean or greedy or short sighted or just plain batshit as they are.
And if that’s too polarizing for you and you still want to reach across the aisle and hold hands and sing with someone on the right, try church.