Friday, June 19, 2009

Bill Maher: A Progressive Critic of Obama That Is Actually Getting Listened To

Bill Maher appeared on Wolf Blitzer's show a few days ago, and has been all over the television recently due to his recent critical remarks about Obama. Dustin informs me that he actually happened to see him on television 3 times on Monday.

This is pretty odd, because usually the sort of critics you see in the media of the Obama administration are of the far-right variety: you know, people like Rush and Newt calling Obama or his SCOTUS nominee a racist, or various GOP kooks claiming that Obama is out to turn our children into the Hitler Youth or something.

Basically, the media seems to think that the only critical words Obama should face are from the right and far right -- and most of that criticism has devolved into childish nonsense. This is bad for everyone except those voices on the far right who like to hear themselves speak and Obama, who probably enjoys not facing off with intelligent opponents.

Maher notes that we don't see voices like "Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader" making their eloquent criticisms of Obama policy, and that they're portrayed as "far left" even though many of their views are completely in line with what most people in this country want. He states that the media in this country really exists on band between "center-right and far-right."

This is going to make a lot of the moshpit conservatives growl, but he's right. We don't have a "liberal media" in this country. Otherwise someone like Ralph Nader would have a TV show where he'd be just as critical of Obama as someone like Newt Gingrich or Eric Cantor. The only difference is, his criticisms would actually make sense. That isn't to say there are not intelligent right wing critics of Obama, because there are, but they certainly aren't the sort of people that dominate the pundit class for their side of the aisle.

The fact is, there's plenty of room to disagree with Obama on both the right and left, and that the left wing critics tend to be a lot more educated than the sort of radio show host far-right blabbering we always get on the airwaves. We aren't having a real debate if we're having Obama propose a policy or nominee and the only criticism we're hearing is that he's a racist out to indoctrinate our children into a Nazi-esque regime. That's not debate, that's stupidity. The media in this country is awfully stupid.


Bryant said...

I don't necessarily disagree with what Bill Maher has said here, but he has oversimplified.

Most people would probably classify me as far rightwing (or maybe even extreme rightwing), yet Maher himself also uses this description for Newt Gingrich.

Why? I strongly disagree with Newt Gingrich on many issues. He supports policies that I would consider to be evil.

This shows that the left-versus-right paradigm is too loose and inaccurate to be useful.

I prefer this classification:

Zaid at UGA said...

It should be added that I think anarcho-capitalist, right-libertarians are also pretty underrepresented in the media. Probably not as much as social democratic/Green-style politicos, but they definitely take a backseat to the Limbaugh-Newt mouthbreathers.