I suppose it’s time to wade in on the assertion that liberals have no right to complain about Rush Limbaugh because Bill Maher is just as foul mouthed when criticizing conservatives.
My first thought is, how juvenile is that? How is that different from three year olds whining that ‘she hit me first’? When did it become OK for one person’s bad behavior to justify another’s similar bad behavior?
Which brings me to Bill Maher, and to a lesser extent Jon Stewart. Both are capable of very funny and insightful political satire, as good as the best of Mort Sahl, maybe better because they, and their writers, manage to cover new material for mass audiences day after day.
But here’s the problem, both of them like to think they are ‘edgy’, which means nothing more than salting their lines with curses and obscenities that have long since lost their ability to shock, are not humorous, but are a distraction from the sophisticated satire of which they are capable. Whatever edginess that might have represented was over fifty years ago. Even George Carlin figured that out.
One final observation. Don’t confuse satire with sarcasm. Maher is capable of intellectually honed political satire. Limbaugh slugs away with sarcasm.