Bill Maher

As of late, I’ve been weaning myself from watching the news. So much of it is bad. So much more of it seems to be opinion rather than actual news. I’ll typically turn the national news on for a few minutes in the morning just to catch anything of major importance then turn the tv off, but one evening last week I left it on. The talking heads on Fox New’s Hannity show were little more than background static as I was doing laundry. However I did hear something that caught my attention.

The topic of conversation was whether a Political Action Committee (PAC) for the reelection of Barak Obama should return a million dollar donation received from Bill Maher. In case you’ve never heard of Bill Maher, he is (or was at one time) a comedian who has hosted a show called Politically Incorrect and more recently Real Time with Bill Maher. He makes no secret of his hatred of conservatives (particularly conservative women) and Christianity. He seems to take particular delight in bashing Sarah Palin, calling her a “dumb twat” and the “C” word. He has also made disparaging remarks about her children.

This donation was made shortly after another controversy erupted because conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh referred to Georgetown University Law Student Sandra Fluke as “a slut” after she testified in front of a congressional panel about free birth control. Limbaugh later apologized for his remarks. I have heard of no such apologies from Maher:

From the American Spectator:

Consider how Maher bragged that he could get away with what he said because he is on HBO while Rush is at the mercy of commercial sponsors. This surely sounds like a man who has been granted dispensation from the highest authority.

After all, it was with great fanfare last month that Maher donated $1 million to Priorities USA Action, an Obama Super PAC. As the large check was being hauled out on stage, Maher said to his audience at Yahoo headquarters in Silicon Valley, “I think Mitt Romney’s going to get the (Republican) nomination, and then I hope Obama beats him like a runaway sister-wife.”

I suppose I could rant incessantly about how there’s a double standard when it comes to hate speech; about how it’s okay to attack certain groups and not others; about how if you call yourself a comedian you can attempt to dehumanize anyone who disagrees with your political views. But that’s not the intent of this post.

What caught my attention on Hannity was when Hugh Hewitt described Bill Mayer as the “Gollum of American politics”.

“Of course not everyone knows the story of Gollum or how he came to be the shriveled, desiccated horror that he was throughout Lord of the Rings, and how the desire for power had consumed him from within. Bill Maher’s desire is to be noticed, and especially to be taken seriously as a political and social commentator.” – Hugh Hewitt

And despite the fact that I’ve used most of this post to describe the actions of Bill Maher, that’s not the intent of this post either.

It’s easy to sit in judgement of others. Trust me, I know from experience. But doing so may very well lead us down a similar path as Gollum. If we spend our time and energy being angry at the words and actions or even the inactions of others, we are in danger of being consumed by that anger. It spills out into other areas of our lives, onto other people in our lives. Whether it’s distaste with the political climate, our jobs, our personal relationships or dissatisfaction with life in general, we need to seek out what’s good in life and be grateful, lest all the bad blind us to it forever.

As my friend Jake Lee might say, Life’s too short to waste it being a grumpy ho.

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