Bill Maher got his right-wing guests -- the National Review's Reihan Salam and Fox News' Margaret Hoover -- on this week's edition of Real Time worked up when he asked why all the recent political violence is coming from the right. Salam reminded me a bit of Howard Fineman on Hardball the other day when he couldn't name anyone on the left who equaled the violence we're seeing from the right either, and reached back to the Weather Underground as an example of a violent group on the left, which Maher pointed out existed before he was born. Fox's Margaret Hoover tried painting Joy Behar with the same brush as the Kentucky head-stomper for her comments on The View, which (as Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out) is completely ridiculous.
While I don't agree completely with Bill that if you looked hard enough you couldn't find some example of someone on the left behaving badly because there are a few out there, he's spot on that both sides are not equal and the craziness we've been seeing for the last several years is coming from the right, not the left. I'm surprised neither of them pulled out the faker Kenneth Gladney's story where pretended to get beaten up by members of the SEIU that Dave wrote about here -- Faking victimhood: Just how hurt was that supposed victim of SEIU 'thuggery'?.
The big difference between what's going on now, as I said in the post on Fineman's hackery (and it's a point Maher failed to make), is that this hatred that is being drummed up right now is coming from these astroturf groups funded by big business and from the Republican leadership itself and from right-wing hate-talk radio. These are not just isolated incidents, but ones that are being incited intentionally and drummed up by people who understand full well what they're doing and just don't care about the repercussions. Bill did point out some of the things that Tom Tancredo has said recently and Hoover tried writing him off by saying he's not a Republican any more. Uh-huh.
For a reminder of just how crazy things are getting on the right there are plenty of examples here and here and here and here. And of course there is also John and Dave's book -- Our 'Over the Cliff' website: A resource for progressives coping with insane right-wingers.
Partial transcript below the fold. Bill had me with him during the show until a bit later when he said he's alarmed by the number of babies being named Mohammed in Great Britian. Really Bill?
And one last note, this clip really illustrates a point that Driftglass and Bluegal made in their podcast this week which is that when you confront anyone on the right about how badly their side behaves, their heads explode.
Salam: This is absolutely appalling behavior and everyone should condemn it.
Maher: But it’s your team. Why is your team…
Salam: Not all of us…
Hoover: Hold on here…
Maher: Why is your…
Hoover: Come on!
Maher: Wait a second.
Hoover: That is fundamentally unfair and you know it.
Maher: It is not unfair. Why is the truth unfair? Show…
Hoover: You think that only Republicans beat each other up? Republicans are the violent ones? Are you kidding me?
Maher: What… I am not kidding you. Tell me…
Hoover: You think Republicans just go around stomping on people’s and that’s what we’re all about. That’s all we do really. We’re just really violent people.
Maher: I’m just saying liberals don’t.
Maher: Tell me where a liberal did?
Hoover: Last time I checked it was Joy Behar who was comparing Sharron Angle to Hitler. She’s saying, Sharron’s Angle’s ads are like Hitler’s goose-stepping.
Maher: In her ads?
Hoover: You’ve never heard of any violence on your side?
Maher: I haven’t.
O’Donnell: The View audience Bill is a very dangerous group.
Maher: I haven’t.
O’Donnell: She… you know…
Hoover: They walk out on you.
Maher: Tell me where it is.
Hoover: Really. I mean for you to suggest that there is only one party in American politics that has had… um…
Maher: I am.
Hoover: …misfits and wingnuts who have been violent.
Maher: I’m asserting this.
Salam: Am I going to assume that the Weather Underground was on your team? That’s absurd.
Maher: That was in the sixties! (crosstalk) You weren’t born. (crosstalk)
Salam: I apologize.