Bill Maher wrote what he seems to think is a scathing critique of us “conspiracy theorists” for his HBO blog in which he ends by seeming to put forth the idea that an open and free internet is actually “bad for democracy”. That’s an interesting statement from a “progressive” liberal guy (backed Nader in 2000, Kerry in 2004 and Obama ever since) who recently claimed on his HBO show that U.S. backed dictatorships in the Middle East were preferable to democracy. A more stable way of controlling those “backward and overly religious” Middle Eastern nations.
If that sounds a bit “neoconish” to you, I’m sure you aren’t alone in that interpretation.
Also, we’re now in an era where, in addition to porn and bomb-making guidelines, you can see any amount of crazy information you like on the internet, whereas before you could only communicate with like-minded losers via ham radio or at a Star Trek convention.
But we should be way ahead of societies where everything the government does is greeted with automatic suspicion, and I’m not sure we are. In America, there seems to be a very thin wall separating those of us who are being critical and skeptical and those who are just being conspiratorial and crazy.
Isn’t that, you know, bad for democracy?” Bill Maher, May 13, 2013
Not too long ago you were called a “conspiracy theorist” if you said that the Bush administration was lying about WMDs in Iraq so they could justify a preemptive invasion of that country. Bill Maher wasn’t out there leading the charge to keep us from killing over a million Iraqis and destroying that nation. Now, he openly admits that the conspiracy theorists were right and everyone else was wrong, but he doesn’t frame it quite like that. Instead, he simply hopes his audience forgets how he was a cheerleader for the neocon war-crimes like nearly every other sycophantic talking head at the time.
It used to be that only the “conspiracy theorists” claimed that certain elements of the government were in bed with Big Business doing the bidding for those same corporations in exchange for lucrative positions when they got out of public service. Used to be only the “conspiracy theorists” wrote about our One Party System, the Business Party, but now it’s pretty much a given fact of life. Was Bill on the cutting edge of that expose? Of course not.
Bill tosses in references to faked moon landings, aliens and U.N. Black Helicopter theories in order to attempt to discredit whatever point it is he is trying to make by association. I notice he left out the usual fare, the conspiracy behind the JFK assassination, probably because that was a conspiracy as concluded by a congressional investigation and about 80% or more of the American population.
I guess the “conspiracy theorists” were right on that one as well.
The “conspiracy theorists” said that the MSM were in bed with the Bush administration and helping them fabricate those lies which took so many lives since then. Lives of people outside this country and lives of our own soldiers. Turns out, everyone knows that now as well.
At one time it was just the “antisemitic conspiracy theorists” who reported that Israel had an undue amount of influence here in the United States. That’s well understood to be true these days no thanks to people like Bill Maher.
You might also recall that it was once considered a “conspiracy theory” to suggest that the global banking cartels were colluding with each other to rig the system and create a massive collapse from which they could profit and be get bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars, which they would then use to consolidate power by buying up the competition and pretty much anything else they could get their hands on. That was a big “conspiracy theory” for the longest time, always brought up by the influence peddlers like Bill Maher, until of course it turned out to be true and undeniable. Now people like Bill make jokes about it in an attempt to normalize it, while claiming that they are the “skeptics” who exposed it in the first place.
“Conspiracy theorists” claimed the administration was lying about the attack on Benghazi in the early days. They said the attack had nothing to do with the stupid little video and it wasn’t a demonstration that got out of hand.
“Conspiracy theorists” said the Justice Department was using the IRS and various other means to harass opposition parties in the lead-up to the 2012 elections.
I could go on and on but I think you get the point.
Whenever anyone does the hard research and comes to an educated and rational conclusion which strays from the dominant conventional consensus, there are always social climbing “journalists” and opinion makers like Bill Maher there to point their crooked finger at them and screech the typical marginalizing labels at them in the hopes that they can preserve some of their own self-respect by demonizing the heretics.
That is exactly what Maher is doing right now. He recently got embarrassed on his own show by Glenn Greenwald and another guest who took offense at his “blame the radicalized Muslims” diatribe which he laid-out in support of the Obama administration and their handling of the attacks in Benghazi. Greenwald made him look like the sycophantic fool that he is and when your someone like Maher who puts bread on his table by pretending to be critical and skeptical when you really aren’t, you have to do something in order to regain your flailing credibility.
Bill suffers from the same ailment as the mainstream press. His dwindling audience (and thus is dwindling influence and job security) is due to the people coming to the realization that when the sh*t hits the fan, he drops the pretense of being a watchdog and he’s nothing more than a sycophantic apologist for administration policies. His fiasco of a show with Glenn Greenwald proved that beyond any doubt …
… and ironically enough, us “conspiracy theorists” have been saying that about him for years.
Guess we got that one right as well.
Bill Maher is what is typically called “limited hangout”. His job is to artificially limit the scope of acceptable criticism of whatever administration is in power. That’s why he ends his little screed with “there seems to be a very thin wall separating those of us who are being critical and skeptical and those who are just being conspiratorial and crazy.” His suggestion is that it’s “crazy” to step beyond what people like Bill say is acceptable criticism regardless of the evidence and regardless of the fact that the responsible “conspiracy theorists” have been so right over the years while “legitimate journalists” like himself have been so wrong time and time again.
Maher can try to comfort himself by saying there is a “thin line” between us, but the fact is, if that were the case, people like Maher wouldn’t be worried. But the line is getting huge. It’s an ever widening gap that separates what people like him do from legitimate journalism.
Bill’s use of tricks like these to attempt to regain his credibility is very telling. But what he’s really doing is suggesting that the internet needs to be controlled in order to keep these “conspiracy theories” away from public view. That would certainly serve his own purposes as the people begin to see him for what he is and his audience shrinks.
It’s possible that Bill us just so self-absorbed and incapable of critical thought, real critical thought, that he’s bought into his role, believing his own hype after years of having his ego stoked by corporate Yes Men and other self-absorbed party-line sycophants. It’s possible that he doesn’t fully understand the criticism he has just leveled at the whole history of legitimate journalism which dares ask the tough questions in spite of inevitable condemnations from the likes of Bill Maher. It’s possible, but doubtful.
Bill Maher has just advocated for one of the final steps of turning an open society into a closed one: the repression of critical thought and speech by censoring the internet. And of course, like so many fascists and dictators before him, he did it under the guise of protecting democracy.
Interestingly, in that debate he had with Glenn Greenwald, he also put forth the notion that our puppet dictators in various Middle Eastern countries (and by extension, the others in places like Central America and Southeast Asia I assume) were a better option for stability than legitimate democratic governments. Reagan, Negroponte and John McCain couldn’t have said it any clearer than he did.
The Shah of Iran, Mubarak, Ben Ali, Saleh, Papa Doc, Suharto… there’s a long list of criminal bloodthirsty dictators who gave our “national interests” some stability in their respective countries. And Bill Maher, the “progressive” critic of social injustice just signed on in support of every single one of them.
Given all of that, it seems clear that Bill Maher is nothing more than what some might have called a CIA Mockingbird back in the days. But today, you don’t have to be a covert operative on “the company’s” payroll. Today, you just have to be aware enough to know what side your bread is buttered on to do their bidding. And you have to be willing to do and say whatever it takes to prove your worth as an influence peddler.
And as Bill Maher has apparently learned, it would certainly help if the criminal administration that you are carrying water for would shut down the internet so your audience can’t do a little research on their own and find out your are nothing more than a lying sycophantic shill pretending to be a journalist. They may just discover who it is that is really bad for democracy… the “conspiracy theorists” or people like Maher who actually say on their show that dictatorships are better than democracy in some places. Like here perhaps?
It’s not really that hard to figure out. Even Maher’s remaining audience can do it when put in that light. So I guess he is hoping for a little of that dictatorship here in the states as soon as humanly possible.