I used to watch the Fox News Channel (fair and balanced? HA!) and feel lucky that the left side of the political spectrum in our country didn't sponsor (or at least we didn't take them even semi-seriously) pompous windbags that skewed fact and manipulated emotions in order to spin their viewpoint in a way that makes them appear as not just opinions, but as facts that no red-blooded, flag-toting American would ever imagine questioning. Frequently they will bring on guests that have an opposing viewpoint, but when they do they make sure to have a couple right-wing hitmen of their own in the wings to properly gang up on the guy and interrupt him so often he has to yell in order to get a word in, which in turn makes him look like a douche.
So like I was saying I was feeling somewhat smug that liberals didn't support this type of pundit when I stumbled upon one: Bill Maher, host of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher. That guy is a Grade A Douchebag. His perches in his power chair and spouts off commantary that is aimed more at getting what turn out to be light chuckles from his audience as opposed to making any kind of sense. His solution to a guest that has an opposing viewpoint that brings up any evidence that he can't find an answer to is to yell and holler and call George W. an idiot. I used to like to watch him on Politically Incorrect on ABC when I was 15, but then I grew up. His comedy is drab when it isn't completely unfunny and is often borrowed and/or rehashed from somebody else. Hell, the guy can't even cause controversy on his own terms. In 2001 he said on air regarding the War on Terrorism: "We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly." Afterward companies pulled sponsorships and his contract was not renewed by ABC, and at the same time he was awarded received the President's Award (for "championing free speech") from the Los Angeles Press Club.
Seems pretty controversial right? It would be, except for the fact that Maher was only repeating what his guest, Dinesh D'Souza, had just barely said. On the other side he can take credit for another controversial remark where he said that "...dogs are like retarded children."
I know what the conservatives are thinking: "At least our pompous windbags are upstanding, moral gentlemen." To that I have three words: Those Who Trespass. None of these guys are perfect, so let's not try to justify and/or dignify anything here.
Nobody comes out clean in this argument. It's all a load of crap that just needs to go away. Why does the modern political landscape have to be so damned mean? We need open and honest debate in this country now as much as ever. So let's stop demonizing those that disagree with us. Let's stop questioning their mental state and patriotism. Let's compromise and actually try and find solutions to our problems. Let's get rid of all this hot air and start talking again.