Rick Perry tried to explain the Republican Party’s Ted Nugent problem on CNN today by claiming that Bill Maher is just like the racist right wing former rock and roll star.
PERRY: Listen, I got a problem with calling the president a mongrel.
BLITZER: A subhuman mongrel.
PERRY: I do have a problem with that. That is an inappropriate thing to say, and, but again, people are saying that all of the time.
BLITZER: If you run for president…
PERRY: Listen, let me ask you, I’m betting Bill Maher… Do you think Bill Maher’s ever said anything inappropriate.
BLITZER: He’s said some pretty disgusting things too.
PERRY: He gives a million dollars to the President Of The United States.
BLITZER: And Democrats should be condemned for that as well.
PERRY: And did we see your program focusing in on that?
BLITZER: Yes, yes we did. You saw all of CNN focus on. When Democrats say sick obnoxious things, we report that as well.
PERRY: As well you should.
Rick Perry debuted the new Republican talking point that Bill Maher is just as bad as Ted Nugent. Perry was arguing that Maher was worse than Nugent because he donated a million dollars to a Democratic super PAC in 2012. The new Republican argument is that both sides do it, so what Ted Nugent said is no big deal.
Like all Republican false equivalencies, this one falls apart when examined with the slightest bit of logic.
The difference between Maher and Nugent is that Bill Maher never campaigned with President Obama. Bill Maher isn’t a board member of the NRA who is pushing an agenda while trying to get Republicans elected. Maher is a stand up comedian, and HBO host. Maher never advocated shooting the president of the United States.
Morally, Maher is also on a different level. Unlike Ted Nugent, Bill Maher isn’t a self confessed sexual predator.
Bill Maher’s biggest crime according to the right is that he has made some harsh jokes about Sarah Palin. The Republican Party embraced a racist who has advocated assassinating the president.
Bill Maher and Ted Nugent are NOT the same thing.
Ted Nugent is a washed up rock and roller, three decades past his sell by date, who is pandering to the far right in order to sell tickets to his summer oldies concerts. Bill Maher still has a vibrant career. Ted Nugent is the definition of a has been.
Rick Perry demonstrated that the mainstream media are total suckers for the both sides do it false equivalency. Notice how quickly Wolf Blitzer fell into line when Perry brought up Bill Maher.
Both sides don’t do it. Republicans do it, and they need to be held accountable for supporting Ted Nugent.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association