The Daily Stern, PM edition

The Daily Stern, PM edition
: Just saw Bill Maher‘s show. He interviews Sandra Tsing Loh, the NPR commentator fired for letting the F-word go out unbleeped.

Said Maher: “How dumb is this f****** country?!?” And he didn’t bleep himself. He’s on HBO. For now, at least, he doesn’t have to bleep.

George Carlin, quoted below, droned a bit on the topic and then said: “The liberals are just as bad on ths issue as the conservates. Politically correct speech is sheer denial of free speech and their hands are not clean on this issue.” Yup.

He also said that the absurdity of doing what I’ve been doing — f**k — is that you’re allowed to know the idea that’s being conveyed even with two letters missing; the idea has been conveyed; if the idea is what’s evil then how is that better; it’s absurd. Yup.

: By the way, I also saw the return of Dennis Miller this week. Boy, has he turned into an intense, nervous guy who makes me nervous just watching him. He’s like the really geeky kind of person off his meds who stares right into your eyes too long and too intensely. Maher, on the other hand, is more comfortable than he ever was on HBO; he has found his groove. Miller has not.

: Here is a commercial — quite unsafe for work or family here in America — that is on Channel 4′s site in Britain saying the f-word and others with glee. Boy, are things different there. Maybe Howard should move there. Maybe I should, too. [via AroundMyRoom]

  • http://www.woogieworld.org Brian

    Did you watch Miller’s show with Carrie Fisher? I think the guy is brilliant, but he’s getting the weirdest guests. That guy from West Wing who was on the Varsity looked like he was having a Parkinson’s episode during the whole Kerry Flip-Flop debate.

  • daudder

    the interview with Carrie Fisher was the exception…Miller tries way to hard to support his newfound repubican views ALL THE TIME, rather than let his (lefty) guests speak, make a point, or even a joke.
    Maher is very comfortable withletting his guests (for the most part) speak no matter if they disagree with him. And by letting them make their point, in full, means there is far less yelling, cross talk and bluffery. That and the fact that comedy aimed at those in power is always funnier than comedy aimed at the powerless, makes Maher much more enjoyable.
    I think that is what Howard also does very well, when he interviews celebrity guest (he is among the best).

  • Mumblix Grumph

    That and the fact that comedy aimed at those in power is always funnier than comedy aimed at the powerless, makes Maher much more enjoyable.
    Oh come on…the left-wing in this country are the powerless? What are you smoking?
    Go to any rich upscale area in almost any city and look at what politician’s signs are in the yards and windows. Overwhelmingly left-wing candidates.
    Look at the makeup of congress, the lefties are the usually the richest ones there.
    The sixties are over and the Democrat party has changed, you need to get with the times.

  • http://www.woogieworld.org Brian

    Miller tries way to hard to support his newfound repubican views ALL THE TIME
    Really, that’s the impression I always had from Maher. Maybe it’s the way we both watch the show and our political bias coming into it. And the comment about Miller making jokes about the powerless is just silly. Calling the people of this country “powerless” is just like saying you were disenfranchised because your candidate didn’t win.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Bye, Jeff. Enjoy England, where you can say the f-word on teevee during dinner hour but there are spy cameras everywhere. Now, what was that thing you were all upset about a moment ago — “freedom”, was it?

  • Mumblix Grumph

    Maher is too smarmy. He always looks like a used car salesman who(wrongly)thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room.
    Maybe it’s his “I’m an athiest, and that automatically makes me cool and sophisticated, while you’re just a jug-eared rube from fly-over country”.
    Then again, that’s usually how Liberals in general act.

  • daudder

    Mumblix, my point was not that the right are in power and the left powerless, just that funniest stuff takes on whomever is in power…rather than defends whomever is in power.
    …and Brian, if you think Miller is really funny these days, that’s great. A double bill with carrot top even better, eh.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    The Left is powerless? Wow! I didn’t realize that there was a ban on all abortions, affirmive action had been repealed and kids can pray in school! Thanks for the update. Seriously, that must be some GREAT stuff you’re smoking.

  • daudder

    Mumblix, can you read?

  • Mumblix Grumph

    Mumblix, my point was not that the right are in power and the left powerless,
    Why yes, I can read fine, can you, or do you just have a problem reading what you write??

  • daudder

    read it again…”my point was NOT that the right are in power and the left powerless”…

  • Courtney

    I don’t know Jeff, you may be able to say f*ck on British t.v. when children watch, but you can’t say anything “insensitive” about gay people [as Bishop of Chester found out], deride Osama bin Laden [as prison guard Colin Rose discovered when he got fired], question Black History month [as Councillor David Meacock discovered], portray gay men in what may be construed as less than flattering manner [as Yahoo did when a commercial was banned in 2002], or let fly theories on Arabs supporting terrorism and treat women poorly [as Robert Kilroy-Silk discovered].
    So let’s see, Jeff, you’re willing to trade freedom of speech to express (possibly wrong or unpopular) ideas about serious issues for the freedom to teach eight year olds the word “f*ck”? What a noble cause.
    Think before you type.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    O…K…when you said that the left was powerless, you really meant was that the left WASN’T powerless…
    Ah, I see, it all depends on what your definition of “is” is.
    By the way, I don’t want to know what you’re smoking any more, and really, maybe you should cut down a bit.

  • daudder

    comedy aimed at those in power is always funnier than comedy aimed at the powerless

  • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

    I’m rather surprised to hear you say that, Jeff. I find Maher unbelievably shallow and often intellectually dishonest. Not to mention terribly predictable and not particularly clever.
    Mind you, I’ve always found him so, going all the way back to when he was still doing “Politically Incorrect” on Comedy Central. He’s often grossly unfair. Yes, he’ll be polite after-the-fact to people who disagree with him, but for the most part he’s mind-bogglingly shallow. Indeed, he makes Bill O’Reilly look deep and clever, and that really takes some doing if you ask me.
    Shallow cynicism and cheap shots are Maher’s stock-in-trade. As they are Carlin’s these days. I find the show painful to watch.

  • sol

    Yeah we know what f**k is hiding. We also know people masturbate. Do it in public (go ahead, Jeff, do it) and see the looks on the faces of your fellow citizens. Are they repressed? Do standards mean anything…?

  • Jeremy

    Except the truth is, you actually can get away with using profanity on TV, as long as it’s on at a certain time, and there’s warnings.
    For instance, NYPD Blue.
    Another example, South Park. Comedy Central even ran the South Park movie uncut! And that’s on basic cable/satellite.
    But much like Howard Stern, don’t let the truth keep you from your insane raning. I suggest you move to France…

  • Angus Jung

    “comedy aimed at those in power is always funnier than comedy aimed at the powerless”
    I do not think the words “fact” and “always” mean what you think they mean.

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Right, Jeff. Move to Britain, where you can say naughty words on TV, but you can’t say bad things about Muslims or claim that orthodox Christianity and homosexuality don’t get along without being arrested and fined.
    Have you been getting enough sleep?

  • KMK

    I agree, Bill Maher has found his groove and his audience. His comedy is politics du jour. I just wish he’d show less of his tongue. Every time he lets it hang out Hefner’s grato pops into my head and the joke is lost. Carlin has never changed. He’s been an “up the establishment” guy consistently. I love his word play. I wish Dennis Miller would find his niche. He’s an incredibly smart guy. I’ve met him a few times. I don’t know many people who can work Spanish Torquemada into a conversation successfully. I liked his comedy better when he attacked left and right. I don’t know if he’s that comfortable with his new agenda. He has an HBO stand up coming on April 12th I want to see. HBO archived his rants too.
    Free speech
    http://www.hbo.com/dml/past_rants//20020503.html
    Truth in Media http://www.hbo.com/dml/past_rants//20020405.html
    IMO

  • Trump

    Here is a commercial — quite unsafe for work or family here in America — that is on Channel 4′s site in Britain saying the f-word and others with glee. Boy, are things different there. Maybe Howard should move there. Maybe I should, too
    Maybe you want to do some research before moving…despite total gun control, their violent crime rate is spiraling out of control. If someone breaks into your house in Britain and you defend yourself, YOU’LL be the one dragged before the law. Also, England is the city with the most photo surveilance in the world (or one of the top ones)
    But hey! You’ll be able to say f**k before some criminal cripples you….

  • Trump

    Maher is spineless. He apologized for his “coward” comments regarding 9/11. If he was REALLY being politically incorrect, he would’ve stood his ground. I had no problem with that comment because the show is politically incorrect after all! But Pizza Boy proved that his convictions are weak and lacking. Maher is also a a huge supporter of PETA, the domestic terrorist organization.
    As for Miller- he’s lost his edge. Then again, I never liked him much to begin with.

  • wen

    OK now Jeff, I think I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and say that your admiration for British fondness of naughty words spoken with impugnity has overcome your certain knowledge that the politically incorrect is criminally prosecutable there. In uptight America, this is the opposite. The public airways belong to everyone and so there are decency rules that apply. Howard is well aware that this has always been the case and has chosen as a matter of deliberate course to break the rules. You choose on your site that there be no profanity, you don’t want the people who visit to bring their filth here. Many people don’t want Howard to bring to their place either. They certainly can choose not to listen, but what about their 12 year old with a clock radio? They can forbid them to listen to Howard–yeah that works; or they can take away the kid’s radio. Yea! Freedom reigns! No more Baldwinian fantasies, Jeff. Stay and fight for America! We need you.

  • JorgXMcKie

    I’m trying to remember Maher ripping into the liberal establishment when _it_ was in power. Hmmm. Nope. Maybe it was the way Politically Incorrect always had a single conservative or Republican whipping boy to face two or three lefty screamers. Must’ve missed the withering satire aimed at Democrats in Congress. Oh, well.
    Perhaps Bill should go on talk radio and compete with Limbaugh (I can’t listen to him) or Hannity (I won’t listen to him.) Go, Bill. Speak the truth to power.

  • Carl in N.H

    Re the Brit commercial:
    Yes, yes, yes, all the other posters have excellent points about “free” speech, but someone PLEASE explain:
    Just what the f**k was that commercial FOR ?

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~lex.alexander/lexblog.htm Lex

    One perfectly good reason to use asterisks — it keeps the people looking for the real word away from your site. Not all hits are good hits.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~lex.alexander/lexblog.htm Lex

    One other reason: Some people’s employers employ Web filters; if you spell the words out, your site is blocked.

  • Ryan

    “That and the fact that comedy aimed at those in power is always funnier than comedy aimed at the powerless, makes Maher much more enjoyable.”
    C’mon Daudder…you can make the case that the above is more likely but “fact” & “always”? That may be your own opinion. Sometimes it’s funny to lampoon the self righteous even when they don’t have power persay. Sometimes political jokes come with their own built in audience (ideology wise). Look at the top grossing comedies of the last few years and you will find them replete with jokes at the expense of the “powerless”. There are many branches of humor. The branch dealing with making fun of the powerful may be your cup of tea.
    But otherwise it stinks like “liberals are good people and conservatives are bad people” thinking that is beneath you based on previous conversations.

  • Free Speaker

    Before people get too enthusiastic about free speech in the UK, the fact is that UK network censors frequently butcher US tv shows before broadcast because of taboo topics.
    (Futurama and Roswell are two well known examples of series that had shows that suffered significant cuts for content before UK broadcast.)

  • http://stribs.blogspot.com Robert S.

    Mumblix Grumph: Maher isn’t even a liberal. He’s a self-proclaimed libertarian. Getcha facts straight!

  • http://stribs.blogspot.com Robert S.

    TRUMP: He apologized for his “coward” comments regarding 9/11.
    I don’t remember Maher apologizing at all; I remember him explaining what he meant. It’s sad that he even had to do that: people being so thick that they didn’t get his point; so closed-minded that they can’t admit that terrorists may be evil, but they ain’t necessarily cowards. Anyway, that’s not the same as apologizing. If you watched his show at the time, there was plenty of discussion around the nuances of this.

  • http://stribs.blogspot.com Robert S.

    Furthermore Trump, you’re right about Maher’s affiliations with PETA, and I’m no fan of that group either, but do these sound like the words of a “spineless” bloke to you?

    I do a lot of work for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and I’m on their board. And the other night I did Jay’s show — that’s Jay Leno, “The Tonight Show.”
    “Just by the luck of the draw, they had an animal act first,” Maher says. “And I had to come out and pretty much tank my whole set because I had to say, ‘I’m doing this show in protest.’
    “Animals are not in show business. I was listening to the tigers in their cages backstage — they didn’t like it, they don’t want to be in show business. The more we perpetuate the idea that it’s good for them to be trotted out like this, the more things aren’t going to get better.
    “I totally alienated the crowd. The crowd loves animal acts. But as an officer of PETA, I couldn’t avoid saying something.”

    from: http://www.cnn.com/2001/CAREER/jobenvy/03/12/maher/
    Doesn’t sound remotely spineless to me.

  • http://stribs.blogspot.com Robert S.

    Futurama and Roswell are two well known examples of series that had shows that suffered significant cuts for content before UK broadcast.)
    I’d be very interested to hear what they cut.

  • Free Speaker

    Here’s a link that covers some of the cuts to Futurama:
    http://www.geocities.com/futurama_cuts/
    In general, anyone talking about guns or drugs in any vaguely favorable fashion will get cut. Lots of “inappropriate” language or sexual references will get cut, too.
    “Roswell” cuts varied wildly. For example, they cut a scene from a Christmas episode where Max entered a hospital room and healed some children – this scene was the emotional climax of the episode, so it was a particularly dreadful cut.
    The censors are much more active if a show is going to be shown before 9 PM (sometimes particular episodes of a series like the Simpsons can be restricted to only being shown after 9 PM).