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Bill Maher Compares Gunman's Beliefs to Beck's: 'Glenn Beck is Also a Little Nutty


"I don't know who else but Glenn Beck talks about that stuff."

When I tell you that Bill Maher appeared on Anderson Cooper's show last night to comment on the Tuscon shooting, you might ask, "Why was a comedian invited on purportedly serious news show to talk about the incident?" And that would be a really good question.

Then, after you see the clip, you might ask, "Can Bill Maher contradict himself any more times, or make any more false statements, in a single appearance?" And that would be an even better question.

Here's how it went down.

Cooper started off by asking Maher the reasonable question given the circumstances (in a slightly skeptical tone), "Is it fair to place blame at the feet of anyone other than the shooter at this point?” Maher pulled no punches, responding "Yeah." He then explained why (and kind of, sort of backtracked while attacked Glenn Beck):

I mean, not direct blame. No, this guy was clearly a nut. I mean, a schizophrenic, a paranoid. I don’t know. I’m not a psychologist. Nut is the layman’s term. But he was very anti-government. If you read some of the stuff that we have, that we know he wrote, i mean, it’s sprinkled with things, anti-government ideas, treason, tyranny, the gold — get back to the gold standard, that kind of stuff that seems like, you know, I don’t know who else but Glenn Beck talks about that stuff. I’m not saying he was specifically listening to Mr. Beck or anybody else. But Glenn Beck is also a little nutty. I mean, you know, this Jared guy’s chalkboard in his basement, I’m not sure it would look that different than Glenn Beck’s chalkboard. I think it’s disingenuous for the right wing, as I’ve heard them say today, that we can’t make any connection here or else the — or the false equivalency argument that I hear, you know. [Emphasis added]

Did he really just say that? Let's recap. Loughner is "clearly a nut" -- a "schizophrenic." But, in his nuttiness he's rambled off some stuff about tyranny and gold. And because Glenn Beck believes in the security of gold -- which makes him "nutty" too -- then they are similar. Excuse me? That's like saying since the founding fathers hated tyranny, and so too does Jared Loughner, and since those same founding fathers were anti-government (against Britain), then Loughner and the founders are equally nutty.

He continued: "There’s a lot of nuts on the left, too. Yeah, there are nutty people on the left, too. They don’t make threats."

Quick time out. Maher must not have seen all the Twitter messages from the weekend calling for the death of Sarah Palin.

He then dropped this whopper: "Nobody on the left is saying it would cause a rational person to do something crazy. We’re saying it goes out to the borderline cases, the nutty people. But it’s always from the right." [Emphasis added]

As we noted yesterday, that is simply not the case. We have provided countless audio clips of people on the left rooting for, cheering, and calling for violent revolution and/or riots. Michelle Malkin noted the same things.

After attacking the Gadsen flag as violent, Maher went on to claim Giffords was targeted because she was a Democrat. When a puzzled Anderson Cooper responded that there's nothing to suggest that, Maher would not back down:

Don’t know — sorry — I don’t agree with that. from the things I’ve read, he mentions government being controlling and too big and government is this paranoia. Glenn Beck talks about it all the time. Again I’m not saying they’re equivalent. I’m just saying I think Glenn Beck say little off, too.

Since he's a comedian, maybe we can say he was trying to crack a really bad joke. That's the only way to explain away these comments and the logic he uses to link and compare Loughner to Glenn Beck. Sure, he uses the ol' "I'm not really comparing the two," and then goes on to compare the two. That doesn't work.

Colby Hall over at Mediaite picks up on it too, and he thinks Maher's appearance reflects poorly on Cooper:

[F]or Maher to so neatly compare the troubled mind of Jared Loughner to Glenn Beck is remarkably irresponsible and unfair. And in the interest of “keepin’ em honest,” the booking of pseudo-comedian Bill Maher to provide insight on the media landscape and its affect on tragic shooting in Tuscon is not the proudest moment by the producers of AC360.

But Cooper's credibility was also shot when, despite admitting there is no connection between Sara Palin's "target" map, he still asked for Maher's opinion on a possible connection.

How are we supposed to take that seriously?

Partial video of the interview is below:

(Transcript via Mediaite)

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