Supplemental: This is what “liberal” pandering looks like!


Chris Hayes bombs Bill Maher:
Do liberals get pandered to on MSNBC?

Sometimes, yes, they do. Consider Chris Hayes’ handling of the epic debate between Bill Maher and Ben Affleck.

Affleck appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday evening, October 3. Three nights later, Hayes devoted a segment to the discussion.

He teased the topic right at the start of his program:
HAYES (10/6/14): Plus, the epic Ben Affleck/Bill Maher smack down.

AFFLECK (videotape): Because it’s gross! It’s racist.

HAYES: All In starts right now.
Ben Affleck had called Maher a racist! It was an epic smack down!

Later, Hayes teased the excitement again:
HAYES: Ben Affleck calls Bill Maher “gross and racist.” We’ll play you the tape ahead.
Plainly, the excitement was building. And the R-bomb was flying again.

After a break, the segment ran about the epic smack down.

To watch the full segment, click here. What did viewers get in that segment?

They saw a highly selective set of video clips from the HBO show—clips in which Affleck is hurling accusations at Maher and Sam Harris. They then saw Hayes display his own moral greatness.

After playing those rather selective video clips, Hayes began with this:
HAYES: All right. Two things. First of all, the definition of Muslims as people who “just want to go to the store, eat sandwiches and pray five times a day” is basically perfect and can’t be improved upon.
Admittedly, that was cute. But Hayes bungled what Affleck had said on the tape, and it isn’t a “basically perfect” definition of anything in the first place.

Mainly, it’s just silly. Presumably, Hayes must know that.

Whatever! That was simply a cable host pandering to his viewers. But as he continued, Hayes did something that was flatly dishonest—and perhaps just a tiny bit vile:
HAYES (continuing directly): Second of all, put me down on the Ben Affleck camp on this, strongly. I think to suggest that what is happening in the most extreme form in some Muslim countries is representative of the views of all Muslims is gross and racist. Or to obsess over what the particular problem with Islam is.
For the record, Harris’ name was never mentioned by Hayes. He only mentioned Affleck and Maher when he described the smack down.

That said:

Had Maher “suggested that what is happening in the most extreme form in some Muslim countries is representative of the views of all Muslims?” Plainly, that’s what Hayes implied in that statement. Is that suggestion accurate?

We’d have to say it isn’t. In fact, when Harris made his most definitive statistical statement on Real Time, he said he was discussing the beliefs of roughly twenty percent of Muslims worldwide.

Twenty percent isn’t all! If a person actually wants to be fair, neither Maher nor Harris said or suggested that “what is happening in the most extreme form in some Muslim countries is representative of the views of all Muslims.”

This distinction was perfectly clear on Real Time. It wasn’t in the selective clips Hayes played for his viewers.

To be honest, Maher didn’t say or suggest that. But so what? That had been Affleck’s hysterical claim, as shown in the tapes that Hayes had just played.

Now, Hayes implied that this was what Maher had actually said—and he went on to say that Maher’s supposed suggestion really was “gross and racist.”

In short, Hayes dropped an R-bomb on Maher’s head after playing selective tapes and offering a grossly tilted account of what he actually said. By traditional norms, this is ugly behavior. More and more, though, this is our “liberal” norm.

As Hayes continued, he played one last rather dumb card. He criticized Maher for holding his discussion without any Muslims on his panel. He then played tape of Reza Aslan discussing Islam on CNN, leading to this pronouncement:
HAYES: It turns out, as a general rule, that asking people to explain what they believe, and why, is a whole lot more enlightening than speculating about their beliefs as if they’re not in the room.
“As a general rule,” that may or may not be right. It all depends on what you're discussing and who you choose for your panelists.

The fact that Aslan is a Muslim doesn’t automatically mean that he can or will explain the views of Muslims worldwide. It doesn’t mean that he can explain those views more accurately than Harris.

Similarly, the fact that a Muslim panelist can explain his own views doesn’t mean that he can explain the views of Muslims worldwide. Still, this let Hayes exit the segment with a final lofty pronouncement.

Including Muslims in such discussions may well be a good idea. In the meantime, how about this:

Hayes had just conducted a monologue about Bill Maher without Bill Maher in the room! He misrepresented what Maher had said, then said his statements had been gross and racist.

We’re going to say there was a time when Hayes wouldn’t have done that. But the suits have gotten ahold of Hayes since they put him in prime time, and Hayes has become a somewhat different cable performer.

Liberal viewers were pandered to and misled this night. As those viewers were misled, the R-bombs continued to fall.


  1. I'd like to see Hayes have Bob on his show. Everybody e-mail "All In."
    They can't ignore the weight of all Howlerdom.

    1. Wait.

      This happened almost two weeks ago? Bob is posting about the Affleck bombing for five times already and he just now gets around to Chris Hayes?

      Never mind.

    2. If it didn't happen yesterday it doesn't exist or doesn't count or isn't worth talking about?

    3. No. Bob still covers Al Gore in 2000. Rachel maddow goes all the way back to the 1980"s and covers Nancy Reagan's Astrologer. Great minds think how to connect the past to the present. Great minds think alike.

    4. No one is complaining because it happened in the past. It is a trivial topic serving no other purpose than to ridicule a Republican president by mocking his wife.

    5. I wish Bob would quit mocking Al Gore by reminding us of all the boneheaded things he said then took weeks to weakly explain, excuse, or apologize for.

    6. Television is the world's greatest device for manipulating people.

  2. Treating any criticism of Muslims or blacks as racism harms everyone, including Muslims and blacks IMHO.

    Consider Major Hassan, who shot 50 or so innocent people while crying "Allahu Akbar!". What made this person adopt the bad values he adopted? How can we discourage other Muslims from adopting these bad values? Well, we can't even ask these questions without acknowledging that Hasan had adopted bad Islamic values. Instead, his mass killing has been classified as "workplace violence."

    There is a segment of black people who have anti-social values. People from this segment commit a huge number of crimes. The media have a policy to hide the race of the black criminal. How can we help black inner city parents to raise children with good values, if we don't even acknowledge the existence of substantial subgroup with bad values?

    1. I have found adopting a firm but reasonable tone works.
      Every Muslim I know responds well to it. I've even perceived a smile or two behind those veils in the grocery store.

      I've always wondered, though. How do they eat sandwiches with those things on?

      Not sure what to do about those blacks, however. I usually go to the other side of the sidewalk.

    2. Hey troll, who is "we"?

      You and your republican party currently on a nationwide campaign to suppress as many black votes as possible?

    3. " if we don't even acknowledge the existence of substantial subgroup with bad values?"

      Is Black History a subject you are acquainted with? Surely you've seen the documentaries.

    4. Did you know that some blacks are also Muslim? What do you do with a subgroup of a subgroup?

    5. Anonymous October 17, 2014 at 6:53 PM -- Could you please expand on the point you're making by mentioning Black History?

    6. There is a segment of conservatives who have sociopathic values. People from this segment commit a huge number of crimes. The media have a policy to hide the sociopathy of the conservative criminal. How can we help conservative parents to raise children with good values, if we don't even acknowledge the existence of substantial subgroup with bad values?


    7. You think black kids have such choices?

    8. Yes, I think black kids have a choice, to a degree. I think , black parents may have such choices, depending on their economic situation. If their children are in a neighborhood dominated by the wrong element, they might be able to move or to send their children to a non-neighborhood public school. They might be able to get the sons involved in Boy Scouts, who have done wonderful work in the inner cities.

      IMHO, the government certainly has such choices. Sadly the Dems have been on the wrong side of several programs that push black kids in the wrong direction, such as:

      1. A welfare structure that encourages children being born and raised by a single parent.

      2. Programs that encourage people to stay on welfare indefinitely

      3. A minimum wage law without even an exception for teen-agers. It tends to prevent young blacks (in particular) from entering the work force.

      4. Opposition to school vouchers, which would give inner city children more educational choices.

      5. Encouraging claims of racism and victimization, instead of encouraging a focus on the many opportunites available to black youngsters.

    9. Also--
      6. Immigration reform, which will be a disaster for low-paid blacks. although it will be good for plutocrats.

    10. Some good points David. I would add the obvious- the decision, including political, to "outsource" every job that could be outsourced.
      The transformation of this society from producer economy to "consumer" economy has been a disaster for the Black community.

    11. David, your list is amazing. Eliminating welfare, minimum wage laws and public education (and immigration) would certainly not solve the problems that black families have. And, no, they cannot just move into any neighborhood they want to. There is no "silver bullet". It will take time (and money) to provide the guidance and resources to offer the choices that will make a difference. It is not the "Dems" who lack the will to do what needs to be done.

    12. AnonymousOctober 20, 2014 at 1:08 PM -- You have mis-stated some of my points. I suggested that welfare be re-structured so as not to encourage permanent dependency. I didn't say it should be eliminated. I suggested that there should be more education options, not that public education should be eliminated. I'll stand by my contention that illegal immigration hurts poor blacks,. because both groups tend to be competing for the same jobs.

      I agree with you that there's no "silver bullet." However, I'm not sure that the Dems are terribly eager to solve this problem. Blacks who are dependent on Government vote overwhelmingly Democratic. The current situation helps Dems get elected.

  3. I'd like to see Ovetta Wiggins interview Bob about per pupil spending.
    Everybody e-mail the Washington Post!

  4. ...and never beat a dead horse without a veterinarian in the room.

    1. great advice for local trolls

    2. A degree in Veterinary Medicine and proper licensure allows you to perform anal palpitation of an equine in Texas.

      Here at TDH you get to can blow smoke up a horse's ass anonymously.