Apples and oranges riiiight? Bill Maher is on the defense against conservatives who claim his comments about Sarah Palin are just as bad as the bombs Rush Limbaugh dropped on Georgetown student Sarah Fluke that landed him in hot water with advertisers.
Bill Maher wants the world to know that he’s no Rush Limbaugh.
The liberal comedian, who has been ripped by the right for previously calling Sarah Palin a “c—” is arguing his name calling is completely different from Limbaugh, who branded Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a “slut.”
Maher told ABC News’ Jake Tapper on Thursday that Limbaugh’s insult wasn’t fair game because Fluke is a private citizen.
Limbaugh “went after a civilian about very specific behavior, that was a lie, speaking for a party that has systematically gone after women’s rights all year, on the public airwaves,” the HBO host argued.
“I used a rude word about a public figure who gives as good as she gets, who’s called people ‘terrorist’ and ‘unAmerican’… The First Amendment was specifically designed for citizens to insult politicians. Libel laws were written to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting called whores by Oxycontin addicts,” he added.
Limbaugh came under fire earlier this month after he called Fluke a “prostitute” and “slut” for speaking to Congress about the need to expand birth control coverage. He has since apologized, although several advertisers pulled their commercials from his show.
In the aftermath of the Fluke controversy, critics pointed to Maher and said there was a double standard for liberals using derogatory language against conservative women.
Maher called Palin a “c—” and a “dumb twat” during a stand-up show last year.
Palin told CNN during the Fluke controversy that liberals calling for Limbaugh to apologize was the “definition of hypocrisy” adding the same rules did not apply to “leftist radicals who say such horrible things about the handicapped, about women, about the defenseless.”
Limbaugh, on his show, has argued President Obama should return the $1 million Maher gave to his Super PAC due to the vulgar things the comedian has said about Palin.
Maher also argued to Tapper that, unlike Limbaugh, it’s his job to be a comedian. When asked how he knows if he takes his jokes to far, he said, “I let the audience be the guide.”
“The bit I did about Palin using the word c— was one of the biggest laughs in my act, I did it all over the country, not one person ever registered disapproval, and believe me, audiences are not afraid to let you know. Because it was a routine where that word came in at just the right moment. Context is very important,” he said.
Hey, call us Bill Maher fans but we think he’s right. What do you think? Is it equally bad?
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