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Watch: Bill Maher tells Anderson Cooper That Conservative 'Atmosphere of Hysteria' Encourages Violent Nutcases


Bill Maher says he doesn't buy the reasoning that gunsights on Republican propaganda are really surveyors scopes and that conservatives need to ratchet down the violent rhetoric or risk further shootings like the one in Tucson.


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  1. Isn't the shooter a liberal and the congresswoman a blue dog democrat?

    Posted by: Name: | Jan 11, 2011 8:27:26 AM

  2. no

    Posted by: unruly | Jan 11, 2011 9:02:42 AM

  3. Maher does a great job dissecting the false equivalency stuff going on in the press. No, the major spokespeople of the democratic left are not advocating violence. The major wheels in the right wing noise machine ARE. He also states an obvious truth towards the end of the interview when Cooper tries to claim that the shooter is "apolitical" -- Maher says "No! The talk about tyranny and government being the enemy and the gold standard sounds like an afternoon spent listening to right wing radio.: And he's correct. Well done, Mr. Maher.

    Posted by: good job | Jan 11, 2011 9:08:53 AM

  4. But this "caused by rhetoric" stuff is BS. Crazy people are CRAZY. If it hadn't been the Congresswoman, it would have been someone else getting shot up. It might not have been someone famous, but the guy would have killed someone. Random shootings by crazy people with too many guns happen all the time. It would be nice if the media cleaned up its act, but not from legislation. That leans towards censorship and censorship would be bad for all of us.

    Posted by: lessthan | Jan 11, 2011 9:21:21 AM

  5. The only people who are going to believe all the RIght Wing whitewashing and ass-covering are those who desperately WANT to believe it and otherwise refuse to see reality.

    Anyone else with half a sense of reason will easily see the correlations between the rabble-rousing and the eventual violence that we saw in Tucson.

    Posted by: ichabod | Jan 11, 2011 9:22:30 AM

  6. "It would have been someone else." Um, but it wasn't. It was a Democratic Congresswoman. It was a political assasination, in a state where extremely violent political rhetoric is omnipresent. The fact that the gunman might be "loony" doesn't mean he wasn't, you know, actually living in this culture. He didn't live on an island; he was in school, he listened to the radio and TV and talked to people and went on the internet. Nobody is claiming that "rhetoric caused this." What people are arguing is that violent rhetoric is not only tolerated, but mainstreamed by right-wing politicians in the hopes of maintaining and motivating their diminishing base in the face of profound demographic changes in the U.S. It is their whole electoral strategy for the past 20 years. In order to get the base motivated, the Republicans have been calling the function of a Democratically headed majority government that was democratically elected in a properly conducted election "tyranny" and "treason" and a "take-over." This is the anti-government rhetoric that is all over Laughner's web site -- he clearly has imbibed what is actually anti-populism from the right-wing.

    Posted by: good job | Jan 11, 2011 9:43:24 AM

  7. This shooter guy is EXACTLY the kind of guy the Repubs DREAMED of reaching. They WANTED crazies to get behind their cause. That is HOW they maintain control.

    The fact that the shooter was "independent" and intellectually anti-govt AND crazy made him Glen Beck's wet dream convert. Let's not lie about that.

    WHether the shooter knew it or not, he acted out Sarah Palin's LITERAL vision. Like a loosely-affiliated Al Kaida member acts out the vision of Osama Bin Laden. And many times, yeah, Bin Laden could prolly turn around and say HE didn't directly give the command to shoot to the precised killer. Well, NEITHER DID SARAH PALIN. Maybe, just maybe, the most obvious difference between the two is that Bin Laden would prolly CLAIM control but Palin claims to not be responsible in ANY way. C'mon now.

    Bill Maher is dead on, sorry the pun, ha. He's like an honorary gay :-). Cuz he speaks the truth, is honest. And unafraid. And also not a violent crazy. If you are speaking the truth for the sake of helping others and because you believe in hope, equality, and human dignity, you don't NEED to get riled up CRAZY with violent rhetoric.

    It's only if your agenda is, frankly, actually irrational and benefit-only-the-most-already-priviliged that you NEED the crazies to get sufficient political support. And, sorry, but this reality is why the Repubs will NOT change over this. Not any more than they can avoid it.

    Let's be honest: The repugs are hardcore actual Machiavellians--it has long been their unofficial m.o. to rally the uninformed mobs and raise spectacle, to get endorsement from feverish irrational church rally groups, etc. All financed by the deepest Walton-family or equivalent pockets in the world. They want and need the irrational on their side bc they don't otherwise have enuf groundswell in their favor.

    Just sayin.

    Oh yeah, and Maher's point about the shooter guy unable to get needed healthcare but able to buy a gun is totally accurate description of what happened. Honestly, what average American NEEDS a semi-automatic gun---only useful for shooting 20 people at a Safeway!! As Maher said, those guns are only useful for hunting PEOPLE.

    I think the Repugs (very quietly) KNOW their followers are a physical threat to rational politics. And that's why it's important to them to KEEP them armed. It's maybe a little bit like a corrupt irresponsible teacher or principal handing control to the bullies in the classroom as a technique to keep control without bothering with building a more legitimate respect for authority. WHich goes along with why Repugs don't give two shits about the wrongs against gay people.

    What's more, if more Americans had access to healthcare--including mental healthcare for those in need, or even preventively for those not sure if they need it...maybe fewer Americans would be crazy irrational in desperation. But again, such a reality would make Americans harder to hoodwink and use as mere ground troops to benefit only the 4000 or so ultra-wealthy. So OF COURSE the Repubs oppose healthcare.

    If I'm wrong, tell me how, folks...

    Posted by: just a guy | Jan 11, 2011 11:06:23 AM

  8. Note to Lessthan: You need to pay attention, the shooter left messages indicating that he was targeting the Congresswoman for assassination. That doesn't look or sound like random shooting to me.

    Posted by: Major707 | Jan 11, 2011 11:46:52 AM

  9. Anderson, when Lou Dobbs was let go for speaking fairly, I thought you were going to be his centerist replacement. Even though you're not as bad as some of the hate mongers on msnbc, you're certainly not close to the center. You give the socialist extremist, bill mahr, 90% of your program and give his opposition %10. It was obvious you were afraid to upset him. I've also noticed at other times that you have a lot of your guests already judged and sentenced by talking over them when they've tried to state their viewpoints. As a person you seem very likeable but as a fair commentator, you fall short.

    Posted by: Analytical1 | Jan 11, 2011 12:29:23 PM

  10. @ analytical

    "...Lou Dobbs was let go for speaking fairly..."


    Dobbs was let go for a ton fo reasons and "speakign fairly" was not 1 of them

    Oh maybe the fact he would lie his ass off about rampant cases of leprosy etc brought into the USA by latinos which was proven an out and out lie

    Dobbs is a wackadoo nut and was let go from CNN for that reason

    You yourself might want to talk to a therapist if you think loud dobbs was let go for "speaking fairly" That or change your depends because only 90yr olds think kindly of dobbs

    Posted by: | Jan 11, 2011 1:18:18 PM

  11. Bill is not known for his calm demeanor or reassuring style.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 11, 2011 1:40:06 PM

  12. This whole discussion about the media and coded political message is just misdirection. The real issue is guns.

    They're everywhere and any psycho can get his hands on one. It's harder to get health care than a bullet in this country.

    Posted by: Bakely | Jan 11, 2011 2:10:18 PM

  13. From a European perspective a lot, if not the majority, of Americans are glorifying the possession of arms and scotomising its impact on minds and society. This is a brainless C-movie-wild-wild-west-type of functioning.

    Posted by: Roman Bolliger | Jan 11, 2011 3:27:39 PM

  14. Bill Maher spoke about the gun issue. That part of the interview just isn't posted here. He noted that no other developed country has anything like the number of assassinations the US does. He also noted things like how neither party is willing to do anything but support the NRA. The NRA has been a very powerful and effective lobby group and the NRA bankrolls GOP events and is part of the GOP's most exciteable base.

    The GOP politicians and FOX News pundits are really irresponsible with their rhetoric. I don't see this changing that, unfortunately, the killing of Dr. Tiller after FOX News was villainizing him for performing abortions didn't change the rhetoric.

    I hope the democrat succeeds who is trying to pass a bill that would make it a crime to threaten or encourage violence against a member if congress like it is a crime to do that to the president.

    Posted by: markm | Jan 11, 2011 4:08:49 PM

  15. A memo to

    From the looks of your spelling it's obvious that you can't think or see clearly. Your rantings makes one wonder if you're next in line to share a cell with Jared Loughner. I'll bet you get a tingle in your pink panties when you see him. Oh well, you're entitled to your demented viewpoint. Fortunately for you, I have no intentions of visiting this wasted website anymore so you get to have the last worthless word.

    Posted by: analytical1 | Jan 11, 2011 4:25:31 PM

  16. You people that blame anybody but the shooter are extreme liberal nutbags. Do you not understand in that tiny litte brain of yours that the shooter met the congresswomen in 2007, long before Palin was even heard of you jerkoffs. He was more than likely a paranoid schizophrenic. He more than likely became fixated, obsessed and then may have ultimately planned on killing her. But telling this to extremist liberals is like talking to a wall. They go on fantasy, not facts. By the way the shooter was a God hating, Communist Manifesto lover, left wing extremist. Might want to explain that to Maher.

    Posted by: pete | Jan 11, 2011 5:12:07 PM

  17. Has everyone forgotten when Glenn Beck joked about poisoning Nancy Pelosi's drink?

    Posted by: AlexM | Jan 11, 2011 5:39:33 PM

  18. Did the violent rhetoric from the right cause the shootings in Tucson ? No.

    May the violent rhetoric from the right, advocating 2nd amendement remedies and to relocking and reloading and watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tryants, have caused an already unbalanced person of similar views ( gold standard, anti-big gov't etc) to think shooting a representative of that gov't and anyone else who got in his way an appropriate act. Absolutely yes.

    Posted by: nyrkr | Jan 11, 2011 5:50:48 PM

  19. This was NOT A RANDOM Shooting.
    This was a political ASSASSINATION.
    AND an act of Terrorism.

    he could have decided to shoot a professor when he was thrown out of college which affected him to a greater degree it seemed or the Army Recruiting Station after being rejected--he wanted to be accepted by both of those institutions BUT he CHOOSE the Congresswoman who was reviled by the Tea Party/Republican Party.

    Let's look at what his parents are like...what their political affiliation is before we trumpet that he was an "independent"

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Jan 11, 2011 5:58:27 PM

  20. Ah, the keyboard commandos are out in force today.

    Posted by: Rocco | Jan 11, 2011 6:07:45 PM

  21. @ANALYTICAL1 Wow! That's great! Bill Maher is a "socialist extremist"? Who knew?

    GOProud Girls. Ya gotta love 'em.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 12, 2011 4:34:32 AM

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