One of my basic expectations is that if people say something is wrong, then it is wrong. And it remains wrong. Not just today or five minutes from now, but years from now. If you say something is true, then it is true. It remains true. Not just today or five minutes from now, but years from now. If things have changed, then account for the changes and no longer declare them to be true or wrong as the case may be. And ixnay on saying it’s only wrong unless I decide otherwise based on some new series of standards which ensures I can do what I condemn others for doing and feel awesome for doing it. In the olden days, that was called hypocrisy.
I thought of this as I read through a piece over at Huffington Post that gushed over Bill Maher’s interview with Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. Take it for what it’s worth. What caught my eye was the bottom editorial quip that reminds us Trump is, among other things, a misogynist. Why? What has Trump said? Plenty of things I’m sure. But look at Maher. That’s Bill Maher, still a darling of the MSM, interviewed by Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, CNN. Heck, for some time Maher was a stand-in host on CNN. And what did Maher do? Among many things, he rather famously called Sarah Palin a, well, I won’t repeat it. Here he is, defending his use of the term.Notice his reasoning. Palin was a public figure, not a private citizen. Palin has insulted people and called them names. Besides, Bill states, he used the term all over the country and everyone loved it. Nobody complained. So, by that standard, all I have to do is find a woman who is a public figure who has insulted people where groups of people would cheer if I used the term and all would be well. Correct? Is there anyone out there who fits that description?
I have this gut felling that if the same word was applied to another well known public figure who has recently insulted people, I dare say that the press, and not a few progressives, would raise the roof. Of course we can argue that what Hillary stands for is better than what Palin stood for. Or that Hillary is more qualified than Sarah Palin ever hoped to be. That’s fair. But if you say that it would be sexism to call Hillary that word, or even words nowhere near as offensive, then it should always be so, no matter what the context of the debate or the identity or affiliation of the individuals in question happen to be. And that includes equally condemning those who use such words, whether pundits, talk show hosts, or candidates.