Intelligent Americans?

The first video is commentary about Glenn Beck.

Some people think this proves that Beck is a liar, but I think he simply is inconsistant.  It isn’t even that he is necessarily irrational but that his rationality is swayed by his emotions.  As such, it would be smart to not to rely too heavily on his analysis for objective reporting.  Beck, as I see it, is somewhat hit and miss.  He says things that others won’t say in the mainstream media, but sometimes there are good reasons why respectable journalists stay away from particular topics.

Anyways, emotional as he is, his emotions do resonate with the emotions of many people and so I think it’s unwise to dismiss his view.  It’s important to understand the raw nerve he is touching upon.

More to my taste, these next videos are of Bill Maher.  His comments about America’s stupidity reminds me of Jon Stewart’s criticisms of the low quality of mainstream news reporting and the uninspiring ideal of average joe politicians.  And his criticisms of Bush jr remind me of Steve Colbert’s roasting of the former president.

Maher is what I consider a liberal libertarian which is a stance I respect even when I may disagree with particular opinions.  I think he is almost too easygoing sometimes.  It’s not that he doesn’t have strong opinions, but that he isn’t prone to judging others even when they deserve harsh judgment.

I was a bit surprised that he considers Ann Coulter a friend.  From this position, he strongly defends her right to an opinion.  That is fine as far as it goes and is a very liberal attitude.  However, Coulter’s opinion is far from being equal to that of the opinion of Maher.  Coulter preaches bigotry, she constantly makes slanderous accusations, she is very loose with her facts and never admits she is wrong even when it’s obvious to everyone else.  Coulter lacks intellectual humility which is bad when combined with her lack of intellectual insight.  She doesn’t treat others with the patient listening and understanding that someone like Maher offers to her.

The one weakness of this kind of libertarian liberal stance is that it’s easy for someone like Coulter to take advantage.  What saves Maher from being taken advantage of is that he isn’t afraid to challenge any claim, but unfortunately neither does he often hold a person’s feet to the fire.  It seems that he’d rather not be confrontational to the point of being an asshole.  Unlike Coulter, he isn’t a blustery ideologue nor does he want to compete on that level.  However, he has a very sharp mind and incisive wit that he could compete on that level if he wanted to.

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