Below is the video of HBO talk show host Bill Maher appearing on last night’s episode of Anderson Cooper 360, in which Maher and Cooper explore the connections between conservative rhetoric and cases like the recent Tucson shooting. Maher pointed to the June 12, 2010 newspaper ad purchased by the Jesse Kelly, who was at the time running against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords, of course, was shot in the head recently by alleged gunman Jared Lee Loughner. The ad reads:
Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly
Maher in response:
This kind of stuff is not what goes on on the left. You can not point to any sort of equivalency here. And as always, the media gets that wrong. They try to make it like they’re being fair because they’re making everything 50-50. Well, if you’re not being truthful, and that’s not truthful, then you’re not being fair.
Maher also speaks on how conservatives often “float” words such as tyranny and secession, words that denote war and revolution, while discussing political topics:
You know, when you float terms like “tyranny” as they do or “treason” — remember in the health care debate, Republican congressmen were hoisting that banner that said “Don’t Tread On Me,” which really had only applied to enemies of America, not political opponents.
You create an atmosphere. Yes, you do. Governor Perry in — in Texas threatening secession over — over the tax hike that Obama wanted, over a 3 percent tax hike on the richest 1 percent? That’s reason to throw down the S-card? These people are hysterical. Hysterical is really the only word I can think of for it.
You know, these conservatives, they want to be known as tough guys. They’re girls — school girls who get hysterical about things. Health care made them hysterical. Government takeover. It wasn’t a government takeover. I know what a government takeover would have looked like. That’s called a single-payer system. We didn’t get that. We didn’t even try for that. We didn’t even get a public option.
So when you create an atmosphere of hysteria, yes, of course the nuts are going to hear it and some of them are going to do things like this guy did.
Here’s the video and the transcript: