There’s a lot to say about how ideology and partisanship can prevent one from a fair analysis of events and contemporary issues.
It’s bizarre to see Charles Cooke telling Joy Reid that her point about slavery and by extension indentured servitude, Jim Crow (and much more) was a “cheap” point to make–he is just plain wrong that these “imperfections” were only 18th century problems.
I also wonder if Cooke recalls how European imperialism, including it’s British variant, conquered and colonized much of the world and did so with the Bible in one hand and a gun in the other?
On the “Arab Spring” and Islam Maher sounds like the neo-fascist Geert Wilders (maybe he agrees with his pal Sam Harris that ‘unfortunately the fascists speak most sensibly about Islam’) or the extremist Christian right-wing he is all too happy to berate as “intellectual inferiors.”
Where is the nuanced discussion regarding “Islamism?” Is Islamism the same in places such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt?
The show that Bill Maher himself produces, VICE, aired a segment showing the intense and daily opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) led government in Egypt by groups such as the “Black Bloc,” a group devoted to sabotaging what they view as the fascist right-wing MB, claiming as its adherents, “liberals, secularists and moderate Islamists.” The revolutionary situation is plainly more complicated than a simple Islamists vs. democrats dichotomy.
Finally, Glenn Greenwald came through as he usually does, not letting Bill Maher get away with his silly, blinkered boogeyman narrative that it’s all PC liberalism to not say Islam is an inherently and uniquely violent religion causing the most horror and violence in the world. Greenwald gave the example of the West Bank and the extremist Jewish settlers who justify land theft and persecution of Palestinians based on a perceived divine mandate. Greenwald also pointed towards the Crusade against Iraq that George W. Bush stated as having been the directive of God.
There are other examples that Greenwald could have added as well: the Serbian genocide against Bosnians, the intense Islamophobia of fundamentalist Hindu nationalism that accompanies the occupation of Kashmir and other areas of India, the horrific campaign against Burmese and Sri Lankan Muslims by Buddhists, etc.
It is an open question however if Greenwald will be asked to return to the show again. In the past when individuals have intelligently and effectively pushed back against Maher’s Islamophobia they usually haven’t been called back.