The Rise of Anti-Woke Talk Show HostsTravis LeBlanc
Rush Limbaugh died earlier this year. Limbaugh had his sins, and I would not like to have been in Rush’s sandals when St. Peter asked him why he did not support Pat Buchanan in 1996. At the pinnacle of Rush’s zeitgeist, when he was the most listened-to man on the American Right, he might have been able to put Buchanan over the top in the primaries.
Despite that, I think Rush is one of the most significant cultural, if not political, figures of the last 50 years. He revolutionized the way people talk about politics. In the same way that I will never understand what it was like to hear the Sex Pistols for the first time in 1976 (which by all accounts was a life-changing experience for many), Limbaugh’s style has been ripped off so many times by so many people, it’s hard to convey to anyone who wasn’t around just how revolutionary Rush was when he first emerged on the national stage. No one had ever seen anyone like him on radio before. He was a sort of a thinking man’s Archie Bunker: a smart guy who did not talk like an intellectual. Some of his arguments that seem cringeworthy nowadays were quite innovative in the early 1990s. If nothing else, he was original.
Rupert Murdoch initially wanted FOX News to be The Rush Limbaugh Channel and base everything around him, but Limbaugh declined because he didn’t like doing television. So instead, FOX News just filled up its roster with a bunch of Rush Limbaugh clones. Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity all just took what Limbaugh was doing and put their own spin on it. Eventually, Con Inc. learned how to mass-produce Rush Limbaughs — and Rush himself was thrown under that bus.
Rush pioneered the modern phenomenon of “politics as entertainment,” and once he became a national figure and had a regular audience of millions tuning in to hear him talk about politics in an entertaining way, there was a mad dash in the entertainment industry to find comedians who could talk about politics. Pretty soon there was Dennis Miller Live on HBO, Politically Correct with Bill Maher on Comedy Central, and The Daily Show with Craig Kilborn, before Jon Stewart took over. They all started out by cashing in on the ‘90s Limbaugh craze.
But Rush greatly affected the Left as well. After it was clear how big he had become, there was a sense of urgency among Democrats to get their own Rush Limbaugh. There was the Air America network, which was the Left’s attempt at Limbaugh-style talk radio which, despite having some big-name stars such as Janeane Garofalo and Al Franken, failed to catch fire, but it did produce Rachel Maddow, as well as a few future e-celebs like Marc Maron and The Young Turks.
It wasn’t until Jon Stewart rise to prominence in the 2000s that the Left finally got their own answer to Rush — someone of roughly equivalent clout and iconic status. Unfortunately for the Left, by that time conservatives had about four Rush Limbaughs. So then the Left just learned how to mass produce Jon Stewarts: They gave us Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Trever Noah, Samantha Bee . . . all of whom got their start on Stewart’s show and are just doing variations of him.
As a result, our culture war is also a clone war. Modern political discourse is largely a bunch of Rush Limbaugh clones fighting a bunch of Jon Stewart clones in space.
Some liberals will dispute my narrative, saying that people like Don Imus and Howard Stern were already doing similar things before Rush, or that there had been funny shows about politics before him. While this is true, Limbaugh is the one who struck the match that started the fire by showing how profitable talking about politics in an entertaining way could be.
If you look at the first wave of attempts at finding a liberal Limbaugh, where are they now? Dennis Miller became a neocon after 9/11, and seems to have quit even that scene since Trump’s election. Craig Kilborn, a former ESPN sportscaster, was never that political, and has basically disappeared in recent years. Jon Stewart retired in 2015. Of that first wave who appeared in the ‘90s, only Bill Maher still has any degree of relevance. He is the last survivor of that initial Rush boom.
I have long maintained that of all the liberal late night talk show comedians that Bill Maher is by far the least terrible. Don’t get me wrong: He’s terrible, and a shitlib through and through, but his one saving grace is that he rose to prominence before Jon Stewart, and thus he is not merely another product of the Stewart cookie-cutter. Every once in a while, Maher will show flashes of independent thought. Once in a blue moon, whenever the stars align just so, Maher will even go off-script and call out the Left’s excesses.
Maher is the only one of the liberal talk show bunch who will ever say anything even remotely dangerous — maybe not 4chan dangerous, but dangerous by the standards of polite society. He may not do it very often, but when he does, Maher can cause a meltdown on liberal Twitter — which is more than we can say about all other late-night comedians combined.
Maher has been an unwavering Islamophobe and accused the average Muslim of being more sympathetic to terrorism than they were willing to admit. After the Charlie Hebdo attack, Maher said:
I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this, but here’s the important point: Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this. They applaud an attack like this. What they say is, “We don’t approve of violence, but you know what? When you make fun of the Prophet, all bets are off.”
And while Maher himself is a shitlib, he will have Right-wingers on his show — occasionally even halfway decent ones. I couldn’t imagine Stephen Colbert or Trevor Noah booking Milo Yiannopolous, but Bill Maher did at the height of Milo-mania, which took some balls to do.
More recently, Maher has been emerging as the spokesman for the “unwoke Left.” Last weekend in a seven-minute segment, Bill Maher went out and did something that not even Republican politicians would do: He accused the Democrats of being anti-white and said that it would lead to electoral defeat unless they fix their messaging.
Maher asked a sensible question: “Why is the party that supports so many issues that benefit the middle class still considered out of touch by 62% of Americans?” He brought up as an example tweets and headlines which appeared in the wake of Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race: “Youngkin’s Win Proves White Ignorance is a Powerful Weapon,” “Racism still works in America,” and “It’s not the messaging, folks. The country simply loves white supremacy.”
Maher then quipped that while he hasn’t thought of the perfect campaign slogan, “I’ll tell you what I have ruled out is, ‘Vote Democrat because white people suck.’”
It’s like trying to get laid by saying, “You’re ugly; you want to dance?” You’re alienating a whole lot of people, particularly whites without a college degree, which is most of them in a country that’s still 70% white.
More like 59%, but his point still stands. The Democrats are needlessly alienating the people Bill thinks they need to win over.
Yes, I know every fiber of your being tells you the people you really want to reach are Guatemalan teenagers and bloggers in Gaza, but they can’t vote. To a lot of folks in America, you come across as the Cares-About-Everybody-But-Me party, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can find ways to stand up for these folks without being David Duke.
He advised Democrats:
If a staffer hands you a speech that says “menstruating people” instead of women, don’t say that. Say women. Don’t put anyone fresh out of college in charge of the campaign. They’ve been given participation trophies their whole life, they don’t know how to win.
Maher also picked up on the fact that Lefties dropped the term “woke” like a hot potato once normies found out what it actually means:
James Carville knew how to win and he blamed the Democratic losses this November 2nd on “stupid wokeness,” to which AOC fired back that wokeness “is a term almost exclusively used by older people these days, so that should tell you all you need to know.” What? This is a term folks like you brought out very recently and have been proudly displaying it in every march since. Just last year, The Guardian declared “woke” the word of our era. I guess they didn’t get the memo from the Mean Girls Club. We don’t use that emoji anymore.
A more pertinent question to ask about the word “woke” is why in such a short time has it gone from a rallying cry to a pejorative? If the word only made you think of rational, deserved causes like teaching a less whitewashed version of American history, AOC would still want to own it. But it’s a joke because it makes you think of people who wake up offended and take orders from Twitter and their oversensitivity has grown tiresome.
I am not saying Bill Maher is based. His opposition to wokeness is only in the sense that it is a bad strategy for achieving liberal aims. He thinks wokeness gives liberalism a bad name:
But okay, fine, what word would you like us to use for the plainly insane excesses of the Left that are not liberalism but something completely different? Because you can’t have that word liberal from us and think it should cover things like canceling Lincoln and teaching third graders they are oppressors. That’s all your new thing.
I knew it was only a matter of time before some of the saner whites on the Left might catch a glimpse of the iceberg and say something. Now, those saner, anti-woke white liberals have a prominent spokesman. It is probably too little, too late for them to do anything about it, however. Even if they could reign in the media, what about academia and the HR departments?
A better way of putting it might be to say that these white liberal Leftists have reached the “bargaining” phase of watching their country die and are pleading with ZOG: “I’m fine with white, genocide but do you have to be so mean about it?”
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Unrelated to this article. But since you’re CC’s resident Fuentes apologist, I wonder what you think of Fuentes’s recent mocking of the little white girl victims of the anti-white terrorist attack in Wisconsin?
In case you’re not in the loop, it started when “Broseph” (one of Nick’s Cozytv streamers) started saying the little white girls got what they deserved since they probably would marry blacks when they grew up. Look up his Twitter if you don’t believe me. Then SP Fan denounced him and all the Groypers started attacking SP Fan for being a “simp.”
When asked about it, Nick cracked a joke about how hating women un-ironically was good.
Nick is a race traitor.
OK, before I answer your question, I have one of my own.
What exactly do you do for the movement? Do you make any content? Do any IRL activism? Would you say that you are leading by example?
I will still answer your question either way but I need to know the above information before determining how much effort I will put into my answer.
I am an anon troll and certainly no leader in this movement! I’m several steps above Nick Fuentes though in that I would never mock dead white children who were killed by an anti-white thug.
I’ve no idea why politically intrigued anybodies would take a 23-year-old nudnik like nick fuentes seriously and use a dumb word like “groyper”. The fact that many do is why I don’t even prior to his stupid comments. Pepe the frog for Sturmabteilung insignia. Horst Wessel or Jonathan Bowden, this guy is not.
Agreed. I had dealings with the Fuentes weasel and was called trailer trash. He’s no friend of Whites.
Fuentes clearly has some talent for organizing, networking, and speaking and a *lot* of talent for self promotion but he surrounds himself with loathsome sycophants while driving away quality people. And for a movement that arose out of deep concern for “optics” and appealing to normiecons he and his followers have remarkably little self awareness about how their vulgar and mean spirited behavior is bound to be received by most people.
Fuentes is more or less one of the good guys but I’ve since been suspicious of him when he admitted to loving rap music.
The European spirit and mind simply cannot tolerate deeply unmusical Ebonics street chanting.
The guy on Cozy TV is Boseph. The guy who made the tweet is by a 300 follower account named Broseph. These are two different people.
Of course Nick Fuentes is not going to throw his 300 follower friend under the bus because if he did, people would be running to him every time a 300 follower Twitter account however remotely connected to him said something that anonymous people who make no content and produce nothing tangible benefit for the survival of the white race get upset over.
Now don’t ever bother me again this kind of trivial shit ever again. I’m usually a little too busy trying to save the white race to bother myself with the things that 300 follow Twitter accounts said.
Go back to Kiwi Farms and cry.
Broseph and Boseph are the same person. You know this.
“The guy on Cozy TV is Boseph. The guy who made the tweet is by a 300 follower account named Broseph. These are two different people.”
Where are you getting the information that they are two different people? Everyone else, including RedPillGaming are operating under the knowledge that they are the same person. The only ones who deny the same are Groypers who deny with a wink and a nod.
“Of course Nick Fuentes is not going to throw his 300 follower friend under the bus-”
Why not? It would be perfectly consistent with his personality? I’ve seen him throw friends with fewer than 300 followers under the bus for things as trivial as liking a David Duke tweet or making a 1488 joke. The fact that he is not doing the same to Broseph – who did far worse – is proof that little Nick secretly agrees with his friend.
“said something that anonymous people who make no content and produce nothing tangible benefit for the survival of the white race get upset over.”
You’re acting as if the people offended by this are SJW crybabies instead of literally everyone who saw the tweet who is not a Groyper. I assume you know who SP Fan (readLinkola) is? He was one of the ones asking Nick to denounce Broseph. Are you going to say SP Fan is just a whiny crybaby who doesn’t contribute anything to the pro-white cause? Hunter Wallace also clipped the tweets.
Remember that Democrat witch Mary Lemanski, the one who said it was Karma what happened to those white children? SHE got fired within 24 hours of that tweet and was forced to give a tearful apology. The least we should expect from a “pro-white” personality like Nick would be to fire one of his streamers the moment that streamer is caught agreeing with the Mary Lemanski’s of the world.
“Go cry back to KiwiFarms.”
You’ve got a point here.
If your description of what happened is the extent of it, where does Fuentes mock the victims?
@D’shunemployable To answer your question, the part where Fuentes mocks the victims is at the 50 minute timestamp where he mocks a “wignat” for criticizing (“tone policing”) Broseph’s jokes at the victim’s deaths. He spends most of the stream saying that Broseph was only joking, and that anyone offended is a wignat.
(This was with Beardson streaming)
I hate the rise of “wignat” as the inter-RW pejorative of choice. I knew as soon as people first started using it that it wouldn’t long be limited to use against people who foolishly march with swastika flags. It was always bound to become a tool of social enforcement of a new orthodoxy directed by a few. I was clearly right. Fuentes and co. now label anyone who disagrees with their clique on anything a wignat. Everyone else needs to drop it – all it does is implicitly give the groypers more power.
Wignats are real. Nick Fuentes abusing the word does not change that.
I’d like to add that the same doofuses now insulting and slandering the injured and killed girls from Waukesha are the ones belly-aching about optics.
Unpopular take. Civil and rhetorical norms have moved so far to the loony-left that guys like Bill Maher and John McWhorter, who now have big microphones in the belly of the beast, have become essential allies. Maher I find to be quite funny and brave, and the rhythms and precision of McWhorter’s speech are something of a pleasure to experience. (On the other hand, I also kind of resent the fact that McWhorter is awarded mainstream interviews and recognition for his anti-Woke book in large part because he 1.) is black and 2.) disengenously claims to still be a liberal, like Maher.) Charles Murray is granted no such privileges, and McWhorter has out and out said Murray is one of the finest social scientists in America.
At this point I’m grateful for table scraps, where the mainstream dialogue is concerned.
“Yes, I know every fiber of your being tells you the people you really want to reach are Guatemalan teenagers and bloggers in Gaza, but they can’t vote. ”
There’s a solution to that, and they’re working on it with every other fiber of their being.
I thought the same thing when I read that.
Bill Maher sounds like he’s concerned about the optics: “don’t tell them you hate them so they vote for us.” He either doesn’t care or doesn’t understand the deeper truth that leftism is (and has been for decades) all about hating white people.
At this point the mask has slipped and everyone can see that the left want whites dead. What Bill Maher or his viewers will never understand is that even if the left improves their messaging and stops shitting on whites explicitly they’ll just go full South Africa when the white population dips low enough.
I feel over the years Maher has become more about the politics than the comedy. He also used to be edgy in that he was politically incorrect and had this sort of deadpan shtick he’d do when he knew he was being politically incorrect and being totally unironic about. With wokeness become a sort of state religion, I wonder how he survives and doesn’t get canceled.
My political shaping began with Real Time during Katrina, midway between 9/11 and a financial meltdown to exit the putrid cheney/bush idiocracy but never commence their prosecution or much-desired retribution this country ached for the many needlessly dead before going off-the-cliff crazy and forgetting eight years of that regime. (Imagine a truly privileged Texas son of Cia director and ex-prez boy george with VP Darth cheney, the forgotten evil before schwab in anti-white amerika today). Bill’s specials and new rule gibes were funny enough circa the Religulous era when smug atheist (science says!) hitchslappers were making the campus rounds in the bowtie Tucker days of Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, and bug-eyes Bachmann and her super-straight husband. No white men, even israel-or-else sycophants like Bill are cancel-proof to the sleepwalking brain dead left, the gender-unidentifiables, who were in utero in Politically Incorrect’s heyday and see this evil half-jewish white man comic as a west coast hammerskin. I hope, at 65, with any anti-pc funny jokes gravely forbidden at the comedy stages in Tinsel Town and enough shekels to walk off into the Sunset Boulevard, Bill has finally seen the White light.
Used to watch Maher religiously back in college back in the Bush days. Oddly enough, my dorm got HBO, I wonder if there was a reason for my college paying for premium cable. The Bush Jr. era was the golden era in political comedy. Stewart, Colbert, and Maher provided a comedic catharsis from Bush’s numerous blunders. I’d watch him on and off again during Obama. Then with Trump the boilerplate, “Blumpf’s an idiot” just got old and tiresome. Trump is self-satirizing and on top of that things weren’t so bad under Trump. No mideast wars and cheap gas. People were just butthurt their guy lost.
It sounds like Maher is counter-signaling. Even easily manipulated suburban soccer moms aren’t going to want gay scat fetish story hour at their local library.
Bill Maher confounds me.
He is clearly humorous, intelligent and articulate. His advise to Democrats is wise and they should take it.
But he’s so wrong about policy.
He’s like a program running on an excellent CPU that just has a few variables that have wrong values.
Perhaps that’s just Jews all over. Fast, efficient machines programmed for nefarious purposes.
People’s values aren’t chosen; not fully. Much of it derives from innate traits.
None of us would choose a society that is maximally efficient, or even one that leads to maximum downstream happiness, because all of those involve cruelty that we are not willing to carry out.
Since policy flows from a function that includes values, it’s not surprising to me when intelligent people back bad policies. The wisest of them understand what is going on, rather than trying to rationalize why their preferred society is the best, objectively.
Maher is an intelligent, honest man with whom I have different values and preferences. I suspect that ultimately he would be unhappy in the society resulting from his preferred values, but who am I to tell him what he should want, so long as it doesn’t affect me and mine?
I would happily work with him, and imagine we could get many things done with little animosity, if at the end of the day he goes home to a society that embraces his values, and I go home to a society that embraces my values.
Beneficial nationalism, in a nutshell.
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