Bill Maher Takes a Flamethrower to 'Sad Saga' of WaPo: 'Democracy Dies in Dumbness'

(Janet Van Ham/HBO via AP)

On Friday’s edition of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher blistered the besieged Washington Post for its recent and ongoing controversies, calling the vaunted newspaper an “unlicensed daycare center.”


And the above was mild compared to Maher’s real criticism of WaPo. The ever-acerbic host kicked off the festivities by pointing to the paper as a perfect example of what’s wrong with today’s “journalism.”

If someone knows of a story that more effectively captures what’s wrong with today’s journalism than the sad saga of what happened last week at the Washington Post, they need to keep it to themselves, because it would be too depressing.

If you missed it, the Washington Post recently got embroiled in a self-inflicted sh*tstorm when one of their best reporters David Weigel, retweeted — not tweeted, retweeted —this joke: “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.”

Oh, the humanity! Nonsense.

Maher explained that the comedian who wrote the tweet called it “a banal throwaway joke,” which, said Maher, “is exactly what it is.”

“Throwaway,” he said, as in “if you don’t like it, throw it away.”

And then the bottom line:

No one but the perpetually offended thinks it means anything more than that the sexes get frustrated over how differently we see the world, and yes, we relieve some of that frustration with humor.

However, as Maher noted, Weigel deleted the retweet and wrote “I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm.” As Maher further noted, “And that was the end of that.” Just one problem: not even close. Enter, a second WaPo reporter, Felicia Sonmez. Here’s Maher:


You see, the post has another writer named Felicia Sonmez and she’s…a lot. For example, she tweeted about Kobe Bryant’s 2003 rape trial hours after his helicopter crashed.

And despite the fact that she says Dave Weigel is a good friend she resurrected the tweet he had taken down with a screenshot and demanded to know what The Post was going to do about this unacceptable evil that must not be allowed to stand, sarcastically writing: ‘Fantastic to work at a news outlet where tweets like this are allowed!’

Soap opera-ish enough for you? Ah, but there’s more, per Maher:

Then a third Post reporter offered up the idea, of course, on Twitter, because why do anything privately? That hey, maybe everyone was overreacting and we should all just calm down, and then it was really on: Felicia demanded that the post discipline him, and tweeted about that. I assume she’s tweeting about this right now.

“For days, she raged with the fire of a thousand burning bras,” Maher said of Sonmez.

Sending a gazillion tweets calling for more to be done against Weigel, mocking her bosses, attacking colleagues, and letting the world know how much The Washington Post sucked, and this endless bickering and infighting continued online public view until the bell rang and they all went to seventh period.

WaPo ultimately fired Sonmez — but there’s even more. We mustn’t forget the utter obsession with WaPo’s Taylor Lorenz.

If your interest is now sufficiently piqued, you have my sympathies. Just kidding. RedState has reported extensively on the continuing “sad saga” of WaPo, including the following pieces. Check ’em out, if you’re in need of “the rest of the story.”


WaPo’s Problems Didn’t End With the Firing of Sonmez, as Taylor Lorenz Returns to Spotlight

Instead of ‘Quit Digging,’ Advice for the Washington Post Should Be ‘Stop Pouring Gas on Your Tire Fire’

The Washington Post’s Felicia Sonmez/Dave Weigel Drama Just Got a Whole Lot Weirder

Maher being Maher, he summed up his criticism of, in effect, his own political brethren, while taking a couple of kills shots at liberal millennials.

Let me let you in on a little secret about the younger generations; No one wants to hire you. Your sense of entitlement is legendary and, with notable exceptions, your attention span and worth ethic suck…

This Washington Post story had such resonance because it’s behavior we all recognize. There is a war going on within the millennial generation. I know because I’m friends with the good ones. But the crybabies, unfortunately, are still winning.

They complain they haven’t taken over yet? Well stop complaining because in many ways you already have. The fact that the Post’s initial response was to punish not Felicia but one of their best reporters for a silly joke shows that the kindergarten is already in charge.

“If there is a silver lining to this story,” Maher muses, “it’s that eventually, the Post did fire Felicia Sonmez, so maybe there is a line that’s just too much nonsense. But that generation needs to move that line much closer to sanity and find it much sooner because democracy dies in dumbness.”

And, that’s a wrap. Fox News contributor and The Hill media analyst Joe Concha perfectly summed up Maher’s takedown:


Personally, I could not give less of a damn about WaPo’s continuing soap opera or any of its melodramatic “actors.” But I very much do give a damn about, as Maher said, the state of so-called “journalism” in this country — principally that from left-leaning news outlets. One can look no further than CNN or MSNBC for ample examples of the degradation of a once-proud profession, of course.

Then again, as it relates to the Washington Post, I’m not sure who or what should be the focus, here: WaPo and its continuing soap opera, or the people who give a damn about such things.

Thankfully, I don’t have to decide.


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