December 26, 2016

"No matter how bad they were — all the Republicans — it was like a glass-bottom boat. I'm looking at those sharks, but they can't really get me."



"And now I feel like the shark can get me. Or anybody."

Said Bill Maher, who was once sued by Donald Trump. If Trump the private citizen would sue a man over what was obviously a joke, how much do you have to worry about how Trump the President will misuse power?



"The legal system in this country is not a joke. It's not a toy for rich idiots to play with."

84 comments:

Lewis Wetzel said...

Maher doesn't believe in vaccines and has a lot of other loopy ideas about health. The environment is poisoning us, pharmaceutical medicines are poison, etc. Maher is supposed to be worth $30 million, so, yes, Maher is a rich idiot.

Big Mike said...

A law professor can correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that Trump the public figure has fewer rights to sue than Ttump the private figure.

gina said...

He fears Trump will use the power of the presidency to target and harass his political enemies the way Obama did. Good. I'm glad he's afraid. It will be interesting to see how fast smug militant liberals move to the center when fear of losing their jobs, wealth or reputation grips them.

traditionalguy said...

That's funny. Trump pledged 5 million to charity if Obama produces his real birth certificate and his college records. So Mahrer pledged 5 million to charity if Trump proved he has a human father. So Trump produces his birth certificate and demands Mahrer pay up the $ to charity Mahrere refuses. Then Trump sues to enforce the offered charitable donation under Contract.

Nigel Farage is in this somewhere.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Reality is the shark was always waiting to devour Maher whole, and his feelings besides quaking fear, all of them, have been and are in vein.

He should be thanking Trump for allowing him to open his eyes, toward the light that is the dynamite procured to destroy religion and decency now detonated with shrapnel fast approaching. Time has reduced its rate of passage for Maher now.

"No need for hoping
It's a battle lost.
I got em crossed,
As soon as the funk is boppin' off" - 2pac "Hit 'em Up"

rhhardin said...

It didn't constitute a contract. Certain awkward formalities are awkward just so that they don't happen in ordinary life. You don't sit down and sign a joke.

Trump uses suits the way he uses tweets, to get out a narrative killer.

rhhardin said...

Imus used to set up Maher with cute NBC pages, when Maher was an intern.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Hmm.

"No need for hope,
Its battle lost."

Just saved me an apostrophe. And it is true, for the ilks of Maher, that hope fought and got slaughtered by the biggest, meanest, most unforgiving foe the Devil has ever known, Trump's humility through Christ which fomented 1) optimism for victory in a 2) weary era that has 3) rendered most unwilling to even attempt to stand and deliver.

David Begley said...

Trump's mania in filing lawsuits is over. That being said, the Left will attack his policies via the courts. The Left still mostly owns the Judiciary.

Quaestor said...

I'll be sure to root for the sharks from now on.

Ann Althouse said...

"A law professor can correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that Trump the public figure has fewer rights to sue than Trump the private figure."

I think you are thinking of the way it's harder for a public figure to bring a defamation suit. Trump has been a public figure since at least the 1980s. That relates to one type of tort lawsuit.

There are many other kinds of lawsuits. The suit against Maher was a contract case: Trump claimed that Maher made an offer and he accepted it, making it an enforceable contract.

A government official has some immunity from suit. The President has absolute immunity from suit for damages over his OFFICIAL acts as President. That's about being the defendant, however, not the plaintiff.

As President, Trump wields governmental power, which can be massively abused. Obama bragged about how good he was at killing people. The IRS may have thwarted political opponents. People get prosecuted for all sorts of violations of law. You can be hurt in ways you can't even detect.

Quaestor said...

Yes, it was a joke, but it was a craven joke (there's that word!). Bill Maher compared Trump to an ape because he thought his audience would applaud, and because he thought he'd get away scot-free.

Ask yourself, how long would Maher keep his slot if he compared Obama to an ape?

Bob said...

This asshat can't get sued enough for my taste. Although a good punch in the nose would suffice.

iowan2 said...

Democrats have weaponized the government, and are now forced to turn that weapon over to their enemy. The fear of the leftist like Maher, is that the Republicans are going to govern just like the Democrats do when they are in power. We will see. Past performance is indicative of future results, I'm afeared. The difference with Trump is, He has no need, or desire to temper his actions to comply with thousands of unwritten rules. There are no long term consequences that will come back on Trump. He has no political price to pay, and he is at the end of his professional career, that otherwise might temper his words out of fear of govt reprisal.

MPH said...

Trump supporters who are defending Trump's abuse of the legal system are exposing themselves as authoritarians.

Quayle said...

What we are seeing are the many who have heretofore stood safely behind the front line of the progressive media and cultural guard, secure in the knowledge that no matter the number or degree of untruthful or harmful or just silly assertions, or ad hominem attacks, or outright lies and slander they put forth, they would always be defended and protected. That battle line progressives had developed was rarely dented and almost never overcome.

Trump faced into the full onslaught of that line and beat it. Hence, they all now feel very vulnerable. They recognize that they are low on ammo, that their decoys were revealed, and that their strategies obsolete. They are scared.

Welcome to the world your conservative compatriots have been living in. Come on in, the waters fine.

damikesc said...

Trump supporters who are defending Trump's abuse of the legal system are exposing themselves as authoritarians.

Was it an abuse, though?

If somebody says "I will do this if you do that" publicly, shouldn't they be held to their offer?

Nobody MADE Maher make that offer. He did so on his own accord.

damikesc said...

What we are seeing are the many who have heretofore stood safely behind the front line of the progressive media and cultural guard, secure in the knowledge that no matter the number or degree of untruthful or harmful or just silly assertions, or ad hominem attacks, or outright lies and slander they put forth, they would always be defended and protected. That battle line progressives had developed was rarely dented and almost never overcome.

Trump faced into the full onslaught of that line and beat it. Hence, they all now feel very vulnerable. They recognize that they are low on ammo, that their decoys were revealed, and that their strategies obsolete. They are scared.

Welcome to the world your conservative compatriots have been living in. Come on in, the waters fine.


We've said, for years, that "You will not be in charge forever". The Left didn't want to listen.

Do I like the idea of retribution? No.

But the only thing worse than that is that the Left never has to suffer for what they have done. Allowing consequences-free violation of basic government policy of equality would be disastrous.

Gahrie said...

As President, Trump wields governmental power, which can be massively abused. Obama bragged about how good he was at killing people. The IRS may have thwarted political opponents. People get prosecuted for all sorts of violations of law. You can be hurt in ways you can't even detect.

You need to go one step further...who turned the law and the government into weapons to punish your enemies?

MikeR said...

Heh. The reason Trump was elected, the reason so many of us who didn't like him at all voted for him - was to protect us from sharks like Bill Maher. We felt that the liberal elites of this country were gathering more and more power and were going to use it to swallow us. And they said so.

Martha said...

Agree totally with MikeR.
I am amazed at how free I feel post Trump election.
I am no longer an irredeemable deplorable—well I am still that but now I can say it out loud without fear of retribution.

holdfast said...

Maher isn't a shark. He's a dirt jester at most.

But the larger point is valid. The left wanted war to the knife, and now they shall have it.

holdfast said...

"Court" not "dirt". Though I kinda like this typo.

Renee said...

Why do liberals make me like Trump, when I don't want to like Trump? Everyday I get more and more sympathetic towards Trump. I hope he makes a good President, even though I am unsure. I watched the video when Maher then brought up his mother, and that hit the pit in my stomach. I felt like I was in middle school, and I would be laughing with Maher against Trump only out of fear I didn't want to be the next target.

Roger Sweeny said...

If one effect of the Trump presidency is that Congress (with the support of the left) makes it harder to sue and get discovery, it will be ironic, but it will be a good thing.

If somebody says "I will do this if you do that" publicly, shouldn't they be held to their offer?

No, not if it isn't serious. The same way you can't be put on trial for attempted murder just for being pissed off and saying, "I'm going to kill you." Now if you are pointing a gun in someone's face while you say it ...

Curious George said...

Gahrie said...

The IRS may have thwarted political opponents. People get prosecuted for all sorts of violations of law. You can be hurt in ways you can't even detect."

May have? What a steaming pile. Did. Say it. Because:

This: You need to go one step further...who turned the law and the government into weapons to punish your enemies?

damikesc said...

No, not if it isn't serious. The same way you can't be put on trial for attempted murder just for being pissed off and saying, "I'm going to kill you." Now if you are pointing a gun in someone's face while you say it ...

The time to say it wasn't serious was at the time they made the offer. Even "You know, if I was an idiot, I'd offer..." or something to that effect would work. Or "I'm just kidding".

Not afterwards, when the offer was honored.

Fernandinande said...

"And now I feel like the shark can get me. Or anybody."

That's obviously just a joke.

"The legal system in this country is not a joke. It's not a toy for rich idiots to play with."

Boy, that Maher guy is hilarious. He should have a TV show or something.

Mary Beth said...

Bill Maher compared Trump to an ape because he thought his audience would applaud, and because he thought he'd get away scot-free.

Only indirectly. According to the article he accused Trump's mother of having sex with an orangutan.

Virgil Hilts said...

We know that both the Obama and Clinton admins saw federal agencies (and manipulated lawsuits) as weapons to be used against their enemies (HC started doing it within weeks if not days of Bill's first term). Will DT be equally corrupt? Maybe, but we can count on the press and bloggers to hold DT's feet to the fire, unlike those of Obama and the Clintons. Maher's real complaint is that the abuse may now be done by someone who is not his ideological friend. Cry me a river.

damikesc said...

Should we remind Maher what Hillary did to the White House Travel Office shortly after Bill won in 1993 simply so she could install cronies?

Michael K said...

I hadn't heard the story about the $5 million. Trump did what he always does and will continue to do. He took advantage of his opponent's stupidity.

The UN should be paying attention to this.

tcrosse said...

As we used to say on the playground, this guy can dish it out but he can't take it.

mtrobertslaw said...

This isn't a First Amendment case. It's a contract case. Maher made an offer and Trump accepted. Trump claims Maher breached the contract.

Fernandinande said...

"Giant cell blob can learn and teach, study shows". And tell jokes.

Hey Skipper said...

Quaestor said... Ask yourself, how long would Maher keep his slot if he compared Obama to an ape?

Brilliant!

Mike R. said ... We felt that the liberal elites of this country were gathering more and more power and were going to use it to swallow us. And they said so.

And they said they'd leave the US if Trump won.

If only they were as sincere about the latter as the former.

chickelit said...

"The legal system in this country is not a joke. It's not a toy for rich idiots to play with."

My very first thought was that Bill Maher is a rich idiot.

Unknown said...

Just another democrat with a video show. The IRS ACTUALLY targeted people for their political beliefs,..ACTUALLY did and nothing. Comey was a GREAT guy when he declined to indict hillary, but WORKING with the russians when he declined to indict her again.

Ludicrous. Just partisan lunacy.

Unknown said...

That is the "sharpest" political commentator on the left? I like our chances.

MPH said...

These mad rants Madr in support of Trump's abuse of the legal system, justified because they don't like the person being abused, tells me that the Freudian analysis that Trump represents the GOP's id is spot on. If that analysis is true, then it is likely that Obama represented his own party's superego.

glenn said...

Smug little guy isn't he? Another fan of the WeinerWagger who was to dumb to read a timeline.

Paul said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Uh what? Mailer? Muller? Oh, Maher. Who is dat?

Sounds like some liberal, without a clue, little snot. Well tough buns Maher. You gonna cry for the next 4/8 years over this.

khesanh0802 said...

From what I have seen of Maher - and it pretty much begins and ends with his interview of KellyAnne Conway - he is a self absorbed prick and any troubles he has will be richly deserved.

damikesc said...

These mad rants Madr in support of Trump's abuse of the legal system, justified because they don't like the person being abused, tells me that the Freudian analysis that Trump represents the GOP's id is spot on.

Don't agree. If somebody wishes to make an ass of themselves, they should be called on it. His usage of eminent domain is a damning, however, and he should produce some policy ideas to curb that bullshit.

William said...

If Watergate had happened under a Democratic president, the Washington Post's big scoop about that story would have been that a high ranking official in the FBI was trying to undermine the office of the Presidency. The Post would, of course, won a Pulitzer for their efforts to forestall a right wing putsch to overthrow the President........Maher gets some street cred because he's willing to criticize homicidal Muslims and wish people a Merry Christmas. It's crazy that he's the only show biz personality willing to openly take such a stand.

JAORE said...

I'm starting to think someone on the right should contract with a patch maker for hundreds of thousands of patches with a variety of identifiers for DEMs, Juden and Gays. A few thousand with a variation of SS to follow. Then let that be leaked to the press. Buy and paint hundreds of railroad cattle cars with the same symbols. Fake gun mounts on adjoining flatbeds would be a nice touch. Finally begin adding Detention Camp #7 signs outside of the FEMA trailer parking spots.

Send a hired train with these cars through every large city in America.

If you are going to live with irrational fear, indeed, if you THRIVE on your irrational fear, we should indulge you.

Drago said...

MPH appears quite insistent that the actual details of this situation not be discussed and that we proceed immediately to the public sentencing phase for Trump.

I wonder why that would be?

EDH said...

I think Trump probably had a better case than most suspect, even Trump's lawyers.

Unlike LEONARD V. PEPSICO, INC. (S.D.N.Y. 1999) and the line of unilateral contract through advertising cases often cited as the precedent delegitimizing Trump's claim, there were differences in the Trump v. Maher case.

Aside from the one-on-one rather than open-to-the-public nature offer, one main difference is that Maher's offer involved a pledged gift to charity of Trump's choosing. Trump could have made an agency argument that he was standing in for the charities of his choice when he accepted the offer.

That also switches the "Objective Reasonable Person Standard" analysis away from whether Maher's assertion about Trump's ancestry was a joke to a question of whether his $5 million pledge to charity was a "joke".

Rusty said...

MPH said...
"Trump supporters who are defending Trump's abuse of the legal system are exposing themselves as authoritarians."

Which president turned the IRS, the DOJ and the EPA on his political enemies?
Trump isn't a Nazi. Trump was elected to avoid democrat fascism.
You people really ought to read som history not written by Zinn.

Fabi said...

I like "dirt jester" better than court jester.

buwaya puti said...

Failing to make good on an offer to wager is dishonorable.
Especially in that he did so while insulting Trumps family. The insult alone is beyond the pale. Insult a man, and he should forgive, alls fair up to that point, but to insult his parents, wife and children is beyond the line of honor.
The failure to make good on a public offer of a wager in this respect makes it worse. Maher made a clear, public commitment in the course of making a vile insult, and refused to honor it. He is clearly no gentleman.
In the old days this would have led to a challenge to a duel.

n.n said...

Maher made a clear, public commitment in the course of making a vile insult, and refused to honor it. He is clearly no gentleman.

Exactly right. The media is not exempt from common practices.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, yes, I was thinking of defamation.

Personally, I am over and done with the idea of throwing out crass insults and then folks like Maher and Colbert saying, in effect, well I was just joking. Trump's favorite charities can use that $5M more than Maher can. According to this Maher has a net worth of $30M so he can still live pretty well after paying off his wager.

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Comanche Voter said...

Glass bottom boat with Republican sharks? To reprise the applicable line from the movie "Jaws", Maher is going to need a bigger boat. Couldn't happen to a more deserving jerk.

jacksonjay said...

Really? King of Insults, Donald J Trump is now the victim?

Trump "jokes" during the campaign are numerous.

At least he has promised to avoid the "appearance" of conflict with that stupid foundation.

khesanh0802 said...

Have to agree with buwaya puti. In dueling days Maher would never have dared do what he did. He is clearly a coward taking the approach he did and then not adhering to his pledge. Kind of guy who you would like to watch as he looked into the barrel of a dueling pistol. Makes you almost wish those days were here again. A lot of "comedians" would have to instantly clean up their acts.

M Jordan said...

A commenter on another thread wrote "glib ... smart ... wise, Steven Colbert is glib." Yes. And too Bill Maher. And Jon Stewart. And (wait for it) Barack Obama.

We live in a glib age, where snark passes for wisdom. It is not. Obama is neither wise nor really all that smart. He is definitely not an intellectual. But try telling that to his legions of worshipers.

Is Trump glib, smart, or wise? He's definitely not glib. He definitely has a kind of smarts. His wisdom? We shall see.

But his just not being glib is good enough for me.

jacksonjay said...

Yeah, in the old days, Lyin Ted or Carly Fiorina's husband would have settled up with pistols!

rcocean said...

I never thought the Dog-face was funny or smart, but evidently he's the best TV can offer. IRC, he's like 5 feet tall, like Jon Stewart. Tiny men with tiny souls.

Sad.

jacksonjay said...

I doubt that John McCain could take DJT in a duel. His sholders aren't that flexible!

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Trump campaigned to appeal to the working class most of whom do not have a noble view of the law. This was early campaign move. Media coverage of the lawsuit reminded public - what is in Obama's college transcripts/ passports that is so damaging that he will not allow the information to be released in exchange for a $5 million donation to charity. Plus makes Trump look sympathetic since he is protecting Mom's reputation and claiming the money on behalf of charity.

FullMoon said...

Unknown said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Just another democrat with a video show. The IRS ACTUALLY targeted people for their political beliefs,..


Would be satisfying to see Lerner and others responsible suffering some consequence.

FullMoon said...

Many Mayer fans defend him by saying "It was just a joke". But some fans will think. "He has the money, it would go to charity, he is an asshole for not paying up".

And, Trump did what he does, insult him, and he immediately responds.Sometimes childishly. The small hands remark by Rubio got an immediate reply on national TV,when most of America probably had no idea what he was talking about.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Bill Maher may be a bit worried about the Gawker verdict. Maybe he should consider settling. Gawker wishes they had.

Lem said...

"The legal system in this country is not a joke. It's not a toy for rich idiots to play with."

For 200... What a poor argument sounds like?

Sam L. said...

I'm hoping the shark gets him.

Bill Peschel said...

Maher didn't seem scared about the suit at the time. From the CNN story Althouse linked:

"What?? Really? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha," he tweeted.

Maher's protestations represent infantile behavior and virtue-signaling to the low-information crowd.

Earnest Prole said...

I hurt easy, I just don't show it; you can hurt someone and not even know it.

mccullough said...

So Maher welched on his promise and now worries. He should have paid up long ago.

FDR had his political enemies wire tapped, prosecuted, and investigated by the IRS. Perhaps Trumpwill be that authoritarian. Maybe he'll end up on the dime

MPH said...

@drago - "MPH appears quite insistent that the actual details of this situation not be discussed and that we proceed immediately to the public sentencing phase for Trump.

I wonder why that would be?"

Say what? The actual details of this court case are absurd and an obvious abuse of the court system, as Prof. Althouse notes in the original post above. Trump sued a comedian because he didn't like being made fun of.

Rusty said...

buwaya puti said...
"Failing to make good on an offer to wager is dishonorable.
Especially in that he did so while insulting Trumps family. The insult alone is beyond the pale. Insult a man, and he should forgive, alls fair up to that point, but to insult his parents, wife and children is beyond the line of honor.
The failure to make good on a public offer of a wager in this respect makes it worse. Maher made a clear, public commitment in the course of making a vile insult, and refused to honor it. He is clearly no gentleman.
In the old days this would have led to a challenge to a duel."

Thad would mean they would have to have some concept of honor. The usual suspects see honor in you as a weakness, to be exploited.

Drago said...

MPH: "Say what? The actual details of this court case are absurd and an obvious abuse of the court system, as Prof. Althouse notes in the original post above."

Oh. Okay. A law professor says so.

Got it.

Gee, no appeal to authority on that one. Nope.

Drago said...

So, to summarize the left:

1) Trumps attempt to sue Maher was stupid on it's face and had no chance of going anywhere legally.

2) Trumps attempt to sue Maher is the single greatest threat to our freedoms ever.

EDH said...

Trump: All right, Maher, that's $5 million. Now fork it over!

Maher: I'll give you nothing! Absolutely nothing, you understand!

Trump: I figured as much! Hey, Moose, Rocco! Help the funny man find his checkbook.


Owen said...

Trump should sponsor a new TV series called "America's Got Duelists" where those who insult others or renege on pledges would get called out. The audience would vote on the form of combat. Maher's estate would receive a royalty.

Clyde said...

I don't find Maher's smirky smarminess amusing; he's a waste of my time. That said, he should have been less afraid of what was under his glass-bottom boat than of the Mos Eisely-cantina crew that were in the boat with him. To finish the analogy, they're the reason he's shipwrecked.

n.n said...

demands Mahrer pay up the $ to charity Mahrere refuses

A wager that ends with a donation to a charity of Maher's choice? How could he refuse.

Don't wait for redistributive change at the edge of a scalpel. Do it for the unPlanned children.

chickelit said...

The Conan O'Brien clip made me realize what a physically tiny and delicate man Bill Maher is. What is he, 5' 4"?

chickelit said...

I mean, Maher is definitely the runt of whatever litter spawned him.

Earnest Prole said...

Bill Maher may be tiny but he is perfectly formed

gadfly said...

Maher is also looking for another lawsuit, naming Dobald Jr and Eric, "Uday and Qusay," before declaring them "axe murderers".

Diamondhead said...

The click-baity headline on the video...Wouldn't he have had to be silent at some point in order to have "just broken his silence"?

William Chadwick said...

Big news revelation for you, Maher: despite your atheism and your pose as a free-swinging "libertarian," you're a loyal member of the Cult of the State--and the State not only CAN get anyone, but sooner or later, in some ways, does.