New Rule: This one is a shocker. It turns out that comedian Bill Maher, one of Arianna Huffington’s best friends, has violated HuffPo‘s new policy banning from its front page those who engage in “false ad hominem attack” even outside of HuffPo. Maher called Sarah Palin a “dumb twat” on his HBO show recently. That’s definitely ad hominem. But was it “false”–a convenient extra word that HuffPo belatedly added to their policy (thereby setting themselves up as low-cost libel cops for the world)? Unfortunately for Maher, one person who seems very likely to think it false is Huffington, who has consistently–starting from the first word of Palin’s VP selection in 2008— warned Democrats not to underestimate her. Huffington even quoted approvingly from a Michelle Cottle article praising Palin’s “brilliant success” and suggesting that she is a “P.R. genius.” Doesn’t sound “dumb” to me.
It will be sad to see Maher go. He can be very funny.