Kristen Powers, a political commentator who worked in the Clinton administration, and Penny Lee, former executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, have taken to the pages of The New York Times to tell comedian Bill Maher to “Please start apologizing!”
This week Maher wrote an op-ed in the Times lamenting the country’s reflexive outrage at insensitive language. He urged the offended to stop caring and the offenders to “please stop apologizing.”
“If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth,” he wrote. “The answer to whenever another human being annoys you is not [to] make them go away forever. We need to learn to coexist, and it’s actually pretty easy to do.”
According to Powers — who recently penned a column calling Maher out for his own misogynistic language — and Lee, Maher has “attempted to tie his own demeaning attacks on women to the unrelated issue of partisan-motivated fake outrage,” and remains unconcerned about the effects of his own misogynistic language.
“How can we expect women to run for office when they are essentially told to “lighten up about” and accept misogynist attacks?” The pair wrote in a letter to the editor. “The Women’s Media Center has found that such attacks on women candidates have a measurable negative effect on how voters view them. Our message to Mr. Maher and his ilk is: Please start apologizing.”
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin praised the pair, who both hail from Alaska, with a Facebook post Saturday, titled “Last Frontier Women Don’t Tolerate Misogynists,” arguing that, in Alaska, real men do not have to put strong women down.
“I personally do not seek an apology from these narrow-minded men. With a full family and productive ‘to-do’ list everyday, I just don’t have time for them. But I do feel sorry for them and for their obvious need to compensate for something that’s missing in their own lives, which compels them to belittle others in order to feel big,” she wrote.
“And I feel sorry for our culture for having to listen to them,” she added. “America deserves better. I applaud Kirsten and Penny for taking a stand when too many feminists don’t speak up when the attacks are directed at their conservative sisters. And, unfortunately, too many men, like our president, will only defend certain women, not all women.”
A year ago this month, Maher called Palin a “dumb twat.”