For Friday’s final “New Rule” in his weekly monologue, leftist comedian Bill Maher pulled one of his favorite tactics: exaggerating his opponents’ argument to mutate it into an absurd strawman. As usual, Maher’s final point of the evening was reprinted at Arianna Huffington’s leftist media hub, the Huffington Post:
In her farewell speech — if only — Sarah Palin kept telling us “how she’s wired.” Now I’m not a doctor, or an electrician — but this is faulty wiring, this worldview that, in her words, “we should never apologize for our country.” Really? Never? Not for slavery? Or Japanese internment camps, or if we tortured the wrong guy at Guantanamo? The Indians? Nothing, Sarah? “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”? Shouldn’t John McCain apologize for… you?
When did intractability become a virtue? Mitt Romney’s new book is called No Apology: The Case For American Greatness. You can find it at Borders, in the “Suck-Up” section. It’s such a perfect title, combining paranoia with arrogance: “No one has yet asked me to apologize but, if someone ever does, f— them.”
But did Sarah Palin really say that America should never apologize for its mistakes?Â I had a suspicion that perhaps there was more context to this quote. So I went digging to find this quote’s source. And I found where RealClearPolitics (RCP) had posted it here.
According to RCP:
Gov. Sarah Palin told supporters to “continue to love our country, be proud of our country [and] never apologize for our country.”
But that’s not true. She doesn’t say that. It’s a misquote.
Watch the video. The quote is from 3:50 to 4:00. Here she actually says:
Let us continue to love our country, be proud of our country, and never apologize for being Americans.
The misquote is also in this article from Politico.
Now, my dislike of Sarah Palin is no secret. I don’t think she should have been McCain’s VP pick, I’d rather she not be the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012, and I really don’t care for much of her rhetoric. But on this point here, on what she was actually saying, we’re in 100% agreement.
Sure, “America,” as in ourÂ elected officials, made mistakes in the past. And you know what? We’re going to make mistakes in the future. Like every other nation in the history of humanity, America is made up of flawed, imperfect human beings. But on the subject of what makes us American, and by that I mean the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, absolutely no apologies are needed.
Now perhaps my headline’s rebuke of Maher is a tad harsh. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. He probably just read the quote and didn’t actually look into the context. He didn’t bother to watch the video. I mean, he’s a busy man (he’s got a lot of pot to smoke, after all.)
And he can demonstrate that heÂ simply made a mistake — and did not intentionally lie –Â by choosing to correct his error on the next episode of “Real Time.” And to help make this happen, I’d encourage our NewsReal readers to help get the word out about this mistake so he can correct it. Please get this story out until it’s too loud for Maher and HBO to ignore. Click here to send HBO an email about Bill’s error, and please show him more friendliness and civility than he’s shown us all these years.