Elisabeth Hasselbeck Confronts Bill Maher... A Few Months Late
At first glance, The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck should have been the clear winner in her confrontation with Bill Maher. When we know so much about human trafficking and growing violence against women is a joke about women as tokens really funny?
Unfortunately for Hasselbeck (and every woman who thinks such jokes are passé), anyone watching knows she lost. Not only was her confrontation ill-timed, but her insistence to treat Bill Maher like a bad little boy made her appear out of touch. It even prompted Barbara Walters to remind everyone about the jokes at her expense ( Baba Wawa, the Gilda Radnor imitation-which I had to Google and doesn't actually seem comparable.)
Should Hasselbeck have confronted Maher? Yes, in February when the "joke" was made. Like Maher, Hasselbeck has a national platform to voice her opinions and she could have addressed the comment through the same airwaves that reached her. If she failed to get her point across then, this was not the right time for it. Choosing to take a stand when Maher was a guest promoting a book diminished the urgency and any legitimacy in her rebuke.
What's worse, in terms of framing the conversation on violence against women, Bill Maher made Elisabeth Hasselbeck look like a kid at the adult table. Especially because he was able to recall his own record of advocating against keeping women out of important institutions.
While Hasselbeck pouted, attempted sarcasm and generally squirmed, Maher ably defended himself. A couple of short one-liners worthy of a comedian later, and he had pulverized her. The rest of The View's hosts sided with him (as did pundits and bloggers) and Hasselbeck was left looking like a silly woman who couldn't get the joke.
Too bad because, if you really think about it, the joke wasn't that funny.