If you went to one of several conservative blogs over the past couple of days, you might have noticed them all in a tizzy about the Alabama Democratic Party and left-wing political comedian and TV host Bill Maher.
(Maher been criticized in recent days for some sexist terminology he used to describe public figures because Rush Limbaugh, a right-wing talk radio host and entertainer, has recently come under fire for using similar language against a college student.)
Here are some notable examples of such tizzying tizzles:
“Alabama’s Democratic Party has recruited controversial comedian Bill Maher to headline a fundraiser March 17…” wrote Neil Munro at the Daily Caller.
- The Right Scoop mentioned that “well known misogynist Bill Maher, who called Sarah Palin a “dumb tw*t“, will be raising money for the Democratic Party in Alabama.”
- Cliff Sims at Alabama’s own Yellowhammer Politics blog noted “a growing chorus of Alabamians who are disgusted by the Alabama Democratic Party’s choice to host a fundraiser featuring über liberal television host Bill Maher.”
- “Alabama Democrats Use Bill Maher for Fundraising,” a headline at the National Review said.
Google, if you want. You’ll find more.
From all that, you might think that Bill Maher was headlining a fundraiser for the Alabama Democratic Party (ADP) or something. Except he’s not. And he never planned to.
“We have not invited him to attend a Democratic Party event, and he is not attending a Democratic party event,” ADP executive director Bradley Davidson told Weld today.
What is happening, then? Bill Maher is on a stand-up comedy tour, and he’s coming to Huntsville’s Von Braun Civic Center theatre as part of that tour (warning: link takes you to Bill Maher’s website, which is just awful). The Alabama Democrats bought a block of tickets to that show and created a package that includes “prime seating” at the Maher show (indicating that these are perhaps the $85 tickets rather than the $55 tickets) and a “Chairman’s Reception” with Alabama Democratic Party chair Judge Mark Kennedy before the show.
Is it a fundraiser? Nowhere does the e-mail mention fundraising. And, indeed, fundraising is not the point of the night, according to Davidson. He told Weld in an e-mail that ADP hopes to break even on the event.
“From a party perspective, not making money can still be positive if people have the opportunity to gather with like-minded folks on their areas and get energized,” Davidson wrote. “These kinds of social events can play a positive role in building the party.”
The event is also no longer mentioned on the ADP website. That “Click to Purchase Tickets” button in the e-mail now redirects you to the front page, not to a site where you can purchase tickets. Did the ADP attempt to “scrub” the website of any mention of Bill Maher, as some have claimed?
Not according to Davidson. He says the bundled tickets simply sold out.
That makes sense, considering the subject of the Feb. 23 e-mail shown above was “Tickets going fast! An Evening with Bill Maher”.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still buy tickets, if you want to. As of earlier this afternoon, tickets were still available from TicketMaster. It just means you can’t sit with the Democrats and hang out with Mark Kennedy.
Updated at 7:25 p.m. with the quote from Davidson regarding the fundraising aspect.