Bill Maher, Lightning Rod of the Right

March 30, 2012, 1:00 PM GMT+0

In the Economist/YouGov poll (Week of 3/24/2012) one-in-three respondents (34%) correctly identified Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time program, as the person who deserved the same sort of condemnation that liberals dumped on radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh for similar reasons—making crude remarks about women with whom each man disagreed on political grounds. Almost no one misidentified the target of “Hey, your guy did this, too” counterattacks from Limbaugh defenders…those who could not identify Maher simply did not know enough about the counter charges to say who else had it coming.

Many or most conservatives (51%), Republicans (49%), Independents (45%), college graduates (48%) and people over age 65 (44%) correctly volunteered Maher’s name. Somehow, only 37% of liberals and 22% of Democrats could come up with Maher’s name when asked which liberal TV commentator made comments about Republican women similar to Limbaugh’s crude attacks (“slut” and “a prostitute”) about a Georgetown University law student.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association