The American Enterprise Institute's Norman Ornstein at least had the decency to apologize for his snideness toward Sarah Palin. Will Time Warner apologize after its HBO channel aired Bill Maher describing the Republican Party's 2008 vice presidential nominee, a former governor of Alaska, as "a brain dead woman" and "a babbling, barely-housebroken, uneducated being"? Or for Mr. Maher's comment that Tiger Woods was "having sex with more women than even a black celebrity needs to have sex with, and thereby threatening to unbalance the delicate ecosystem of playas and ho's"? Will the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, or a prominent conservative blogger, Reihan Salam, who appeared on the show during which Mr. Maher made his comments, distance themselves from his remarks? A list of the members of Time Warner's corporate board of directors is here. I've got nothing against rough-and-tumble politics and I'm not an advocate of political correctness, but is there a point at which civilized people recoil from this sort of thing? Where are the National Organization for Women and the NAACP when you need them? Wouldn't they be out in force if the Fox News Channel were airing this sort of thing?
Critics of capitalism, and even some of its defenders, blame it for coarsening the culture. It seems to me that the coarsening isn't capitalism's fault. Here I am trying to make money in capitalism by fighting back against the coarsening. It's a self-correcting system, isn't it? Certainly HBO's parent company exposes itself to reputational risk for airing this sort of stuff. There are some adults on the Time Warner board, including a fomer dean of Harvard Law School, Robert Clark, and Mathias Doepfner of Axel Springer. They risk embarassment by associating themselves with this stuff.