BILL MAHER: Now that Americans are getting wise to the dangers of being spied on by the government, they have to start getting more alarmed about spying on each other. Because at the Donald Sterling mess proved anything itâ€™s that thereâ€™s a force out there just as powerful as Big Brother -- Big Girlfriend.
Last week, when President Obama was asked about the Sterling episode, he said, 'When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, just let them talk.' But Sterling didn't advertise, he was bugged. And while he may not be worth defending, the Fourth Amendment is. That's the one that says we have the right to be secure in our person, in our homes, in our property. Well, not if bitching to your girlfriend in your home loses you your property. Well, not if bitching to your girlfriend in your home loses you your property.
In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Kathleen Parker offered one way with dealing the modern world's ubiquitous invasions of privacy: give up. She wrote: 'If you don't want your words broadcast in the public square, don't say them.' Really? Even at home? We have to talk like a White House press spokesman?
She then looked on the bright side by saying, 'Such potential exposure forces us to more carefully select our words and edit our thoughts.' Always editing? I rather be a Mormon. And that's what we all would be -- Mitt Romney. I would listen to a hundred horrific Cliven Bundy rants if that was the price of living in a world where I could also hear interesting and funny people talk without a filter.
Perhaps most chilling of all, Parker said, 'Speaking one's mind isn't really all it's cracked up to be.' Which is quite a statement, since her job is speaking her mind. It's like mailman telling you that letters are stupid.
So let me get this straight. We should concede that there is no such thing anymore as a private conversation, so therefore remember to lawyer everything you say before you say it, and, hey, speaking your mind is overrated anyway, so you won't miss it. Well, I'll miss it, I'll miss it a lot. And for the record, speaking my mind is absolutely everything it is cracked up to be.
So many things have let me down in life: the iPod Nano, the Spiderman musical, Al Gore for president, M. Night Shyamalan movies, the entire 80s, Lance Armstrong, my scout leader. But speaking my mind? Priceless. Does anyone really want there to be no place where we can let our hair down and not worry if the bad angel in our head occasionally grabs the mic?
What about the bathroom? Not a public bathroom, of course I expect to be taped and photographed in there. But my bathroom at home. Would it be okay if that was kind of a cone of silence where I can invite friends in to speak freely? Who wants to live in a world where the only privacy you have is inside your head? That's what life in East Germany was like, that's why we fought the Cold War, remember? So we never have to live in some awful limbo, where you never knew who, even among your friends, was an informer. And now we are doing it to ourselves. Well don't. Don't be a part of the problem.
If this was a campaign ad, I'd say, 'Call Kathleen Parker and tell her you're not ready to edit what you say in private.' And just to fuck with her head, tell her you have an audio of a book party she gave at home with 5 close female friends, all of whom had way too much wine. Because I'm sure there has been that night, and she wouldn't want that tape to come out. Who would? Because we're humans, we're not that good.
We're not ready to live in a world where everything has to come out perfectly in the first take. There's a reason houses have doors on them and windows have shades. And if I want to sit in the privacy of my living room and say I think The Little Mermaid is hot and I want to bang her, or I donâ€™t like watching two men kiss, or I think tattoos look terrible on black people, I should be able to, even if you think it makes me an asshole. Now, do I really believe those things? Iâ€™m not telling you because youâ€™re not in my living room! (HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, May 9, 2014)