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'Zombie lies': Bill Maher slams Republican talking point lies that never die

Bill Maher attends a DuJour Magazine celebration of 12 seasons of REAL TIME with Bill Maher at UP&DOWN presented by GILT and TW STEEL on June 23, 2014 in New York City.
Bill Maher attends a DuJour Magazine celebration of 12 seasons of REAL TIME with Bill Maher at UP&DOWN presented by GILT and TW STEEL on June 23, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

Sometimes it takes a comedian like Bill Maher to put things into perspective: Like all those talking point lies that seem to get resurrected by politicians -- mostly by Republicans -- every election cycle or whenever they're on Fox News Channel. On his talk show on HBO Friday night, Maher took the Republican Party to task over their "zombie lies" and pointed out the chief zombie liar of them all -- former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Raw Story reported July 11 that Maher hammered Republicans for their unceasing dissemination of debunked and defunct talking points. He called them "zombie lies" due to the fact that they refused to die.

“Remember ‘fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes?’ Zombie lie, so stop saying it,” Maher told his "Real Time" audience. “‘Voter fraud’? We studied it. It’s not an actual problem. Stop zombie-lying about it. Their entire economic philosophy — cut taxes for the rich and it trickles down — is a zombie lie. And all these zombie lies are still out there, roaming the countryside, neither alive nor dead — like Dick Cheney. Hungry for brains — like Dick Cheney.”

Maher noted that in Cheney's "latest return from the dead," the heart-transplant recipient was enthusiastically dredging up and using the same lies he told prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The comedian admitted that Dick Cheney and several like-minded conservatives had been called out and questioned about their prior roles in the run-up to the Iraq War (see: Megyn Kelly's epic takedown of Cheney, a moment so counter to Fox News Channel talking heads' usual stance that one might start believing in alternate universes), he noted that the same type of analysis was not extending to the the conservatives and their current attacks on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

“They said Obamacare would use death panels. It doesn’t,” he began, listing more "zombie lies." “They said it was a government takeover, and the insurance industry is making record profits. They said it covered illegals. It doesn’t. They said it was a job killer. It hasn’t been. They said there were elves who baked cookies in trees.”

(For those not in the know, the last line was a joke.)

Maher also brought up President Obama's continuing lie about being able to keep the doctor of one's choice under Obamacare, a lie that won Politifact's not-so-coveted "Lie of the Year" for 2013 (like former Republican 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin did with the aforementioned lie about "death panels"). But, as he pointed out, the president stopped telling that lie when he was called to the public carpet for it.

And so there is a difference between the defunct-but-not-dead "zombie lies" "still out there, roaming the countryside, neither alive nor dead" and the lies being told but when challenged, get dropped by the tellers.

“He [President Obama] stepped up and said, ‘You’re right, my bad,’ because he understood there’s this thing called ‘observable reality.'"

But when one's observable reality is Fox News Channel, where a recent analysis made by PunditFact found more than half of the statements made by a host or guest was false, it could be a little difficult discerning between what is true and what is nothing more than a resurrected lie. And if one wishes to simply listen to anti-science regressionists like Kentucky state senator Brandon Smith, who recently told a meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment that he would like to "point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here," then shoveling old lies about "clean" coal and President Obama shutting down coal plants (Smith owns one, so he has a vested interest in pushing his particular set of "zombie lies") into the empty mental bin that refuses to critically think or question shouldn't be much of a problem. (By the way, the average temperature on Mars is -81 degrees Fahrenheit, nowhere near what it is here.)

"Zombie lies" are far more easily accepted among those that are closer to brain dead, it would seem. It isn't even all that difficult to observe the reality that the Republican Party has more than its fair share of the walking dead -- and that isn't going so far as to consider the average age of those in the Grand "Old" Party.

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