From a recent news story in Politico:

Actor Robert De Niro thrilled the crowd at a New York fundraiser headlined by first lady Michelle Obama when he listed the alternatives.

“Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?” De Niro asked a star-studded crowd gathered in the backroom of Locanda Verde, a restaurant he owns on Greenwich Street in TriBeCa.

Someone in the crowd shouted, “No!” as De Niro quickly added, “Too soon, right?”

The above comment was met with widespread outrage. Michelle Obama called it “inappropriate.” Newt Gingrich demanded an apology, which De Niro promptly tendered to any and all offended.

You all remember the Rush Limbaugh debacle, in which he got into trouble for calling Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified in favor of insurance for contraceptives.

Afterwards, Republicans pointed out that comedian / pundit Bill Maher had said awful things about Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann on his comedy show about a year ago, without much denunciation. They see it as parallel, and indicative of a double set of standards for judging conservatives and liberals.

Here are the two clips. In the first, Maher calls Palin a “dumb twat,” and in the second says Bachmann and Palin are “bimbos.”

If you are worried about work safety, here are the pertinent transcripts: “Sarah Palin finally heard about what happened in Japan, and she decided we need to invade Tsunami. “We can’t let the Tsunamians get away with this. Oh, and speaking of dumb twats….”

In the second case, he says Bachmann is a candidate for people “who find Sarah Palin too intellectual.”

”If Palin and Bachmann get in, that’s two bimbos, and there is Mitt Romney, a millionaire, and Newt Gingrich, a professor. We just need a skipper and a buddy and we’ve got Gilligan’s Island!”


Gene Weingarten will live chat with readers on this subject and more Tuesday, March 27 at Noon ET. Submit questions and opinions for him to respond to now.