Bill Maher on nepo babies, sports, and merit

March 27, 2023 • 11:00 am

This is a pretty good 7-minute segment of Bill Maher’s show from last Friday. Although it begins slowly with a discussion about “nepo babies”—those actors or models, like Jane Fonda,  who got a foot in the door by being related to others in the profession. That bit is okay, but the segment picks up steam when Maher gets into the topic of merit—specifically, how merit is being devalued by colleges and universities in America in favor of making student bodies (or members of professions) “look like America.” He mentions what we already know: schools are eliminating standardized tests and advanced-placement classes, all in the name of equity. But, as Maher notes, the elimination of standards in this way plays straight into the hands of Republicans.

And this brings up a good question: “Why are sports by far the most popular thing that Americans watch on television?”  There are no nepo babies in sports, which Maher calls “the last refuge of meritocracy of America”.

A quote from the piece:

Sports is the last place where it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from—just what you do. No one gets hired either because it would make the team “look like America,” or because their rich white daddy pulled strings.  I don’t trust the government, media, churches, judges, juries, banks, Jiffy Lube, or anyone on a dating app covering their chin with their hands. But I do trust that the 450 players in the NBA [National Basketball Association] are the absolute best 450 players the teams could find anywhere in the world.

In other words, in sports, merit talks and identity walks. This is of course strict adherence to Dr. King’s famous quote about evaluating people—if you substitute “quality of their play” for “content of their character.” But we all know that King’s quote is an embarrassment to modern progressives, who either try to overlook it or interpret it so that it comports with modern ideology.

h/t: Jay

9 thoughts on “Bill Maher on nepo babies, sports, and merit

  1. As someone who worked as a baseball executive and consultant for 20+ years I can tell you that nepotism plays a small role in decision-making as does cronyism. Coaches who were ex-players, which is almost all of them, would often evaluate a player, whether consciously or not, by whether or not he reminded them of a player they personally liked or disliked. That’s a big reason why data has become so important in baseball.

    1. As an outsider looking in, it appears to me the coaching and executive ranks in college and professional sports are overcrowded with nepotism. Sons of former and current coaches seem to flourish.

      1. I’ve seen a nurture argument made for this, BTW. That coaching benefits from the sort of deep immersion in watching the details of the game that the son of a coach might get. That’s a rare kind of apprenticeship, quite different from that of the athletes.

        The pool of people who grew up playing are lot is much much larger; the son of a player won’t be such an outlier. (And guys who are 7ft+ get recruited even if they’ve never touched a baskedball?)

  2. So professional sports, alone, has been given leave by the wokies to retain meritocracy. Here is a news item illustrating the converse: pop-wokeism entering the pop-culture of cartoon robot characters. [Bill Maher could have some fun with this.]

    “The franchise has embraced the possibility of transgender Cybertrons and even Decepticons for quite some time. In the first-generation cartoon, despite it being canonically stated at the time that the robots had no gender, Howlback chose to identify as a female. The idea that there may be transgender robots in the series was also confirmed by Hasbro itself with its Ask Vector Prime feature which was a prominent part of the official Transformers website back when the Transformers: Cybertron cartoon was airing.” Needless to say, since these robots from another galaxy transform themselves into cars and vacuum-cleaners and things, the matter of self-identification becomes, as
    we say these days, centered.

  3. I run so hot and cold with Maher. He will make a great point one week, then have RFK Jr on his show the next.

  4. What’s the bit about people on dating apps covering their faces with their hands? What does that hide?

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