The essential appeal of the Don Draper character on Mad Men--as many have pointed out--is that he knows how to keep a secret. Actor Jon Hamm, apparently, does not. How else to explain his appearance on HBO's Real Time last week, in which the basic cable icon--in response to a question from host Bill Maher--said that conservative leaders like Newt Gingrich further the Tea Party movement's "secret agenda" by speaking in racially-divisive "code." How dare a celebrity voice a political opinion on a political talk show? Voices around the righty blogosphere were quick to chastise Hamm:

  • Stale  Hamm's comments are indicative of the foot-in-mouth moments one generally sees from the celebrity guests on Maher's show, observes Reason's Michael Moynihan. "While Maher can be entertaining and occasionally let loose a heterodox political opinion," writes Moynihan, "his celebrity guests are almost always working off the same, very predictable script."
  • A New Role  Jon Hamm is no longer cool enough to play Don Draper, declared conservative blog The Other McCain. He deserves to be stuck in awful costume dramas, forever. "Anyone else want to see Jon Hamm in a wig, playing some bitchy member of the British Parliament circa 1774 or so, railing about these obnoxious pamphleteers in the Colonies?"
  • Not a Surprise  At Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood blog, disappointment ruled the day. The link to Hamm's comments came billed as "something that would shock none of you and disappoint many of you."
  • Tone Deaf  Hamm's appearance was "ham-handed," writes Pajamas Media blogger Ed Driscoll. Despite the fact one of the running jokes in Mad Men concerns "how many moments in history [the characters] keep getting wrong, as the events of their times unfold around them" Hamm's remarks prove that viewers shouldn't "expect the people who create the show to have any more clairvoyance about the times that they inhabit."