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If you haven't seen the Real Time With Bill Maher show yet, you are missing something. I'm not sure exactly what you're missing, but you're missing something....maybe the downfall of western civilization (but funny !). I watched part of a rerun of the october 12th episode on HBO last night while I was waiting for the Indians/Red Sox game to start (Go Tribe !). The basic premise of the Bill Maher show is: Republicans suck, Christians are stupid and delusional, americans are a bunch of ignorant hicks, and marijuana is cool. Needless to say, liberals LOVE the show, since it reflects their values. I watched this particular episode because I wanted to see if New York Times columnist Paul Krugman could possibly be as wrong about everything in person as he is in print. He was one of the panel guests, along with Joy Behar, alleged comedienne from The View, and MSNBC's Tucker Carlson, who played the token conservative, even though he isn't that conservative. A centrist on Real Time looks like a hard right-winger compared to a typical assemblage of Maher moonbats. Once, Christopher Hitchens played the role of the 'evil' conservative on the show, even though he is a socialist and an atheist. The conservative role was forced upon Hitchens for the sole reason that he acknowledges that Islamic fascism exists and realizes it's important that we fight against it. That's all it takes to be considered a crazed conservative fundamentalist fascist extremist by Maher's people. The audience booed Hitchens so much that Hitchens actually flipped them off at one point. I think that might have been a tv talk show first, unless you count the Jerry Springer type shows (I don't), where it's part of the act.
There is usually one token pseudo-conservative present on Real Time, because that way the rest of the panel and the audience will have someone to boo and shout down, and Maher can pretend he's being fair. There is never more than one conservative, though. That might shift the balance of power too much, and they can't have that. A liberal's idea of fair and balanced is when the liberals control 90% of the discussion (at least), just like in the mainstream media. When conservatives control more of a media audience than liberals, as in talk radio, liberals start looking for ways to legislate away the conservative advantage (i.e. The Fairness Doctrine). I think this must be because liberals love diversity SO much and are SO tolerant of the viewpoints of others.
Since Real Time is a contained sea of liberal self-congratulation, the absolute dumbest comments are treated as brilliant examples of liberal insight, as long as they bash Republicans, of course. For example, during a discussion of blogger Michelle Malkin's revelations about the Democrat's 12-year old S-CHIP poster boy Graeme Frost (his family owns 3 vehicles, sends all their kids to private school, owns their own business, and have a $300,000 home, yet the taxpayers are picking up the Frost's heallth care insurance tab) , Joy Behar put her finger on why Malkin was talking about the Frosts and S-CHIP. "Because she's a selfish b*tch, probably", bleated Behar. Huge applause from the crowd followed, naturally. Behar beamed. Ms Behar also called Republicans "p*ssies" earlier in the show, another Hallmark moment that drew huge applause from her fellow policy wonk sophisticates in the Maher audience.
I was disappointed with Krugman, because he didn't say much. He was soft-spoken, and was overshadowed and seemed cowed by the loud, boisterous, tv veteran blabbermouth trio of Maher, Carlson, and Behar. What little Krugman did say WAS wrong, such as his pronouncement that Iran is not a threat (I wonder if Israel and our soldiers being blown up by Iranian IED's agree), but mostly he just mumbled.
So, if you want to hear 1001 Bush jokes, you will LOVE the Bill Maher show. If you like to know what clueless overpaid Hollywood actors think about politics, you'll like it even more. If you want to hear a nonstop stream of leftist propaganda, Maher's your guy.
But if you are looking for serious issue discussions, look elsewhere.