On this past weekend's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, comedian Bill Maher pointed to the liberal scriptwriters of NBC's West Wing for political guidance. Maher touted how “Alan Alda plays a Republican Senator who tells the Christian Right to go screw.” Maher yearned: “Why can't we have that in real life?” Last Tuesday (October 11) on MSNBC's Hardball, the Chicago Tribune's Jim Warren had also held up how the Alda character "confronts a top Christian Right official who insists on a public pledge that Alan Alda, if elected President, will only pick anti-abortion judges to the federal court. And Alan Alda, seeing the world as much more complicated, declines to do that." Maher proceeded to wonder: “Why can't we have a real Alan Alda character who says to the Christian Right what the Democrats basically say to the black people, which is, 'you know what? Where else are you going to go?'"
Full transcripts of Maher's comments, the Alan Alda character's lines on the October 9 episode of The West Wing and links to previous NewsBusters items on The West Wing, follow.
On the October 9 West Wing, the head of the "American Christian Assembly" tells Drudge that "Arnie Vinick," the un-conservative GOP presidential candidate played by Alda, promised to appoint only pro-life judges, a pledge "Vinick" had made. Explaining it to his upset staff, "Vinick" admits: "I lied to a liar. Miserable little," Vinick's voice trails off as he slams a folder down and stands up: "He's what's wrong with this party. He's the problem, not me! Tell that lying little creep the United States Senate gets to advise and consent on judges, not the clergy. If his gang wants to have a say in picking judges, tell him to run for the Senate."
On the newest Real Time with Bill Maher, shown live Friday night, October 14 on HBO at 11pm EDT, and re-played over the weekend, Maher segued from his panel's discussion about the Iraqi elections to the Harriet Miers nomination:
“Bush has nominated his cleaning lady to adjudicate on the highest court in the land. We're the ones who should be pointing fingers about democracy? And this week, I love Bush, he comes out -- even the conservatives are against this nomination -- he comes out this week to say, 'oh, did I mention she's religious?' I saw her face in a grilled cheese sandwich today. That's how religious this woman is!'
“And, you know, I'm watching The West Wing every week and they have, Alan Alda plays a Republican Senator who tells the Christian Right to go screw. And I'm like, why can't we have that in real life? Why can't we have a real Alan Alda character who says to the Christian Right what the Democrats basically say to the black people, which is, 'you know what? Where else are you going to go?'”
Two previous NewsBusters items on the October 9 episode of The West Wing: