On April 22, I praised Bill Maher for doing something right:
Friday’s “Real Time” was actually a fabulous installment, as Maher’s panel for a change included two conservatives – National Review’s John O’Sullivan, and Republican strategist Amy Holmes, along with Montana’s Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer.
Maher ought to try this format of having two liberals (including himself) and two conservatives more often, for a much more balanced discussion ensued than normal, making for one of the most interesting “Real Times” of the season so far.
Sadly, Maher didn’t take my advice. A week later, just one Conservative was on his panel, once again creating an environment conducive to unabashed vitriol directed at President Bush.
A perfect example was Maher’s final “New Rule” on April 27 wherein he not only stated that the president is a “paranoid schizophrenic,” but also asserted that “the 29 percent of Americans who still think he’s doing a heck of a job” are similarly afflicted (video available here courtesy of our dear friend Ms Underestimated):
New Rule: Guns don’t kill people. Crazy people kill people. Last week, in response to the Virginia Tech shootings, President Bush said, “When people see somebody who is exhibiting abnormal behavior, you do something about it.” Thanks for the heads-up, McGruff.
But if that’s the case, then I want to warn the country about a man I saw last night on TV. He’s six feet tall, Caucasian, and he goes by the title, “President of the United States.”
I’m not kidding. George Bush is the crazy person we need to keep an eye on. He needs to stop taking money from the pharmaceutical lobby and start accepting samples. Only a delusional person could watch Alberto Gonzales before Congress last week do everything but say, “No habla Anglais” and rip up a picture of the Pope and conclude it increased his confidence in the man. That’s called disassociation from reality.
There’s an old, frequently used definition of insanity which is “performing the same action over and over expecting different results.” And then it says, “See the surge.”
Now, I’m no doctor, but I am on TV. And in my professional opinion, George Bush is a paranoid schizophrenic. He thinks the terrorists hate us for our freedom and believes they’re going to follow us home. That’s why he keeps obsessively clearing brush so Osama can’t use it for cover.
Other symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia are: do you see things that aren’t there, such as the link between 9/11 and Iraq? Do you, do you feel things that you shouldn’t be feeling like a sense of accomplishment? Do you have trouble organizing words into a coherent sentence? Do you hear voices that aren’t really there like, oh, I don’t know, your imaginary friend Jesus telling you to start a war in the Middle East?
Well, guess what, there are a large number of people also suffering from the same delusions because there are Republicans, there are Conservatives, and then there are the Bushies. This is the 29 percent of Americans who still think he’s doing a heck of a job, whitey! And I don’t believe it’s coincidence that almost the same number of Americans, 25 percent, told a recent pollster that they believe that this year, this year, 2007, would bring the second-coming of Christ. I have a hunch these are the same people. Because if you think you’re going to meet Jesus before they cancel “Ugly Betty,” then you’re used to doing things by faith. And if you have so much blind faith that you think this war is winnable, you’re nuts, and you shouldn’t be allowed near a voting booth. There’s only one job you can be trusted with, and that’s picking out Phil Spectre’s next hairdo.
How disgraceful. Yet, maybe most important: Would Maher have gone on such an anti-Conservative tirade if there were two Conservatives on the panel like last week instead of one? Is it just a coincidence that last week’s installment was by far the most entertaining and least vitriolic of the season due to the balance on the panel?
Sadly, we may never know the answer. However, it is this writer’s opinion that comedy can still be achieved without intentionally offending a large percentage of your fellow countrymen, even if that percentage is 29.