Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened on Bill Maher . . .

There was consensus! For a show that thrives, feeds upon, encourages, and demands controversy among its panelists, indeed, it invites guests who relish chances for partisan barbs and baiting, I witnessed bi-partisan nodding. The commonality was the acknowledgement that the Iraq War is not working and the Bush Administration is to blame.

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher is a topical issue show hosted by Bill Maher, a political comedian. His show has a predictable format which sometimes yields humor (no one can be serious when Robin Williams is on the panel), sometimes rancor, and sometimes serious, thoughtful discussion. You may not agree with all of Bill Maher’s views, but, if nothing else, he’s mostly logical and extremely open to let people that he disagrees with present their far-flung fringe views, such as Sandy Rios, who was a Bill Maher guest on the September 22 show and stated that Americans have “earned the right to create military bases in Iraq” or Stephen Moore, a guest on the October 20 show, also here, who desperately tried to defend America’s right to torture.

Maher’s most recent show included
  • Andrew Sullivan a gay conservative blogger who has angrily denounced the Bush Administration for the Iraq War and resents Bush's “Family Values” that excludes gays;
  • Singer, entertainer, and activist Harry Belafonte, who mesmerized the other panelists with his stories of conversations with Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King;
  • Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican governor of New Jersey;
  • Harold Ford, Jr., a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee. His platform is against the war in Iraq (“We need to be honest about the war.”), he wants to help the middle class with health insurance and education, and he’s against tax cuts for the rich. He is against gay marriage, abortion, and gun control. He labels himself as a Tennessee Democrat;
  • Arianna Huffington, a blogger and liberal advocate. She was hawking her new book and explaining its title “On Becoming Fearless.” She confesses, “I was terrified [throughout her life].” She explains that the book is not about the absence of fear, but the mastery of fear.
And of course Bill Maher, an open critic of Bush’s policy in Iraq.

Consensus. Consensus. Consensus. Dare I hope this portends a change?
Next Entry: Fall from Grace and Carolina Fall

No comments: