I've been watching Bill Maher ever since his Politically Incorrect days. When he turned up on HBO with his Real Time With Bill Maher, twenty seasons ago, I watched him there.
I still enjoy Maher. But the past few seasons, and maybe longer than that, Maher often acts like a caricature of a one-time liberal who now takes excessive pleasure in attacking what he believes are overly "woke" Democratic/progressive positions.
I've got no problem with Maher doing that, so long as he doesn't twist the truth to make his point. Which, he does with disturbing regularity.
Last Friday's Real Time show was a good example of this.
His guests were Bari Weiss and Tim Ryan. I guess you could call them centrists. Ryan, a Democrat, ran for Ohio Senator against JD Vance in the 2022 midterm election. Weiss was recruited by Elon Musk to make a big ado about not much in the recent Twitter Files saga.
A central theme of Friday's show was how the American people are fed up with the woke positions of Democrats. (This has been a theme of previous shows also.)
So there was a lot of tut-tutting about how in many parts of Ohio, and rural areas generally, having a "D" after your name can be a death knell for your election chances. OK, an obvious point, but fair enough. But I keep waiting for Maher, Ryan, or Weiss to bring up an equally valid point.
In virtually every large big city in the United States, having a "R" after your name pretty much dooms your election chances.
So why doesn't Maher spend as much time asking what Republicans need to do to win back urban voters as he does asking what Democrats need to do to win back rural voters? I also couldn't understand why Maher and his guests didn't bring up the 2022 midterm results.
There sure wasn't much of a sign that voters were fed up with Democrats because of their excessive wokeness. The Dems picked up a seat in the Senate, maintaining control of that chamber. And the Dem losses in House races was hugely below expectations. They took control of some Governorships and state legislatures.
Rather than House Republicans having a 30-40 seat majority as many pundits predicted, the GOP just has a narrow four seat majority.
Thus it seems clear that the Democratic Party is alive and well in the United States, contrary to all the doom and gloom about Dem popularity expressed by Maher and his guests.
Another thing that irritates me whenever Maher brings it up is the notion that all across the country, young children are being indoctrinated by teachers in the supposed Liberal Commandment of gender fluidity.
Maher keeps claiming that rather than teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, and other core competencies, liberal elementary school teachers are spending much of their classroom time talking about how wonderful it is that some children have two mommy's or two daddy's.
Bill Maher loves to cite individual anecdotes as if this proves anything. Actually, it doesn't. If Maher presented solid data on how frequently teachers of young children are bringing up gender issues, and used an anecdote to back up those data, that'd be fine.
Instead, Maher likes to talk about a single anecdote that he or his staff dredged up, then uses that anecdote to draw broad-brush conclusions about how wokeness is destroying our educational system.
That's a lousy way to make an argument. Maher should know better, but he appears to have entered a largely fact-free zone on his show.
Lastly, I can't disagree with Maher's often-stated point that obesity is a big problem in our country. He's correct that obesity is a risk factor if someone gets Covid. But it's a bit simplistic for Maher to say that all it takes for someone to lose weight is will power.
Meaning, just eat less and you'll lose weight. I've read about numerous scientific studies that show how some people have a natural, probably genetic, propensity to obesity. Sometimes a person's metabolism is out of whack, which makes it really tough for them to lose weight. Medication and surgery may be called for in some cases of obesity.
When Maher and his guests talked about the horrible food in the school meal program, they didn't mention that during the Trump years, it was Republicans who stood in the way of making school breakfasts and lunches more nutritious.
On Friday, USDA Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps proposed new rules for the Food and Nutrition Service that would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them license to sell more pizza, burgers and fries to students. The agency is responsible for administering nutritional programs that feed nearly 30 million students at 99,000 schools.
Just came across your blog and found it a satisfying explanation as to how I’ve been feeling about Bill Maher as of late.
I Googled “why does Bill Maher irritate me so much” and quickly was able to draw the conclusion that I wasn’t alone in this.
Apart from all the more obvious observations on his obstinate stances regarding “wokeness”, etc., I found how he completely pandered to Benjamin Netanyahu in a way that way so fawning it made my skin crawl. Not once did he press him for any hard answers, but rather softballs him with questions that only served to help Netanyahu sell his latest fiction.
It was was almost less than a week later when it was declared that his administration was going to clamp down on and hand-select its own judiciary to keep thing’s leaning in his favor without resistance
There are other instances that are similar to the above that Bill keeps leaning into that are equally astonishing
Posted by: Joshua McGowan | March 05, 2023 at 12:58 PM