Right now, with marijuana legislation doing better than it has in years and a liberal president whose mistakes on human rights are really worth criticizing, Bill Maher really should be turning out a quality product. But instead, he continues to be an alienating woe-is-me-for-I’m-so-misunderstood fraction of a talk show host whose product isn’t even worth the time it takes to steal off the net and watch.
The main flaw of the last year or so of Maher’s act has been his kneejerk reaction to a joke bombing. He’s too quick to think it’s because he offended his audience of lily-livered liberals, rather than the fact that not ever joke gets a laugh — especially when you’re not as funny as you think you are. His continued antagonism with the crowd extends to the general american public, the easiest punching bag, and one that really doesn’t have the yuks built into it that it used to. Sure flyoverstateistan is pridefully unintelligent, but his interview with Sri Lankan musician MIA did little to educate the viewer about the Tamils and the troubles in Sri Lanka. The interview was such a dud for two reasons, Maher felt it imporant to insert interludes of “You Give The Public’s Intelligence Too Much Credit” all too frequent, and this made MIA whose interview history is sparse enough to make this completely throw any rhetorical rythym off.
The other real problem with the show is the insanely uneven right-leaning panel member casting. He actually brought John Bolton on this week and took him seriously, and a couple months ago he took Andrew Breitbart, right hand ring kisser to Drudge, onto the panel, and didn’t challenge Breitbart or Drudge at all. These defanged treatments of the day’s shitspinners really gives the intelligent audience little reason to defend Maher when his crusade against marriage gets brought up in conversations. Maybe he shouldn’t be trying to hard to bring “both sides” of the debate to the table if the only right thinkers he can find are the shitforbrains-iest of them all.
Bill, remember that the minds like Savage and Taibbi whose on-the-ground reportage gave you some relevance. More of them, less of these half wits, and a bit less of your hatred of the populus and more ideas on how to help those who can’t help themselves. They gave Meet The Press to David Gregory, which was a fail. Real Time should be the Sunday Morning talk show of the Obama generation, a day and night ahead of our elders’ bullshit. Put the Real back in Real Time.