We watched our old pal Maher last night!


A word we never use: We go all the way back to November 1982 with his ironyship, Bill Maher.

After that, there was the week of New Year's Eve in Richmond, December 1983. Let's just say that Bill made a miscalculation when the big night finally arrived at the end of the week.

Bill has long been amazingly talented—and that's a word we never use.  It's very, very, very hard to talk about news events and news topics in a consistently humorous and intelligent way. Very few people have ever come close to being able to do what Bill has been doing for years.

Last night, Bill did the full hour with Chris Cuomo. It isn't a matter of agreeing with every position Bill may have taken—but that was easily the most intelligent hour we've seen on TV in a very long time.

You rarely see an intelligent segment on a "cable news" show! On cable, it simply isn't done—but last night's hour was solid all the way through.

We were disappointed in Bill in one respect—he doesn't seem to have accepted the fact that it's over. We refer to this presentation, offered fairly late in the show:

MAHER (11/17/21): I mean, when I mention Liz Cheney now, and the audience claps, I'm like, "Oh, we love her now? Isn't that interesting?" And I see why.

CUOMO: Depends. Let's see—let's see if she goes after Biden a couple more times. But then again, who knows how long she's around, in her own primary?

MAHER: But that's OK. That's her job, to go after Biden. That's what Republicans do. They go after the—

I mean, we did that forever. Republicans and Democrats were cats and dogs, and they fought. But also, Tip O'Neill and Reagan could have a drink after work. They could work together.

I don't know how we are ever going to work together. How do you—we have how many QAnon members of Congress now? QAnon! I mean, Marjorie Taylor?

CUOMO: You're right. You got them.

MAHER: How do you negotiate with people who think that Democrats eat babies?

Bill seems to think there's a possibility of coming back from the nation's current state of affairs. For years now, the disconsolate experts with whom we consult have said there's no chance of that.  

We've passed that information along, but Bill has a dream today!

As in The Sixth Sense, so too here. Bill simply hasn't accepted the fact that it's actually over. Aside from that, we'd rate last evening's hour superb. To review the transcript, click here.

Tonight at 9, by way of contrast, you can watch Our Own Rhodes Scholar. She'll be busy selling the car.  Almost surely, she'll mug and she'll clown.

She'll help you see that we're real smart—that they're the stupid ones. That is her product, her only product. As with every human tribe, our blue tribe eagerly laps it up and then we gulp it down.


  1. Meh. They still could have a drink after work, dear Bob. They compete for a place at the trough -- whose sister in law gets a better no-show corporate consulting job or whose son becomes the most brilliant painter -- but it's all business, not personal.

    It's all a show, show for the rubes, dear Bob, a kabuki dance. Without this show, no one would bother voting for any of them. Except for The Commander, of course.

  2. Maher says: "I don't know how we are ever going to work together. "

    And yet 13 Republicans voted for the Infrastructure bill in the house, ensuring its passage as a bipartisan bill.

    Perhaps Maher's doom and gloom approach to politics is part of what appeals to Somerby about him.

    Somerby lauds Maher's intelligence, but there are several subjects that he is far from intelligent about. One is health fadism, another is covid, and yet another is his consumption of right-wing talking points about PC and cancel culture. Maher has not consistently supported Democratic candidates, shares Somerby's dislike of women, and his Islamophobia is embarrassing. I wouldn't call any of that intelligent.

    He has a shtick of inviting right-wing pundits to his show and then letting them say whatever they want while his liberals try to hew to facts, as if there were some merit in giving a podium to bullshit when the right has its own dedicated channels for spreading such garbage. There is nothing open-minded about that.

    One of the worst segments I've seen Maher do was when he gave his opening 20 minute segment to someone promoting the conspiracy theory that covid was invented as a bio-weapon in a Wujan lab. Nothing intelligent about that at all.

    And this is the person who Somerby heaps praise upon. This tells you all you need to know about Somerby's liberalism, since Maher is no liberal either, no matter how much he donated to Obama's campaign.

    And previous political comedians include Mort Sahl, Jon Stewart, Father Sarducci, the Smothers Brothers, and the folks at That Was The Week That Was. John Oliver is rolling along in his career, doing better than Bill Maher at analysis of thorny issues. Maher is as narcissistic as Trump and Somerby (another similarity that may endear him to Somerby) and displays little sense of interest in political progress or empathy for people seeking change. You see this every time he brags about hanging out with millenials. An actual liberal comedian wouldn't make so many racist and sexist jokes, no matter how he felt about PC.

  3. Somerby thinks Bill Maher doesn't "mug and clown"? He sells the car too.

    Nothing in the quote suggests the possibility that Democrats and Republicans will be getting along soon. It would have been nice for Somerby to quote that part, since he attributes that conclusion to Maher.

    And no, Democrats have not forgotten that Liz Cheney is a Republican, just because she is anti-Trump. Based on polling in Wyoming, she seems to have correctly assessed her position in the state with her voters and realized that she is stronger than Trump, so she can say and vote as she pleases.

    Maher's audience is made up of his staff, so they will applaud whatever he wants them to. Or, if he has opened his show to those who seek tickets, his audience is now made up of people who hold the same screwed up opinions as Maher does.

    Liberals aren't confused about who Cheney is.

  4. Bill Maher believes that if he follows his health fads he will live forever, covid be damned. His anti-medicine stance is not only factually and scientifically wrong, but he advocates to his audiences and suggests things that are dangerous to their health. He is as avid as any Q-Anon believer touting Ivermectin, making frequent space on his show for quacks, who he fawns over nearly as much as he does conservative guests.

    This is who Somerby lauds (and Roseanne Barr). I don't generally find what Maher says very funny, but would watch him for his guests, if he weren't such a nutcase on (1) Islam, (2) alternative health fadism, (3) PC culture. I feel sorry for him because he so obviously is frightened of death (his own limited lifespan) and cannot find humor in anything except shocking his audience with contrarianism.

  5. Chris Cuomo is having major political problems of his own. Why is he any kind of expert on what will happen between Dems and Repubs in congress? He is a local New York politician. What can he have to say about Liz Cheney either?

    I don't see why Maher is interviewing this prospective has-been for an hour, when he is on his way out. Perhaps Maher wants to give him a chance to tell everyone how all those nasty women did him in?

    Somerby should be upset that the salacious audience appeal is being exploited by Maher for ratings. This is sexty time fun, not serious political analysis. Is Somerby blind when it comes to his friends from the standup circuit?

    1. Sorry, had Chris mixed up with Andrew. My bad.

  6. "That is her product, her only product."

    No, she also reports facts about current events and stories in the news.

    I don't watch Maddow regularly, but Somerby is not being fair about this.

  7. “How do you negotiate with people who think that Democrats eat babies?”

    Maher is making a judgment about (some of) “The Others” here. He is saying they are too stupid or insane to negotiate with.

    How is that different from what Somerby claims Maddow is doing?

    Except that Maddow never claims that “we're real smart—that they're the stupid ones.” She is often pointing out the ways in which Republicans are trying to undermine democracy and shut off discussion, partly by electing people who “think that Democrats eat babies.”

    1. mh, how is it that you could fathom that anyone would think that you and the anonymices here are open to “discussion”? That somehow you’re just dying to hash it out in the arena of ideas rather than doing what you do here every freaking day which is to make self-serving assertions about your virtue and level ugly accusations at anyone who doesn’t agree with you, be they conservatives or liberals out of lockstep?

      You people can’t tolerate a liberal blogger and a comedian who both very ably defended Democrats for years before becoming a bit disenchanted and critical toward all of U.S. politics and dismayed at the doctrinaire vehemence of their fellows.

      You don’t want a discussion, you want to delegitimize and punish political heretics. That is admittedly why you are here.

    2. People waste time trying to talk to you, Cecelia. How could you doubt that people here are concerned with ideas?

      Maher is not liberal. He is at best some sort of libertarian. At worst, he is in the same category as Glen Greenwald, Bari Weiss, and similar guests who he invites on his show. Thom Harmann is a liberal. Compare him to Maher and the differences should be obvious. John Oliver is liberal and a comedian. Samantha Bee is liberal and a median. Maher is not liberal and he does not "defend Democrats" any more than Somerby does.

      You are not a "political heretic". You are a conservative.

      I cannot speak for mh, but I am here to counter Somerby's deceptions. I don't bother with Bill Maher because he is open about his beliefs, even if I don't agree with them. Somerby is not.

    3. Here is an interesting discussion of the gun laws underlying the Rittenhouse self-defense argument:


  8. Is Somerby fishing for an invite to his old pal’s (the gazillionaire’s) show?

  9. While the new decade has only just begun, Bill Maher has wasted no time in securing himself a quiet retreat to enjoy the Roaring Twenties redux, free from the typical L.A. bustle. The stand-up comic and longtime TV host forked over exactly $1 million for a cozy vacation pad within a gated community in Avalon, Calif., on fabled Catalina Island.
    Since the 1920s, when it was first developed as a tourist destination by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., Catalina has been a magnet for visitors from all walks of life. The 22-mile-long island lies only an hour by ferry or 15 minutes by helicopter from Long Beach, and is home to all manner of wildlife, including a bison herd and bald eagles. Most of the land is administered by the Catalina Island Conservancy, while nearly all of the island’s roughly 4,000 residents live in the town of Avalon. There are very few cars on the island — and the ones there are mostly of the offbeat variety — as most residents travel strictly by golf cart or on foot, something unheard-of in SoCal.
    The Catalina pied-a-terre in question is located about 1.5 miles north of the epicenter of Avalon, in a gated neighborhood known as Hamilton Cove. Here there are several condo complexes, most of them developed in the early 90s and all constructed in a vaguely Southwestern style, with red tile roofs and whitewashed walls.
    Maher’s new two bed, one-and-three-quarters bath condo is an ideal size for the lifetime bachelor, of course. The 1,367 sq. ft. unit was built in 1991, records show, and was sold by a non-famous couple who had owned the property for many years. The unit does not appear to have ever been renovated — the interiors, while comfortable and roomy, are distinctly 90s in look and vibe. There are off-white tile countertops, wall-to-wall beige carpeting and medium-brown wood trim around the doors and windows.
    A light-flooded living room has views over the rugged Catalina mountains and opens to long, narrow deck with picturesque vistas of the ocean. Just beyond is a formal dining area attached to the petite kitchen, which offers medium-grade stainless appliances and an eat-in breakfast bar. The master bedroom is relatively spacious and opens — via French doors — to the same balcony, while the master bath has dual vanities and a somewhat compact built-in soaking tub. There’s also a guest bath and a secondary bedroom that could easily be converted into an office or media room of some form. Best of all, the unit transferred with a deeded parking space for a golf court, a boon in this tightly-packed neighborhood.
    Residents and visitors in Hamilton Cove also have access to a variety of communal amenities that include an ocean-view swimming pool, tennis courts, grassy lawns and a sandy volleyball court. For these and other resort-like features, Maher will shell out a not-inconsiderable $840 per month, according to listing details.
    Although Catalina doesn’t sport many full-time celebrity residents, the island long ago earned its place in Hollywood lore. Marilyn Monroe briefly lived in Avalon during the 1940s, while married to her first husband, and Natalie Wood notoriously drowned under mysterious circumstances just off the coast of Two Harbors.
    And when he’s not sunning himself on Catalina or off gallivanting in Hawaii, Maher primarily resides in the mountains above Beverly Hills, in an neighborhood known as Beverly Hills Post Office. His longtime estate sprawls across 3.2 acres, sports at least four separate ranch-style structures and encompasses three contiguous parcels, the largest of which was purchased from Ben Affleck back in 2003. One of Maher’s nearest neighbors is fellow comedian Amy Poehler, who happens to live directly across the road.


  10. It's a reversal of reality to assert that Republican's think Democrats are bad people, whereas Dems think Republicans are good people. By and large, the opposite is true IMO

    1. Wrong. Too many Democrats think a good Republican exists.

  11. Dah. Maher good, Maddow bad.
    Well, sometimes he IS good. But take a look at Maher ghastly interviews with the freakishly evil Kellyanne Conway just before and after the election of Trump and it’s obvious he can be as truly awful as anyone.

    1. M can be devastating. Other times he seems simplistic.

  12. The GOP is irredeemable. It began with Joe McCarthy, then Watergate, then went loony as Reagan purposely bankrupted the country because he hated taxes.

    The latest horrors are the usual crap.

    Bottom line: the blue states must leave the the union.

  13. Maher is not intelligent. His deepest thoughts on vaccines is that they are dangerous and cause autism. His deepest thoughts on religion is it's dangerous and causes terrorism. He hates paying taxes but wants to live in a society with a functioning government.

    He's a window licker and probably wouldn't have a show if he weren't a rich white man.

  14. Somerby doesn't fully explain -- Bill Maher was Cuomo's guest, not vice versa. Maher's show usually airs on Fridays on HBO, but this show was on Wednesday on CNN. So, apparently Maher is being treated as a pundit not as a comedian, appearing as he does on a CNN news show.

    That makes no sense to me at all.

    "Show me white privilege without using the words "white priviloege"." Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and walked away without being stopped by police.

    1. White privilege without using the words white privilege?

      Bill Maher is being interviewed on a news show for his opinions, not because he has ever done anything whatsoever that is newsworthy.

  15. "Bill seems to think there's a possibility of coming back from the nation's current state of affairs."

    This is an odd construction. Liberals generally want to go forward and achieve progress. We are not interested in "coming back" to anything. Conservatives, on the other hand, seek to return to some golden age in the past (that mostly never existed). No matter what happens, we cannot relive the past. That means we will and must go forward to whatever future we manage to create for ourselves. We, as liberals, all hope to make the future better than the present, the legacy of Trump and Republican self-destruction.

  16. How is it liberals responsibility to "come back" from anything when Republicans are behaving like this?:

    "New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) slammed the right-wing “Moms for Liberty” nonprofit yesterday for offering a $500 cash reward to anyone who snitches on a public school teacher they believe broke the state’s new law that allows teaching licenses to be revoked if the instructor teaches what conservatives call “critical race theory.”"

  17. "The lawyer for Jacob Chansley, who is known as the “QAnon Shaman,” said he had a message to former President Donald Trump: “You’ve got a few fucking things to do. Including clearing this fucking mess up and taking care of a lot of the jackasses that you fucked up because of January 6.”"

    How does this attorney think Trump has the power or ability to do any of this?

    Like everyone who Trump has fucked over, why did these people think they would be treated any differently? Trump doesn't care about them or anyone except himself. He won't life a finger to help any of those he has used for his own benefit.

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