Tuesday, March 12, 2013

HBO Real Time with Bill Maher #274 “Holes”

by Catherine Giordano

The March 8, 2013 episode of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” (#274) was a so-so episode with a few good moments. I’m titling the show “Holes” primarily because Bill asked “Are Americans assholes?”  Of course, Bill answers his own question. and the answer is “Yes”

Americans are assholes because they like looking down on other people, like the people on reality shows, and they like seeing people hurt and maimed. That’s why liberals watch Honey Boo Boo.  Now, here comes the joke: Conservatives watch Honey Boo Boo for the make-up tips. Pow!

During the opening monologue, Bill had a few good jokes. He mentioned that Rand Paul filibustered for 13 hours. During that time, he asked if drones can be used to kill Americans on American soil. Now, here comes the joke: Obama said, “Don’t push me.” Pow! Pow!

The interview was with Charlie Le Duff, a journalist and the author of Detroit: An American Autopsy.  I never heard of Charlie LeDuff before.  He’s a wiry, fast-talking, wise-cracking, street-fighting kind of guy. I’ve never known any meth addicts, but I’ve seen some on TV. Charlie LeDuff reminded me of a meth addict.

But, don’t get me wrong—Charlie is a smart guy. I learned some things about Detroit from him. Four decades ago, Detroit was the nation’s richest city. It was 83% white; now it is 83% black. The middle class, including the black middle class , left the city because the good jobs were shipped overseas.

There were two conservative Republicans on the show: Avic Roy, a writer for Forbes and the National Review, and an advisor to the Romney campaign and Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican Party.   

The best Michael Steele lines came during overtime, the final segment of the show that is not aired, but is available on the internet.  Michael Steele pointed out the holes in the Republicans’ strategy of rebranding. He was pretty blunt saying that rebranding was important or “the Republican party will become even more irrelevant than it is now.” adding that “the leadership is stuck in a time-warp.”  He stated that there has to be substance to the Republican Party’s efforts. “We can’t just put a Marco Rubio out there and say “see, we got one too.’”

The liberal panelist was Arianna Huffington, President and Editor–in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. Arianna looked beautiful as always. Last week’s guest, Monica Mehta, should get some fashion tips from her about how to look sexy without looking slutty.  Arianna wore a beautiful lacy grey short sleeved top with some kind of satiny flower-like designs on it. Girlfriend—where did you get that?  Oh, never mind, I’m sure I couldn’t afford it.

Bill led off the discussion with a mention about the Dow hitting record highs but 46 million people can’t meet basic needs. Roy added, “The bond market is doing great. The stock market is doing great. The housing market is doing great. But, the economy isn't doing great.” I agree with him there, but I think we have different ideas about why the economy isn’t doing great and how to fix it.

Arianna added that the crisis facing us is jobs--the American dream of upward mobility is no longer attainable. Then she added the “I’m-sure–this-was-rehearsed-but-I-love-it-anyway” line of the week. “America being behind France in upward mobility is a little bit like France being behind America in croissants and afternoon sex."

The comedy bit was about sinkholes.  We just had a big one in Florida—the ground opened up and swallowed a house. Bill riffed on how various publications might deal with sinkholes. Here are a few of his parodies:

            Newsweek:                           Are Sinkholes the Work of Jesus?

            Fox News:                             What you need to know about Obamaholes

Ann Coulter’s new book:    Hole: How Liberals are Sucking the Ground Out from Under Us

The special guest was David Cross, actor and comedian. David said, I never know how to dress for sinkhole season.”  He has a quirky understated sense of humor.

During New Rules, Bill asked, “Why does everything in America have to be political?”

“Conservatives like big portions; liberals like knowing where their food comes from. Conservatives like American beers; liberals prefer imported beer—socialism in a bottle. Liberals like new brands; conservatives like the tried and true brands…

“‘I believe in science’ didn’t used to be fighting words. Everyone thought that rape was bad, and everyone was anti-hurricane… 

“Walter Cronkite used to end his TV news show with ‘And, that’s the way it was’ because we all agreed on what was reality. Now we have Fox News for conservatives, MSNBC for liberals, and CNN for airports.”

I’m done with this review.  It’s time to stuff my pie-hole with some wholesome local-sourced organic food.

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Arianna Huffington on "Real Time with Bill Maher.'  I wish I could find a close up of her lacy polo-shirt.