Monday, September 23, 2013

HBO “Real Time with Bill Maher,” #294, "Love and Hate"

Chris Hayes, Joy Behar an David Frum
 on "Real Time with Bill Maher" on 09/20/13.
Love and Hate
By Catherine Giordano

There a lot of talk about love and hate on “Real Time with Bill Maher”, #294, that aired on 09/20/13.  

Bill Maher really loves Pope Francis.  Bill loves him because he thinks the new pope is an atheist.  It rally says something about The Church that when a pope preaches love he sounds more like an atheist than a Pope.  The Pope said that the church should not be obsessed with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.  “What does this pope want?” Bill quipped during his monologue. “I’m starting to think it is my time slot.”

Later in the show Bill and the panel talked more about Pope Francis. Bill compared him to Pope John, the most liberal Pope in history who only last five years. Then he said something about poisoning. One of the guests, Joy Behar, an actress comic, author of When You Need a Lift: But Don't Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin and former host of The View, said he was “hot” and a “metrosexual.” Chris Hayes, a host of MSNBC’s All In and author of Twilight of the Elites said that the Pope had not changed anything—for instance, the Catechism is the same, the Pope has only changed the tone because he chooses to focus on God’s love.  

The interview was with Billy Crystal who has a new book out Still Fooling EmBilly spoke about his career and told some funny stories.  He is so delightful.  I’d like to read his book.

A large part of the show was devoted to the discussion of ObamaCare and the right’s hated of the program as well as their hated of Obama. The third member of the panel, David Frum, editor of The Daily Beast and author of Why Romney Lost was on a roll telling everyone what a disaster the program was even though it hasn’t even started yet and all the signs are that the program is going to very successful   (That’s why Republicans are so intent are killing it now; they know people a going to like it once it is implemented.  

The latest tactic to sabotage the health care law is to try to scare young people away from participation.  Bill showed an ad with a young woman in a gynecologist’s office.  Once her feet a in the stirrups the doctor leaves the exam room and a leering Uncle Sam puppet, menacingly waving a speculum, rises from between the patient’s legs. Bill suggested that all this ad would do was convince people that Republicans were a bunch of creepy pervs obsessed with the ladyparts. Bill also commented how weird it was for the party that forces unwanted and unneeded ultrasounds on women to be doing an ad about vaginas. Behar piped up, “They just want to get into my pooch.”  

The Republicans in the House of Representatives have vowed to hold the country hostage (their words) to try to bring ObamaCare down.  Bill said they had a coke addict’s obsession with ObamaCare.  In the monologue he spoke about Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) vow to do everything he can to defeat ObamaCare. Bill suggested that he set himself on fire because “it works for Buddhists.” 

Even David Frum had to admit that holding the country and the world economy hostage was not a plan.  He said, “It is what you do when you don’t have a plan.”

Frum tried to sound reasonable by saying he favors health care reform, but not “in one gigantic leap. Hayes pointed out that this was a much more modest change than Medicare and people love Medicare.  Frum said that ObamaCare is already having a devastating effect of pushing more people into part-time work (employers don’t have to pay insurance costs for pat-timers.) Hayes countered that the trend towards part-time work began long before ObamaCare.    

Bill suggested that we give ObamaCare a chance and see what works. Hayes pointed out that the increase in healthcare costs were already rising at a slower rate. Frum tried to claim that this wasn’t a result of Obamacare, but Hayes set him straight. Hayes also addressed the complaints about the bill being too complicated.  The reason it is complicated is because every special interest group had to have something that they wanted; single payer would have been much simpler.

Bill also discussed the right’s hatred of Obama, a theme he hits on every week. Bill said that so many people think we are already in the end times so therefore they should favor a war with Syria since the prophecy says that Jesus will return after a war in the Mideast. Then he held his hands up like a balancing scale and said, “We want Jesus to come back, but we hate Obama.”   

The comedy segment was about Bashir Al Assad getting away with being a genocidal monster because he looks like a men’s wear salesman.  Then Bill showed a series of pictures of dictators from Mao to Hussein to Hitler.  He changed their outfits to make them look like a tourist, a pizza man, a singer with an all-female back-up band.  The funniest was Osama bin Laden as a member of  of Duck Dynasty.

The special guest was Jeremy Seifert, a documentarian with a new film about genetically modified crops, titled GMO OMG. Frum tried to claim that GMO was nothing more than cross breeding that has been going on since the beginning of agriculture.  Once again he was set straight. Seifert said, he had never seen “a tomato have sex with a fish” in nature.  GMO technologically is transgenic technology splicing a gene from one kind of organism into another kind of organism. 

Frum was on the correct side of only one issue—guns.  Hayes pointed out that the percentage of household with guns way down, the sale of guns was up.  Fewer people are buying guns, but gun buyers are buying more guns.  Frum said that people buy guns because they feel it will make them safer. However, crime is way down and having a gun in the house only increases the likelihood of someone in the house using it for suicide or for the homicide of another family member.
  
Bill was back on the subject of hate in New Rules. The segment was called Web-Grousers. He spoke about the barrage of hate that erupted on Twitter when a woman of Indian (from India) descent was crowned Miss America. Bill ridiculed the tweets that called her an Arab (and a terrorist): “Her parents are from India, so she is an Arab.”   

Bill showed a number of other tweets hating on just about everyone and using vile obscene language.  Bill asked why hate has become the national pastime.  He said that the percentage of Americans who call themselves poor has doubled in the last five years.  In contrast, in the past the poor consistently, and erroneously, described themselves as middle-class. They change has occurred because “the poor used to have hope; they bought into the Ponzi scheme that is the American dream.” Now they recognize that there are indeed two Americas—wages may not go up, good jobs may not come back.

I don’t know if there is more anger in society now or if people just feel less inhibited about showing their hate. Maybe they feel it is OK because they see everyone else doing it. Maybe it was always there, but we just didn’t see it because it was done in private, in small groups. Whatever the reason, it is scary.
 
A new pope preaches a message of love and acceptance, and hatred is more prevalent than ever.  Are people hating on the pope too because he is not hating enough for them?

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