Bill Maher’s latest foray into controversial decisions on Real Time won’t win him many supporters in Hollywood or over at CNN. Not only did Maher invited fired CNN contributor Jeffrey Lord on his show to be part of his panel and defend him, but the Real Time host also used his “New Rules” segment to lay out a confusing take on the growing sexual assault scandal in Hollywood and the prevalence of…movies featuring people driving cars? What starts as a look at “lazy” movie men who are only good at driving cars, with Maher singling out Drive Angry, Drive, and Baby Driver as all essentially the same movie and driving being the most lazy act someone can do.
These points aside, which are likely contentious enough on their own, Maher then uses them to pivot to the topic of Harvey Weinstein and the other men who have been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women in the past weeks. He also saves a special moment for Kevin Spacey and his connection to Baby Driver, a movie that Maher definitely did not seem to enjoy.
It is the laziness from the “drive” movies that leads Maher into the look at the serial sexual offenses being alleged against Weinstein, Jeremy Piven, Brett Ratner, and many more. It’s all “toxic male laziness” that is to blame for these men doing these things, something The Daily Beast points out seems to be off the mark:
“You probably have noticed in America lately that there’s something wrong with dudes. The recent stories of sexual harassment are about many things—like misogyny, and white privilege, and old-fashioned being a pig—but I’m telling you, there is something toxic about this male laziness…If Harvey Weinstein had made even a minimal effort—joined Jenny Craig, shaved, listened, generally tried to not look like a Russian cab driver—he could have attracted women the old-fashioned way: by being rich and not entirely repulsive. With all these creeps, there’s no wining, no dining, no game, no effort to be charming or witty. Just open the bathrobe and, ‘Say hello to my little friend.’”
Before we even reached that point of the night, though, Maher had already blamed Jeffrey Lord’s departure from CNN as the fault of ‘purity police nonsense’ against the supposed joke he was trying to make. Not only did Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters and the person at the other end of Lord’s controversial tweet that got him fired, notice that Lord was on Real Time, he questioned Bill Maher and guest Rob Reiner for allowing the Trump supporting personality a platform to spread what he alleged was misinformation.
While Lord is low on the rankings of offensive guests on Maher’s show this season — he did have Milo Yiannopoulos, Tomi Lahren, and Roger Stone on — it is still a shock to see him defended on one point and ignored on the countless others he has been called out on during his numerous CNN appearances.