This week’s Real Time with Bill Maher was an exercise in testing Bill Maher’s patience. The bulk of the show focused on Trump, but there were several moments where it seems like Maher’s patience was shoved to its limits or he was forced into a spot where he didn’t have control. The fieriest moment likely came ahead of the New Rules segment when the host brought up the London Attack this week and once again fell into battle against Islam.
Maher claimed that the attack once again proved that you can’t say it has “nothing to do with Islam,” which prompts Louise Mensch and Chris Hayes to disagree and say that exact thing. Mensch uses the IRA and Timothy McVeigh as non-Islamic examples, attempting to counter Maher’s assertion that there are no “Christian terrorist armies like ISIS” running around attacking and yelling “Merry Christmas.”
He lists several Islamic terrorist groups while asking the panel to name similar Christian groups, something which doesn’t go well and devolves into Maher yelling, “Let’s not f*ck around with this anymore, can we get real,” before ending the segment abruptly. That didn’t stop the discussion from making a reappearance at the end of the show in Overtime, morphing from talk about Brexit into terrorism and Islam around the globe with some more Maher frustration.
The host was likely still fired up from his testy interview with Hill columnist Matt Schlapp at the start of the show. After a monologue that seemed to go for the throat on Trump, Maher ended up lobbing information at Schlapp over for him to confront him with plenty of Trump spin tactics. It took Maher a good five minutes to get Schlapp to admit that treason would be an impeachable offense and that’s only at the very end of the interview. And funny enough, he’s the one guy to come to Maher’s defense at the end of the show.
The best moment of the night, but not really the most eye-popping moment, came during Yale professor Timothy Snyder segment about his book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From The 20th Century. Snyder is all business about Trump and tyranny and wasn’t having it when Maher listed off some Trump habits that are shared by third-world dictators:
“Yeah, right, so I’m not going to laugh at any of that because in your world it’s Third World dictators, but in my world…it’s the 1930s. Picking out a group of your neighbors and citizens and associating them with a worldwide threat, that’s the 1930s…
And what we have to remember about the 1930s, we think of Hitler and Stalin as supervillains but they’re not – they could only come to power with some form of consent.”
Snyder then gives the audience a full lecture about the Reichstag Fire and how it’s one of the oldest tricks for “certain leaders” to suspend rights and take advantage against “the enemy.” It’s an interesting moment in the middle of the show.
(Via Real Time)