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Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) - Series Discussion Thread

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Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) - Series Discussion Thread

Old 09-04-12, 03:29 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by CRM114
HE'S A COMEDIAN!!!

Let's be honest, he's a comedian but he's a political commentator as well.

Simply dismissing Maher as merely a comedian is disingenuous as it is to calling O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and Hannity "newsmen," reporters or journalists.
Old 09-04-12, 03:36 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

I don't like or respect smug, condescending, unfairly biased, unreasonable assholes of any ilk. I don't care if it's the President of the United States or my next door neighbor.

Liberals try to argue that pundits like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart should be immune from criticism because "they're just comedians". That's bullshit.

Limbaugh and Hannity are both college dropouts with little or no journalistic education. Before FOX NEWS, O'Reilly was primarily known as a tabloid reporter who did stories on UFO's and Bigfoot for the TV show, A Current Affair. Not exactly credentials that carry much gravitas.
Old 09-04-12, 03:38 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by CRM114
Comparing the two is pretty funny. Sometimes, the self-proclaimed moderates are the funniest with their false equivalencies used to justify their lack of a stance on anything.
I find that a little insulting since I too found Fahrenheit 9/11 to be flawed and seriously biased. It seems that both D'Souza and Moore had obvious political agenda's involved considering the content and timing of their documentaries and because of that they become biased.

Not being in the left camp or right camp = "lack of a stance on anything" just encourages more group think.
Old 09-04-12, 03:50 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by SkullOrchard
Liberals try to argue that pundits like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart should be immune from criticism because "they're just comedians". That's bullshit.
I only watch the non-guest interviewed clips of The Daily Show from their website so I don't know how similar it is to Real Time.

That said I always enjoy listening to Jon Stewart when he's interviewed by people like O'Reilly and Maddow because he usually brings up some excellent points such as how the cable news networks focus on red vs blue instead of corruption vs non-corruption.
Old 09-04-12, 04:03 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by brayzie
Simply dismissing Maher as merely a comedian is disingenuous as it is to calling O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and Hannity "newsmen," reporters or journalists.
A lot of people I know do consider O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck to be legitimate "newsmen."

Bill Maher is a comedian. He does stand-up comedy.

Does Rush Limbaugh go to comedy clubs and tell dick jokes?
Old 09-04-12, 04:12 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
A lot of people I know do consider O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck to be legitimate "newsmen."
And a lot of people think Obama was born in Kenya. That doesn't make it true.

Does Rush Limbaugh go to comedy clubs and tell dick jokes?
If he did do that, in addition to having his political talk radio show would that make what he said about Sandra Fluke okay?

When watching people like Cornel West, Christopher Hitchens, Salman Rushdie discuss politics with host Bill Maher, I never got the impression that it was the equivalent of comedians in a club telling dick jokes.

Last edited by brayzie; 09-04-12 at 05:46 PM.
Old 09-04-12, 04:16 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by SkullOrchard
I don't like or respect smug, condescending, unfairly biased, unreasonable assholes of any ilk. I don't care if it's the President of the United States or my next door neighbor.

Liberals try to argue that pundits like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart should be immune from criticism because "they're just comedians". That's bullshit.

Limbaugh and Hannity are both college dropouts with little or no journalistic education. Before FOX NEWS, O'Reilly was primarily known as a tabloid reporter who did stories on UFO's and Bigfoot for the TV show, A Current Affair. Not exactly credentials that carry much gravitas.
It's not that Maher and Stewart are immune to criticism because they're comedians, it's that besides being smug, condescending, unfairly biased, unreasonable assholes they're not willful deceivers and distorters of truth on top of it. Comedy requires some level of truth, journalism requires none.

Edit: And just to head off any "comedians say things that aren't true all the time" comments, yeah, they do. But the difference between that and a plain old lie is the audience knows the truth and the comedian knows the audience knows. Otherwise the funny isn't there and the joke doesn't work.

Last edited by SteelWill; 09-04-12 at 04:45 PM.
Old 09-04-12, 05:33 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Maher can be funny, and Maher can be cruel. His "ambush" (there's no better word for it) of Dinesh D'Souza was the latter. Is Mr. D'Souza's documentary a big pile of BS? For sure. Did Maher have him on the show to discuss it...no way. Maher was only interested in trying to put the blame on him for the comments that got him fired by ABC. Bill couldn't understand the difference between them BOTH saying the 9/11 terrorists had guts doing what they did, and ONLY Bill saying that America's military were cowards for lobbing missles at people instead of facing them head-on. He showed what an ass he was on Friday's show. I'll still watch him, because I really like his panels and still think he hits the mark on a lot of topics, but damn - he really showed what a petty man he is on Friday.
Old 09-04-12, 05:54 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
For sure. Did Maher have him on the show to discuss it...no way. Maher was only interested in trying to put the blame on him for the comments that got him fired by ABC.
I believe, up to the point when Maher brought up the past, he was discussing D'Souza's documentary in his usual style. Maher brought up facts to counter Dinesh's claims.

Bill couldn't understand the difference between them BOTH saying the 9/11 terrorists had guts doing what they did, and ONLY Bill saying that America's military were cowards for lobbing missles at people instead of facing them head-on. He showed what an ass he was on Friday's show.
I think Maher was saving that bit as his "gotcha" moment for D'Souza, but D'Souza countered it well arguing it was Maher's assertion that "we" were the real cowards. All Maher could come back with was, "No, I got into trouble for it because I was famous and you weren't."

Last edited by brayzie; 09-04-12 at 06:03 PM.
Old 09-04-12, 11:50 PM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by brayzie
And a lot of people think Obama was born in Kenya. That doesn't make it true.
A lot of people are going to vote for Mitt Romney... I don't know where this is supposed to be going. Despite what you or I may think, Fox News is a news network that is taken very seriously by a large percentage of the American public.

So yes, Democrats do have the luxury of saying Stewart and Maher are only comedians because THEY ARE. Just because they say smarter things than the real news people doesn't change the fact that they're comedians.
Old 09-05-12, 12:46 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
A lot of people are going to vote for Mitt Romney... I don't know where this is supposed to be going.
Just because a lot of his friends consider Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly "newsmen" does not mean they are journalists or news reporters. They are political commentators just like Bill Maher is on his show. Just because a few or many people consider something to be true does not necessarily make it so.

So yes, Democrats do have the luxury of saying Stewart and Maher are only comedians because THEY ARE. Just because they say smarter things than the real news people doesn't change the fact that they're comedians.
Bill Maher is a political commentator in addition to being a comedian. Would you agree?
Old 09-05-12, 03:10 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man

Does Rush Limbaugh go to comedy clubs and tell dick jokes?
No, that's reserved for Arlen Spector.
Old 09-05-12, 03:24 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by brayzie
Just because a lot of his friends consider Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly "newsmen" does not mean they are journalists or news reporters. They are political commentators just like Bill Maher is on his show. Just because a few or many people consider something to be true does not necessarily make it so.
Yeah but they have news shows on a news network and are presented as newsmen (well maybe except Limbaugh).
That' a HUGE difference from Stewart and Maher, and they should be called out on it more than the comedians.
Old 09-05-12, 03:35 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by brayzie
If he did do that, in addition to having his political talk radio show would that make what he said about Sandra Fluke okay?
Not a big fan of Limbaugh's abrasive style even when I do agree with his points, but the Fluke story is quite different from Maher's tactics.

Maher will call conservative women vulgar names such as "c**t", "whore", "slut", "bitch", etc. simply because he disagrees with their political positions. When he calls them idiots, crazy, uneducated, etc. based upon statements they make, he's stating an opinion. The other names are just venomous.

Limbaugh, on the other hand, was responding to Fluke's claims that college women could need $3,000 worth of birth control over three years. Even by Wilt Chamberlain or Warren Beatty standards, that would be an extraordinary amount of intercourse. Limbaugh was mocking those claims by saying that such a person was promiscuous...or a (professional) prostitute. Put simply, he was calling Fluke out for what he (and many others) thought were outrageously exaggerated claims to justify the "need" for insurance provisions for birth control even at church-based universities.

What Limbaugh was doing (and Maher often does) is attacking an opponent's arguments by saying, "Well, if what you are saying is true, then it must follow that this is also the case...." It's not like he pulled an Ed Schultz and just called her a slut out of the blue.

Of course, there are those who would have broad definitions of vulgar terms that would say those are justified if a woman espouses certain views considered "offensive" or harmful...similar to calling men SOBs or bastards. IMHO, the best approach for any commentator wanting to actually be persuasive is to avoid the vulgar language altogether. Limbaugh, for instance, could have simply said that MOST people would find women who seriously required that much birth control to be promiscuous. He tried later to clarify (and did make the points mentioned), but by then it was too late...the "slut" insult was all that was talked about (even though he pointed out that the term was commonly applied in the past to promiscuous women). His overall point that Fluke's claims of need were exaggerated (as when he pointed out the ACTUAL cost of birth control for that time period and the easy availability to it in the Georgetown area) was not only obscured but pretty much lost.

I just don't think that flinging vulgar, profane, obscene, and scatological terms at anybody...men or women...is helpful, even when attempting satire. All it does is obscure your point and make you look mean-spirited and spiteful.

(which never happens in this forum, of course)
Old 09-05-12, 03:39 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by Gunde
Yeah but they have news shows on a news network and are presented as newsmen (well maybe except Limbaugh).
That' a HUGE difference from Stewart and Maher, and they should be called out on it more than the comedians.
I'd go along with this.

However, the fact that so many elected officials...including sitting Presidents...appear on some of the comedians' shows and the influence those shows have on the electorate (particularly young voters with Stewart) make them more accountable than a Chris Rock riffing on politics. They fall somewhere in the area between entertainers/commentators/analysts/journalists.

Which is why no one should use any of them...liberals, conservatives, or in-between...as his/her primary sources of information. They always have their biases, and they always have both eyes firmly fixed on ratings (presumably, to a greater extent than professional journalists).
Old 09-05-12, 03:50 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by Gunde
Yeah but they have news shows on a news network and are presented as newsmen (well maybe except Limbaugh).
That' a HUGE difference from Stewart and Maher, and they should be called out on it more than the comedians.
So because Limbaugh isn't on a cable news channel either he shouldn't be called out as much as Hannity or O'Reilly?
Old 09-05-12, 04:12 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by creekdipper
Not a big fan of Limbaugh's abrasive style even when I do agree with his points, but the Fluke story is quite different from Maher's tactics.

Maher will call conservative women vulgar names such as "c**t", "whore", "slut", "bitch", etc. simply because he disagrees with their political positions. When he calls them idiots, crazy, uneducated, etc. based upon statements they make, he's stating an opinion. The other names are just venomous.
"[Sandra Fluke] goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut right? It makes her a prostitute right? She wants to be paid to have sex."

"She's having so much sex, that she wants you and me, the taxpayers, to pay her to have sex. We're the pimps."

^All from Rush Limbaugh.

A woman could only have sex once a month but still need to be taking a pill, or shot regularly for it to be effective. So not only is Limbaugh slandering Sandra Fluke he's lying (or unbelievably ignorant) about how contraceptives work.

It's sad to see people jump through hoops to rationalize and excuse this clown's behavior.
Old 09-05-12, 06:06 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by brayzie
So because Limbaugh isn't on a cable news channel either he shouldn't be called out as much as Hannity or O'Reilly?
No, no, no that's not what I meant
I just meant that he's not presented as a newsman the same way the two others are.
Old 09-05-12, 08:51 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by brayzie
It's sad to see people jump through hoops to rationalize and excuse this clown's behavior.
I definitely am not a fan of Rush, and I was very sympathetic towards Sandra Fluke initially. But then, I found that she wasn't some young innocent college teen getting attacked for her opinion, she was a 30-something activist. She makes a claim of $3000 for birth control when the actual cost for students is only 1/10th of this? I think everyone was played, and Rush's comments allowed her to become a martyr instead of a liar. She will be a featured speaker at the democratic national convention.
Old 09-05-12, 09:12 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by SkullOrchard
I don't like or respect smug, condescending, unfairly biased, unreasonable assholes of any ilk. I don't care if it's the President of the United States or my next door neighbor.

Liberals try to argue that pundits like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart should be immune from criticism because "they're just comedians". That's bullshit.

Limbaugh and Hannity are both college dropouts with little or no journalistic education. Before FOX NEWS, O'Reilly was primarily known as a tabloid reporter who did stories on UFO's and Bigfoot for the TV show, A Current Affair. Not exactly credentials that carry much gravitas.
O'Reilly and Hannity are EMPLOYED by Fox NEWS - the most popular NEWS channel in the world.
Old 09-05-12, 09:25 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by PerryD
I definitely am not a fan of Rush, and I was very sympathetic towards Sandra Fluke initially. But then, I found that she wasn't some young innocent college teen getting attacked for her opinion, she was a 30-something activist. She makes a claim of $3000 for birth control when the actual cost for students is only 1/10th of this? I think everyone was played, and Rush's comments allowed her to become a martyr instead of a liar. She will be a featured speaker at the democratic national convention.
1. Sandra Fluke never claimed to be a college student

2. Sandra Fluke never claimed to be a teenager

3. $3000 for birth control over a three-year-period (typical time it takes to go through law school) seems right to me.
Old 09-05-12, 09:45 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by creekdipper
Limbaugh, on the other hand, was responding to Fluke's claims that college women could need $3,000 worth of birth control over three years. Even by Wilt Chamberlain or Warren Beatty standards, that would be an extraordinary amount of intercourse.
You take birth control pills every day whether you have sex or not. So while I think the $3,000 is a bit "rounded up", if I take that number at face value, 3 years would be 36 months, so about $84/month. That includes the doctor's visits in addition to the medication itself. But it's not based on the amount of sex one is having. Are you thinking along the lines of morning after pills?
Old 09-05-12, 10:02 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by Groucho
1. Sandra Fluke never claimed to be a college student

2. Sandra Fluke never claimed to be a teenager

3. $3000 for birth control over a three-year-period (typical time it takes to go through law school) seems right to me.
Yeah, I'm talking about the media portrayal of her during all of the Rush hoopla. Anybody can get birth control pills for much less than $84 a month, currently a monthly supply is $9 at Target or Walmart without insurance.
Old 09-05-12, 10:41 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Or you can use the free condoms that get thrown at college students like confetti. I don't think the government should be forcing the school to pay so that Sandra can take loads bareback.
Old 09-05-12, 11:34 AM
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Re: Real Time with Bill Maher (2012)

Originally Posted by Groucho
1. Sandra Fluke never claimed to be a college student.
Sandra Fluke was a college student (law school) when she testified before Congress earlier this year. She has since graduated.

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