Maher (Still) Chasing Obama Interview
Candidate doesn't write, he doesn't call. Is HBO host a political outcast?
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/21/2008 8:00:00 PM
In this story:
Bill Maher, the acerbic host of HBO's Real Time, has welcomed guests from both sides of the political divide including Ann Coulter, Ralph Nader, Bill Kristol and Howard Dean.
But the major presidential candidates have mostly remained elusive including Sen. Barack Obama, who, says Maher, "promised me he would do it way back when."
"When I saw him on [Fox News] with Bill O'Reilly," he continues, "I e-mailed my producers and said, you know if he'll go on with Bill O'Reilly who treated him like such shit, what does it hurt to throw out [an invitation] one more time?"
But Maher still hasn't heard from Obama.
Maher surmises that his new movie Religulous, a satirical documentary about one of Maher's favorite targets: organized religion, has further spooked the Obama campaign. Probably Maher's comments following 9/11, when he said the hijackers weren't cowards, could be used against Obama, too.
"I think they're very afraid of me at the moment," he says. "I'm sure Obama doesn't need an attack ad saying, he went on Bill Maher's show and Bill Maher is a godless avatar of Satan. I think that may be part of the problem also."
Of course, John McCain and Sarah Palin aren't likely to stop by the Real Time studios anytime soon.
Maher has been withering in his assessment of McCain and took aim at Palin immediately after she was announced as McCain's running mate. He called her a "stewardess" in his opening monologue, a comment that earned him the "sexist" label from Republican surrogates.
"It's not sexist," he argues. "Because she's a woman, anytime you criticize her you're a sexist?"
For the record, Maher, who also blogs for The Huffington Post (Arianna Huffington is a frequent guest), would welcome Palin and McCain. He says, "We always go after everybody that's in the news."
But he's not holding his breath. Maher adds that both Bill and Hillary Clinton refused invitations to come on the show.
People running for high offices are generally cautious about whom they're seen with. And while Obama has appeared recently on David Letterman's CBS program, Maher's persona as a far left political satirist who rails against the Iraq war, George W. Bush and conservative ideology makes him somewhat radioactive.
The no-holds-barred format and obvious ideological leanings of the host and his audience can be alienating.
"The nature of our show, and why people like our show, is probably why we have trouble getting guests," Maher explains.
"But I would rather do a show with really smart people talking about the people in the news than have the people in the news come on and give me their bullshit and I can't question it."
It's amazing how many people think that if they keep repeating the "Obama is an elitist" mantra that it will be true. The man was raised by a single mother living on food stamps who worked to get her education so that she could send him to college. Far from the privilege with which John McCain was raised. Obama is far closer to the average American. I think there must be another politically incorrect reason why these people don't like him.
David - 9/24/2008 3:34:00 PM EDT
Bill Maher is the Godfather of the political comedic satire arena. Bill has always held the truth well above any political party affiliation. The true definition of "country firstâ€.
Agree with him or not you will find moreover his critic''s obvious and poorly hidden "agendas" poke out cowardly from behind their own deluded fears of eternal damnation.
Better said the real Republican and Bush doctrine -FEAR.
Jon Woodruf - 9/22/2008 5:33:00 PM EDT
Maher is an elitist like Obama. What get me about Maher is his delusion that he and his audience are intelligetn and informed when he does nothing be parrot the left wing blogs while his audience applauds.
Maher has no awareness of the facts and he confuses fact with rumor and innuendo constantly.
He, like most libs enjoys disourse with other like him but he is clearly uncomfortable with having conversations where his own beliefs are challenged. Last week when Andrew Sullivan attacked him for being a religious bigot (which he is) was priceless.
Valerius - 9/22/2008 11:59:00 AM EDT
No one wants to be seen within 100 feet of the souless, viping creten Bill Maher. His show is pretty much unwatchable to the normal, but serves red-meat to the frothing, virulently rabid far-left communists. They (Maher, his bizarre-hand-picked audience, usual suspects Garrafalo & Huffington)are usually ganging up on some poor conservative schlub who's only looking for air time to plug their new book(heck, why else would they show up on that hate fest). Drop by sometime on Friday night if you want to puke up the nice steaks that you grilled with friends or family that evening. Heck, the only reason I have HBO anymore is for HBO boxing, and even that's falling off my radar with a much better and non-corrupt product in Dana White's UFC. HBO is just pure liberal garbage nowadays.
Alex in DC - 9/22/2008 11:49:00 AM EDT
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